It's October (almost)! And you know what that means: everyone you know will now pretend to have cared about baseball for the past six months so that they can safely pretend to care about it for the next month. Prepare yourself for those unendurable office talks with the guy who just learned that the "J" in Pujols is actually pronounced Spanish-like, and for all of Florida to realize that it has a baseball team or two. But this is America, where everyone is welcome! Here's your guide to finding baseball on a screen for the next four weeks.
TBS: It's not just for Conan and House of Payne! It's also for the Division Series. With just one exception—the second Rays-Rangers game, which will air tomorrow night on TNT—every Division Series game will air on TBS. This might cause for a bit of overlap, but there are certainly ways to get around that—especially if you're watching locally, in which case, you should probably be supporting your local television station (while eating locally sourced ballpark franks, of course).
In the first round, Brian Anderson, John Smoltz and Ron Darling will call the Yankees-Tigers series for TBS, Don Orsillo and Buck Martinez will call Rays-Rangers, Victor Rojas and Joe Simpson are on Diamondbacks-Brewers, and Dick Stockton and Bob Brenly are on Phillies-Cardinals. If any of that makes you shudder, please refer to last year's simple tech solution for silencing the likes of Buck and McCarver.
For the Division Championship Series, FOX will pick up the ALCS (because the "A" stands for "Amurrican," you see), and TBS will get the NLCS. The entirety of the World Series will air on FOX. Therein lies one argument that baseball might still be considered America's game: there are, potentially, 41 games to be aired on basic cable packages. Tuck in!
Are you that person? Cool. That's great. Good for you. But I'm not guiding you. Go here, or just dial your AM radio around until you hear someone talking about baseball (this works anywhere).
There are two ways to watch baseball on the Internet: you can watch for free, or you can watch for not free. The benefit of the latter is that the quality will be infinitely better. The drawback of the latter is that it costs money.
Expats, along with the dedicated MLB fan base in Ulaanbaatar, have a wonderful option in the MLB.tv postseason package. Anyone outside of the U.S. and Canada can, for $19.99, watch every postseason game live or on demand online. It's all available in HD and with DVR, and there are alternate audio options, which means you never have to listen to a single person talk for more than five minutes. This almost calls for a trip to Cabo.
If you're not abroad, and you still need more viewing angles, then there's Postseason.tv, which will broadcast the TBS games (meaning the AL and NL division series, and the NLCS). It costs $3.99 for the division series package, and $5.99 to include the NLCS, which is like the cost of one or two of the 20 Dorito bags you'll be eating next month, so consider it a deal. The package offers a choice of 10 angles for each game, and you can watch up to four at once (we recommend doing so while wearing 3D glasses, just because). If you don't have a TV and you're mooching off of your neighbors' wireless network, then you can essentially watch half of the playoffs for the price of a pint of beer. We like to give MLB TV a lot of shit, but that's a pretty good deal.
If you're a cheap bastard, though, then there's always the FREE OPTION. As always, we recommend the seemingly immortal pirate site, AtdheNet.TV (there's also Ilemi.me). It's dependable, low on ads, and—best of all—totally illegal. We won't know until the games go live tonight whether or not they'll have a feed, so please share your favorite pirate sites in the comments section to help one another through October.
To listen to games on your smart phone, get yourself Gameday Audio. If you have a good connection, streaming should be easy. Otherwise, MLB has a monopoly on the app game, too: MLB At Bat is available for most smart phones and tablets, and some app providers have even discounted the price for the playoffs.
Most of these will track each pitch with every game, so it's, like, just as good as being there—only instead of being there you are looking at it unfold in your hand and you're on a crowded subway car. Close enough.
Enjoy! Here's the TV schedule for the division series, courtesy MLB (all on TBS unless otherwise noted, and all times Eastern):
AL Division Series
Gm 1 DET @ NYY Fri Sep. 30 8:37 PM
Gm 2 DET @ NYY Sat Oct. 1 8:37 PM
Gm 3 NYY @ DET Mon Oct. 3 8:37 PM
Gm 4* NYY @ DET Tue Oct. 4 TBD
Gm 5* DET @ NYY Thu Oct. 6 TBD
AL Division Series
Gm 1 TB @ TEX Fri Sep. 30 5:07 PM
Gm 2 TB @ TEX Sat Oct. 1 7:07 PM TNT
Gm 3 TEX @ TB Mon Oct. 3 5:07 PM
Gm 4* TEX @ TB Tue Oct. 4 TBD
Gm 5* TB @ TEX Thu Oct. 6 TBD
NL Division Series
Gm 1 STL @ PHI Sat Oct. 1 5:07 PM
Gm 2 STL @ PHI Sun Oct. 2 8:07 PM
Gm 3 PHI @ STL Tue Oct. 4 TBD
Gm 4* PHI @ STL Wed Oct. 5 TBD
Gm 5* STL @ PHI Fri Oct. 7 TBD
NL Division Series
Gm 1 ARI @ MIL Sat Oct. 1 2:07 PM
Gm 2 ARI @ MIL Sun Oct. 2 4:37 PM
Gm 3 MIL @ ARI Tue Oct. 4 TBD
Gm 4* MIL @ ARI Wed Oct. 5 TBD
Gm 5* ARI @ MIL Fri Oct. 7 TBD