Off Days are (Still) for the Minor Leagues


Today is the first off-day of the 2012 season.   Last season, the Cardinals had played six games before their first travel day, and fans were still reeling from an ugly 2-4 start, where the bullpen was anything but reliable.   We actually looked forward to the day off  because it meant that there wouldn’t be another heartbreaking defeat.

What a difference a year makes.  A wacky schedule has the Cardinals off after just one game, and what a game it was.  This off day will seem more like an appointment for a root canal, something to dread and hope that it passes quickly so we can return to our normal routine.   But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Free Gameday Audio

Off days give us a great opportunity to pay attention to the kids playing in the minor league system.  Three of the four full season teams begin the play tonight: Memphis at Oklahoma City, Frisco at Springfield, and Kane County at Quad Cities.   Once again, our friends from MiLB.com have made Gameday audio streams available for free, making it easy to follow the action in the minors.  Cardinals fans will be most interested in

Memphis Redbirds (some broadcasts are heard here or here)

Springfield Cardinals

Quad Cities River Bandits (iPad/iPhone users click here)

Palm Beach Cardinals (iPad/iPhone users click here)

Batavia Muckdogs

If the radio station listed above is not carrying the game, try the opponent’s broadcast.   A complete listing of all the minor league broadcasts can be found here.

A special note to iPhone/iPad users: Tune In Radio is a great application that can stream most of these broadcasts.   The home radio stations for each of the Cardinals farm teams is

Memphis – WBHQ AM 560, alternate broadcasts on The Pig

Springfield – Jock 98.7 FM

Quad Cities (tbd)

Palm Beach (tbd)

Batavia – WBTA

Another great smartphone application comes from Radio.com.  You can use it to listen to Cardinals pre and post game coverage on KMOX.  Little of this is carried by the various MLB sources (Gameday Audio, MLB TV, MLB at Bat) and the Radio.com application lets you keep up with all of the coverage.

But Wait … There’s More (Video)

The best deal in sports entertainment has to be the MiLB subscription, when added to an existing MLB.TV account.  It is heavily discounted, about the price of a beer at the ballpark.   Even at full price, it is worth every penny.

MiLB.TV streams video for all of the AAA clubs.  Some of them feature the radio broadcast audio, but a few are streamed just with the sounds of the crowd.   There are fewer camera angles than with the major league broadcasts, and video is in standard definition.  But the baseball is fun (and the blackout rules seem to be interpreted quite loosely).  Some of the broadcasts, Memphis in particular, leave the video feed running so you can enjoy the in-stadium entertainment between innings.

In addition to all of the AAA clubs, Northwest Arkansas, Tulsa and Corpus Christi also broadcast video, which gives us an opportunity to look in on the kids playing in Springfield.  A complete list of teams streaming video can be found at http://www.milb.com/milb/multimedia/milbtv.jsp.

Viva El Baby Birdos

The next time the Cardinals have a day off or are playing in the East or West time zones, take advantage of the free streaming audio or take advantage of your MiLB video subscription, and follow the kids as they develop their skills.

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