Baseball America editor in chief John Manuel arrived in the newsroom on Tuesday morning slightly irked that his pre-dawn wake-up call to the Red Sox Opening Day tilt in Japan was for naught. Instead of seeing Manny Ramirez rally Boston past the Athletics, an error message ran across John’s DirecTV-powered screen.
Turns out he was not alone.
Much of Red Sox Nation missed their team’s season debut because of a faulty transponder that affected DirecTV and NESN broadcasts. And as expected, The Nation responded passionately.
Here’s a sampling of coverage from yesterday’s blackout:
A "Kegs and Eggs with the Red Sox" party was spoiled at a pub in Milford, Mass., when their ESPN2 feed went dark. Roughly 50 people rolled out of bed early for the event at Elisha’s Restaurant.
"Instead, customers at Elisha’s sipped coffee or beer and ate Dice-K Omelets and breakfast sandwiches while watching either error messages or, on one TV, ESPN," the Nashua Telegraph reported.
The Portsmouth Herald recounts locals’ failed attempts to watch the game, including Scott Campbell, who went to bed early and awoke in the morning only find to find a dark screen.
"I thought I was in the Twilight Zone," he said.
Campbell then went on to blow the incident completely out of proportion.
"I put (the Red Sox opener) a notch below the Super Bowl, the Barack Obama inaugural speech, the lunar landing. That’s the way I felt," said Campbell. "This was something I looked forward to all winter. It was like torture. I knew it was there, I just couldn’t see it."
(By the way, what’s so hard about getting up at 6 a.m.? My 2-year-old wakes me up at 6:10 sharp every morning demanding porridge and The Wiggles.)
In South Burlington, Vt., roughly 150 piled into Koto Japanese Steak House for a traditional serving of eggs, potatoes and Red Sox baseball on TV. They were stuck with only the radio broadcast (but breakfast was on the house).
Local resident Steve Murphy told the Burlington Free Press that it’s hardly the worst hardship Sox fans have had to deal with
"It’s just another hardship we’ve learned to deal with," said Steve Murphy, 56, of Williston, who’s suffered through so many debacles: the 1975 World Series, Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner. "I’ve been a Red Sox fan since the 1950s, and this is the least thing we’ve had to deal with."
Boston Globe beat writer Amalie Benjamin posted on her blog about the outage at 6:29 Tuesday morning. The item got 224 comments from readers sharing their misery.
"I’m gonna go flip some cars," wrote ‘Jimmy’ at 6:51 a.m.
"It’s out in South Carolina also. I woke my 9-year old boy up at 6 for nothing!" wrote Mike Gallagher at 6:57 a.m.
And perhaps my favorite comment from an irritable ‘Fukudome’ at 7:03: "I do not like mornings. I also now do not like DirecTV for tricking me in to getting up to watch the Sox."
Lastly, it appears our old friend Scott Campbell sought out Amalie for comfort, as ‘PissedinPortsmouth’ wrote at 7:05: "My girlfriend and I are up in our lucky World-Series-winning flannel Red Sox PJs, but Directv is down! Well, more specifically, the 2 channels carrying the Sox game are down; everything else works! Then I tune in WEEI.com and the game’s not on there either! What is going on? Am I in the Twilight Zone?"
Lucky PJ’s? Come on, Scott.
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