It happens every year, yet it takes me by surprise every time. For two straight days, the SNY feed left for about 10-15 minutes. On Tuesday, I missed Curtis Granderson's first home run, and the feed came back just in time for me to watch Anthony Seratelli and Omar Quintanilla fail with the bases loaded. Today, the feed went dark again, and came back just in time for Reed Johnson to drive in another run against the Mets. (Forcing me to use this picture again for the pure evilness of it.)
But when it happened today, I the conspiracy theorist in me wondered why it was the sports stations that went dark, while E!'s coverage of Sunday's Oscars three days later was coming in crystal clear. To Time Warner Cable's credit, they responded to my petulant tweet with something other than "go f*** yourself":
Kudos to Time Warner for their professional response. And more kudos to them for having the dates nailed down as to when to expect these "solar flares":
Each year during February/March and September/October, Solar Interference causes the degradation or loss of satellite signals for short periods of time. These are the two periods throughout the year when the sun is in direct alignment with Time Warner Cable satellites, causing potential hiccups in signal or service. This can occur up to 15 minutes each day for roughly five to seven days.
This year, TWC expects this interference to occur March 4-9. During this time, customers may experience brief interruptions. The effects may be seen on most channels and will occur during various times of the day. While the sun has thus far issued no apology whatsoever, we assure you that any minor disruptions are temporary and sincerely appreciate your patience.
As I'm sure they appreciate my impatience. But this does nothing to answer my question of why it was just the sports stations blocked out? But hey ... we live because of the sun. It gives us water, fire, and life. So I'll live with the solar flares. On the other hand, the Wilpons give us ulcers, agita, and headaches. Therefore it is much more satisfying to blame them for not building a sunspot blocker that shoots lasers and serves soft-serve chocolate ice cream with an automatic sprinkle dispenser.
But I enjoyed Zack Wheeler's performance on Tuesday. He went three innings which was key because it meant that he was keeping his pitch count down in the first two innings. And that's what we want to see from Wheeler this year, right? That's the one thing we want Wheeler to work on: better control. And look how it helped during a meaningless spring training game against the putrid Houston Astros. Did you see that curve ball he threw to Dexter Fowler?
But the sunshine of Tuesday turned to dark clouds on Wednesday (that's just a crappy metaphor as the sun obviously blocked out the Mets games for fifteen minutes ... see above) as the Mets lost not one, but two games to two division rivals. Gonzalez Germen gave up three runs in the tenth inning against Miami as he threatened to have a game end in the middle of an inning because he approached his pitch count with no more pitchers left, because the rest of them were in Viera pitching against Washington at Space Ghost Coast to Coast Stadium. One of those pitchers was Cory Mazzoni, who gave up two home runs to two extras from "Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch" as the Mets lost 11-5.
The good news is that Tim Byrdak will join Josh Lewin for a couple of radio broadcasts this spring ... more specifically the two exhibition games against Montreal on March 28th and 29th. Unfortunately I cannot listen to the broadcasts (don't cry too much for me as it's because I will actually be at the games.) But I'm sure that if Tim Byrdak went on the air hopped up on prednisone, toradol, and morpheme, and did nothing but read from the Montreal phone book in English and French, it would still be more informative and less likely to give me suicidal thoughts as a Steve Phillips broadcast.
And apparently, this is also good news for Byrdak's wife: