UNDER FURTHER REVIEW – Rockies are streaming, but cavemen, beware

How does that line go in the insurance commercial? Oh, yes: So easy, a caveman could do it.

That’s how the Rockies made it sound February 14 when they announced that their games will be shown on the Major League Baseball streaming app this season.

“Simply create a username and password to watch on your favorite supported devices,” the ball club said. 

Well, this caveman didn’t find it that easy. Nor did his tech-savvy spouse.

Over two days we spent seemingly interminable time on the phone with Xfinity and MLB, trying to get the app to load on two TVs. We even called customer service at Samsung, the maker of one of the televisions.

Before we found at least a partial answer, I received a text message from a caveman friend who wanted to know if I had signed up for the Rockies streaming.

“Yes,” I replied, “but so far, we haven’t been able to get it to work on our TVs. How about you?”

He wrote back, “I signed up but haven’t been able to get a picture yet. I was hoping you could tell me how to do it.”

Our solution came from the Xfinity service tech we finally had to have come to our home. His answer: something he called a Fire Stick, which attaches to the TV. It costs about 30 bucks.

Immediately, we were able to view Spring Training games on our televisions! And we’ll see games all season—not just the Rockies but any team.

That enhanced the other major benefit of using the MLB app.

The games are available on my iPhone and iPad, too, which means I can SEE them whether I’m in front of a TV or not.

Why, you ask, did the Rockies make it so hard for any loyal fan to follow this year’s team as it tries to rebound from its first 100-loss season in history?

Following a trend across baseball, the regional networks that carried teams’ games for years hit the wall, so to speak. Most of them folded, leaving teams to find alternatives.

In many cases, MLB has stepped into the breach by showing games on the streaming option. Fans must pay for access, just as viewers pay for Peacock or other streaming services. But that’s okay, in my book, provided it’s easy to use and reliable.

So easy, a caveman could do it.

Out of the gate, that hasn’t been my experience. But, hey, isn’t that what Spring Training is for? To get the kinks out?

*   *   *

I was talking with another caveman friend the other day, and he said he was ready to sign up for Rockies streaming but wanted to wait and see what kind of cable deal they came up with, since the club has said it’s working on some kind of arrangement that would be announced before the season begins. 

He’s skeptical but willing to wait and see. I share his skepticism.

In the meantime, he’s curious about what to expect this season.

Aren’t we all.

I told him I couldn’t imagine the Rockies having as many injuries in 2024 as last year, even though German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela are rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and aren’t expected to return until midseason, at the earliest.

And what are the odds of another Rockies member of the starting rotation going down with a fractured skull, as Ryan Feltner did in ’23?

He asked if I thought the Rockies front office realized the key to any season is pitching.

I pointed out that virtually every move general manager Bill Schmidt has made in the past six months involved acquiring more pitchers, albeit mostly prospects.

He wasn’t that impressed with Cal Quantrill, Dakota Hudson, Jalen Beeks or hoped-for Rule 5 steal Anthony Molina. But I say, let’s see.

So far, Gold Glove center fielder Brenton Doyle is showing signs that during the offseason he figured out how to make more consistent contact.

Elehuris Montero appears ready to provide some power, if manager Bud Black can find a way to get him in the lineup regularly.

Kris Bryant claims he’s healthy and rarin’ to go at his new position, first base. 

And there are some so-far, good-looking prospects.  

Are the 2024 Rockies pennant contenders?

No. But they’ll be worth watching—if you can figure out how to get them on your TV.

Denny Dressman is a veteran of 43 years in the newspaper business, including 25 at the Rocky Mountain News, where he began as executive sports editor. He is the author of 16 books, nine of them sports-related. You can write to Denny at denny
dressman@comcast.net.