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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

MLB Network Streaming Announcement Helps, A Little

There is good news for some of those interested in watching MLB Network via streaming on mobile devices and computers. For example, until now, if you are traveling and your hotel does not carry the popular channel, there has been no way to pick up MLB Network. I know this from personal experience.

That changed last Thursday, when MLB turned on streaming for their popular service via both the At Bat app and Available content includes studio shows, games and other programming, according to

However, one must check the details, as there are important limitations.

First of all, to take advantage of this capability, you must already be a subscriber to MLB Network through your cable or satellite provider. If your system does not carry MLB Network, you are still out of luck, as there is no other way to subscribe.

Second, your television provider must be participating in the program. Specifically, Comcast and Charter are not part of the initial rollout. Those who are in include AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Cablevision/Optimum, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS.

Finally, even if you can get this far, authorized streaming of MLB Network will do nothing to help you get around game blackouts. If you are prohibited from seeing a game at home, the contest will be unavailable via streaming, as well.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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76 Responses to “MLB Network Streaming Announcement Helps, A Little”

  1. blingboy says:

    Once Charter is on board, assuming, will this be a way of getting around a cable outage?

    • Brian Walton says:

      Unfortunately, I am also a Charter customer. To answer your question, yes, I think so. I’ve had very good luck with no Charter service interruptions to speak of in several years. Of course, as soon as I say that…

      I have also set up mobile hotspot service for my cell phone so I can use it as a router for my laptop wherever I am. Works great with the only limitation being the drain on my data plan. That is what I would use at home if my cable goes down.

      • blingboy says:

        Yes, that is my thinking. We have sort of a family plan as far as cell phones and data plan. This includes my wife, as well as numerous daughters and daughters in law. I am not sure, but I think they deliver our data plan in a fleet of dump trucks. My usage would never be noticed.

  2. blingboy says:

    Also, since there isn’t really a ‘potential drama/conspiracy theory’ thread anywhere, what is to be made of the Molina/Lackey animated conversation in the dugout that FSM kept on about.

    The Lackey and Matheny quotes that I have heard/read are what one would expect regardless of the actual situation, so I take nothing from that. Of possibly more interest is that Yadi uncharacteristically had nothing to say, apparently. Underlying all is the Lackey personality backstory.

    And while we are talking potential dramas, Rosenthal was going to be unavailable Sunday, per MM, and was again Monday. (But, of course, its nothing.)

    And before crdswmn asks, no I am not donning my tin foil hat and playing the Twilight Zone theme.

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        That’s far more indepth and pertinent than anything else on the net. Thanks.

        I hope that if there are those to be held accountable that that occurs (to the degree necessary). If the allegations are true, it doesn’t sound like information was used to win games or execute drafts or trades by the Cardinals’ office, but to embarrass, exact revenge, on a person believed to have taken proprietary information that was developed in St. Louis of which there may have been a dispute over the ownership. Or if it was done it could have been done investigate the use of the purported proprietary information in the Houston Offices as part of the ongoing dispute of ownership of the proprietary information. Regardless, if the allegations are true the Cardinals need to step up and hold the persons accountable themselves when the dust settles. As a fan, I hope it doesn’t run so deep that it shakes up the entire organization.

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        That also provides some needed context. Even if it doesn’t provide any defense.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Nope, I am not defending anyone. I am more confident the feds will get to the bottom of it vs. an internal MLB investigation. We don’t yet know how the info was used other than the leaked Deadspin article. More importantly, how high in the organization did the knowledge of this activity rise?

          • Kansasbirdman says:

            Exactly, I don’t know that there could be any defense (and wasn’t saying you were either trying or obligated to) just referring to the alleged facts as they become known. Two wrongs don’t make a right and all that. Perhaps it couldn’t be called “cheating” but is “revenge hacking” any better for image?

            I hope once the dust settles that they will not have had to clean house in the FO and start from scratch.

            And I really don’t want to become “the Patriots of MLB”.

            • Brian Walton says:

              I have immense respect for Bill DeWitt Jr. How he deals with this will be crucial – for those who still have an open mind. The segment of people who already disliked the Cardinals have their justification. That will never be undone no matter how the federal investigation comes out.

            • crdswmn says:

              I find it very hard to believe that a “hack” (quotes because it wasn’t technically a hack, but an intrusion using guessed passwords), as unsophisticated as this one was, was done with any knowledge or authority of anyone in the higher positions of the FO. It was done at a private residence without any attempt to mask the IP address. Anyone with any computer savvy at all that didn’t want to get caught could have used a VPN.

              I hope it turns out to be a couple of low level employees, perhaps from Luhnow’s tenure who have some sort of grudge, or even better, some drunk interns.

              • Brian Walton says:

                Sorry, but here is the Google definition of “hack”:
                “use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.”

                Merriam Webster:
                ” to gain access to a computer illegally”


                Regarding level of employees, lower level ones likely aren’t getting a trip to Florida, while upper level ones aren’t room-sharing, if that is what is relevant here.

                Unless those involved were drunk for over a year, that excuse seems unlikely since the intrusion apparently began in spring 2013 and Deadspin ran its article in June 2014.

                I agree that there was very likely not higher-level knowledge at the time of the initial intrusion, but who learned of it afterward is where it could get very sticky.

                • crdswmn says:

                  It might be a hack according to Merriam Webster, but according to every IT person I know, it isn’t. It’s semantics anyway.

                  The information I have seen is pretty sketchy as to the length and breadth of the “hack”. I imagine more information will become available as the investigation continues. I am not worrying about it until there is more to go on. No sense in expecting the worst.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Cbina, it is claimed, has swiped confidential information about US government employees. In retribution, the Justice Department is going to blame this too on the Cardinals?

    I would caution against a frantic rush to judgment. Exactly, what law has been broken? Who has been harmed? How have they been harmed?

    Has the Congress passed a law to protect the IT systems of baseball teams? If so, why?

    The Cards need to hire the lawyer who successfully defended Barry Bonds.

    • crdswmn says:

      It’s called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 18.U.S.C Section 1030

      It affects interstate commerce, so the federal law applies.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        This is a murky situation, given how baseball routinely permits the job movements of front office personnel among competing teams. This is pervasive within the industry and erodes trade secrets, even if computer systems were not remote accessed by unauthorized persons.

        Today, hacking efforts are ubiquitous or should be suspected to be. Very serious and troubling information thefts take place or are reported. Its a worrisome downside to the Information Age. Yet in this alleged instance, the stakes sound unimportant. Perhaps this triviality makes the topic easier for people to grasp and to get frustrated about. The general problem of hacking seems very serious

        If the intent was to find silly or amusing Astros communications so as to leak them to Deadspin, this would seem intrinsically petty, and unlikely to have been commissioned by company leaders. If there was any harm to the Astros, the genuine extent would not have been much. A mitigating consideration, for whoever got involved in this ill advised caper.

        With all the publicity, involved persons are going to need to step forward and take responsibility.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          If a team wanted to learn inside information from the computers of other teams, it would not make a lot of sense to leak information to Deadspin. Leakage only inspires an investigation, plus does nothing to benefit the Cards.
          So if some employees used old passwords of Luhnow or Elias to enter the Astros information system so as to leak to Deadspin, then this poorly thought out idea is unlikely to have been known high up the organization. A thoughtful scheme would not invite suspicion, nor use a Cardinals related location for remote access.

          • blingboy says:

            This happened two years ago so it is possible the perps don’t even work for the Cards anymore. Maybe Luhnow recruited them and they are now in Houston. That would be funny.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Avoiding the appearance of tampering has long been a consideration within the game. If you want to consider an employee of another organization for a job, you need to get permission from the other team. Following this principle would have avoided this situation. Is it appropriate to enter another team’s data base as an unauthorized user? No. This could be viewed as tampering and expose a team to penalties from the Commissioner, if this became known. How about leaking internal emails of another team to a web site? Not a sensible, necessary, or nice thing to do and tampering. Reflects poorly on the employee who does this.
              In due course, the investigation should reveal the one or more involved. Once the authorities start asking questions, just answer honestly. To do otherwise would expose an individual to charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

            • Brian Walton says:

              News out of Houston suggests it first occurred in 2013 and again during spring 2014. Not a one-time thing, in other words.

              More likely it was Cards employees not hired by Luhnow, but I get the joke.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    If 4 or 5 employees were involved or had knowledge, that seems like a pretty big number.

    • blingboy says:

      Yesterday it was a couple, then I heard 3 or 4, now 4 or 5. I don’t think anybody besides the Men in Black know anything. Just a bunch of regurgitated supposition spewing into a stiff breeze. I am surprised so many seem to be so sure they know how it turns out.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Dewitt and Mo got off the mat today and said what was needed.

        Now for conjecture. 4 or 5 seems plausible. Any bigger and everyone would have known.

        The number of people who could take an interest in this topic is not huge. The cards probably have 25 scouts, pro and amateur combined. How many work in IT? 5 to 10? How many in data analysis? 5 to 10? The universe of suspects is probably not many. If 4 out of 40, this would be 10 percent of employees.

        The perps were probably elated and foolishly leaked information to deadspin. Since then, they may have been sweating bullets and ruling their folly.

      • crdswmn says:

        4 or 5 SUSPECTS. Doesn’t mean all of them did it.

        • JumboShrimp says:


          One can easily imagine what could have happenned. Spring training 2013. 0ne night, a couple of drinks, a couple of guys wonder if Jeff still uses his mothers name as his password? Surprise, OMG, he does.

          The Duo do not do anything at the web site, they were just testing access. No harm is done to the Astros, so technically no crime has taken place.

          Then a year later, someone is more mischievous with intent. Maybe one of the 2013 guys told his third cousin about the secret way into the Astros email traffic. It has entertainment value for fans. Now an anonymous computer network Tor is used. The emails are dumped at an anonymous site patrolled by Deadspin, the garbage collectors.

          In this hypothetical, not much has really happened. Not really any harm to the Astros. No gain for the cards. The caper could even be unrelated to the password testing experiment of 2013 because maybe a disgruntled Astro like Bo Porter might have copied the emails and had them discreetly leaked, completely unrelated to the first unauthorized log on.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Has the FBI leaked the duration of the 2013 unauthorized access? What if it was brief, 30 seconds, signifying only a password test. Then there was no reoccurrence for more than a year. Those few with knowledge of an unauthorized password were not impatient to use it again.

            Meanwhile Oakland hired away our head of amateur scouting last October, so at least one team knows everything about the cards. Is the FBI investigating Billie for theft of trade secrets? The Astros hired 15 cardinals, a clear and massive grab of trade secrets.

            • blingboy says:

              There are two possibilities:

              Luhnow is telling the truth and nobody who went to Houston failed to change their password. The Astros have never been guilty of poor “password hygeine” under his watch. Therefore, the idea that this all came about as some sort of prank made possible by a mischievous nerd guessing a password goes out the window. So, how else did it happen, then?

              Alternatively, What if Luhnow is lying about the password practices. That possibility must be on the table. Which in turn means the chance he is lying about other aspects, such as whether he and his expat posse rode out of Busch with a bale of proprietary nerdstuff, is also on the table. How does this affect the lanscape?

              • Brian Walton says:

                On the second point, it appears an academic question as analyzing the two systems for similarities does not seem to be in the scope of the investigation – at least as far as what has come to light.

                Of course, we have no idea if the suspects have been questioned and if so, what they told the FBI agents in their defense.

                To your hypothetical question, I guess if was proven that Houston stole St. Louis proprietary info, there would be two losers in his story, instead of one loser and one apparent victim.

                • blingboy says:

                  The second point was meant to illustrate what the first point implies. Namely, at this point in the proceedings it is hazardous to make assumptions about what the likely outcome of this will be based on the first trickle of information. From the start, when the story broke, many seem to have all piled on the same bandwagon, which is that, basically, some mischievous FO grunt found a password taped to the deskdrawer or some such, and are steadfastly sticking to that until proven otherwise. It seems quite imprudent to choose a bandwagon at the first trickle of information, only to have ones choice become more dubious by the minute. All outcomes are on the table as the landscape evolves with each new trickle of information. I am rather surprised that I have taken some flac for this observation.

                  • Brian Walton says:

                    I also suspect that we only know a part of the story. On the other hand, the investigation has been underway for months and this doesn’t look to be exceptionally difficult to solve.

                    Of course, just because the team is cooperating, we have no way of knowing how the suspects are reacting or what the investigators are finding in their search of Cardinals computers, etc.

                    I am surprised that some are accepting as gospel statements made by attorneys representing clients with a lot at stake. Then again, I suspect that some fans’ hopes for the best may cloud their objectivity.

                    Best to keep an open mind until the feds announce their findings, IMO.

                    • blingboy says:

                      Agreed, mostly.

                      We have trickles from each team’s GM and a couple lawyers. How do you argue with evidence like that. ;/

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Not to mention the team having hired a law firm months ago to get to the bottom of it. Couldn’t have been motivated by the feds at the door with subpoenas. 😉

                    • crdswmn says:

                      “I am surprised that some are accepting as gospel statements made by attorneys representing clients with a lot at stake. Then again, I suspect that some fans’ hopes for the best may cloud their objectivity.”

                      Please clarify your meaning in this statement. Are you suggesting that lawyers willingly conceal info or lie in federal investigations to protect their client?

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      A press release or prepared statement made publicly from anyone can be carefully worded and as far as I know is not being made under oath or at legal risk.

                      My primary point is that we should assume nothing for certain. If new evidence surfaces tomorrow, it could make today’s statements inaccurate.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      Also, an attorney doesn’t have to be an under oath to be at legal risk. Withholding information or giving false information during the course of an investigation is grounds for disbarment.

                  • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                    Connecting of the IP address to the Jupiter apartment, would also show the password that was used. And that isn’t part of the leaked information. Make yourselves a time line and things will become more evident. Selig is still the comish who called the FBI in. This was ripe be a Trojan horse that challenged the MLB anti trust status. Also, it could have easily have been used as a disqualification for BD who was headed to a chairmanship of the section committee. So it really should have been handled then, instead of now. I’m sure the differences in approach aren’t lost on some of you.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  I was talking generally about statements made to the press, not ones given to investigators. It was not intended to be specific to lawyers, though I did say that initially. I also did not suggest that anyone was not telling the truth, only pointing out that there seems no certainties in an on-going investigation. The statements that will matter to me personally will be the ones from the federal investigators later, when their findings are complete. Some others have already drawn their conclusions based on information made public to date, which could very well be incomplete.

                  • crdswmn says:

                    No lawyer who wants to keep his license is going to make a public statement, to the press or to anyone else that his client is innocent if he knows that to be false. That is grounds for discipline.

                    Of course there are no certainties. Very little is publicly known, all we can do is make reasonable inferences from what is reported. That’s what fuels discussions, but no one know for sure how it is going to turn out.

                    Being hopeful for a good outcome rather than assuming the worst or projecting doom, is not a fault as long as one is realistic about it. I would much rather live by that precept, and live with ultimate bad news it it happens, than be cynical and negative from the outset.

  5. blingboy says:

    Moving back to the left.

    As far as hiring a law firm “to get to the bottom it”, I guess it depends on the definition of “get to the bottom of it”. Dowd Bennett is the firm John Danforth recently relocated to. The attorney from that firm, Jim Martin, who just appeared on the dias with Mo, was the guy Danforth appinted director of investigation into the FBI’s role in the Waco/Branch Davidian incident that Danforth was heading up. You will recall that the FBI was taking a lot of heat and “The Danforth Report” exonerated them completely.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      That is just the muscle that is limiting the search parameters of those subpoenas. this chess match has already been played out. But Houston’s law suite filed this week against media sources was nicely timed.

      • blingboy says:

        The suit earlier this month caused me a raised eyebrow as I distinctly remember that a couple years ago Crane sued Drayton McLane alleging misrepresentation of the value of the franchise, in large part due to the cable TV/sports network fiasco. I had thought that the various media entities were brought into that suit. I have not invested the time to figure out the particulars since I couldn’t imagine why I would care about financial dramas embroiling the Astros ownership.

        As an aside, I am pretty shure that if Luhnow could fudge up the #1 pick he could fudge up creating the Astros computer based system. I wonder if that is in the back of Jim Crane’s mind right now.

  6. JumboShrimp says:

    When DoJ moved on the soccer crooks, they announced indictments. They did not have to resort to leaking lame innuendo to their publicity flacks at the New York times.

    It is suspicious the prosecutors are feeding the Times. If they had a real case, take it to court.

    All the FBI has is nothing useable in a real court.

    This is why the Feds have to resort to the kangaroo court of sports reporters!

      • JumboShrimp says:

        The FBI has zilch. The cards did not gain, the astros suffered no genuine harm, there is no reliable evidence any employee of the cards gave luhnows emails to deadspin, these could have been leaked by by Astros employees who were disenchanted. It’s all a farce.
        The cards are successful, New Yorkers like to read about how it all owes to cheating.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            The NYT has less credibility than Pravda, Rolling Stone, and Senator John Edwards. It’s sensible to be cautious about any reportage from the Times, doubly so when it’s based on prosecutorial leaks.

            • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

              Jumbo. This is a controlled burn. Or at least an attempt. Selig called Bill before he called the FBI. Bill elected to deal with this now, as opposed to being disqualified from the selection committee. The mystery poster could just as easily have been Bill’s legal staff beginning an alibi to mask the delay. Doesn’t mean Bill sanctioned the Hack. But he does know who it was, and likely had access to the materials.

              But that’s just a theory ……. I’m guessing he is an impossible virgin here, the real truth being more benign than the harsh reality of the timeline.

            • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

              Jumbo. This is a controlled burn. Or at least an attempt. Selig called Bill before he called the FBI. Bill elected to deal with this now, as opposed to being disqualified from the selection committee. The mystery poster could just as easily have been Bill’s legal staff beginning an alibi to mask the delay. Doesn’t mean Bill sanctioned the Hack. But he does know who it was, and likely had access to the materials.

              But that’s just a theory . I’m guessing he is an impossible virgin here, the real truth being more benign than the harsh reality of the timeline.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Most any portal into an employers computer system is going to contain warnings against unauthorized access. If the Astros web site had this standard warning, the Jupiter 2013 logger ignored it.
            The cards do not want to employ anyone who uses a company property and computer to try to gain unauthorized access to another teams computer. Even if nothing damaging to the Astros took place, this shows bad judgment and disrespect to the cardinals.
            This will be a wake up call among all sports teams to make sure their employees are reminded to avoid this kind of brand damaging behavior.

    • blingboy says:

      It is not uncommon for the authorities to sort of stir the pot by putting a bit of info out there. See what pops up. How various parties react. It can be a play to get a participant thinking it would be a good idea to be first in line to trade info for leniency.

      So tidbits have been trickling out. Multiple occurances in 2013 and 2014. 4 or 5 persons of interest. Looking at several addresses besides the one in Jupiter. What are the chances some grunt with exposure to culpability is getting cold feet.

      • blingboy says:

        It is also reported in a WSJ article that persons of interest include several “low to mid level FO employes.” Mid level is new, at least to me.

        • Brian Walton says:

          In a small organization, the level delineation is less pronounced. It could simply suggest a manager or supervisor might be included in the investigation. If so, it would not be far-fetched.

          • blingboy says:

            Its not much of a haystack then.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Any baseball operations group will tend to be more horizontal than hierarchical. There are many topics to be covered, requiring a lateral array of scouts or analysts.
              Teams may compartmentalize information laterally in the sense scouts could be expected to provide recommendations to mr correa or a cross checker, but otherwise keep quiet about their views.
              High level may only be Mo. Mid level might be Girsch, correa, crosschechekers. One mid level person has to be investigated, because junior suspects have to report to somebody.

  7. blingboy says:

    Somebody tweeted “The Cardinal Way” should be “The Cardinal Way In”.

    I don’t listen to sports radio or late night TV, but I guess there are a lot of jokes flying around.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Something unfortunate is the prosecutorial leaking that inspire a firestorm of misinformation and anger. The plausible purpose is to damage the Cards in the court of public opinion, in advance of indictments, if there is enough evidence to support some.

  8. crdswmn says:

    Thanks to this scandal, I got my first troll on my blog today!

    Some dude named “Metsfan”. 🙂

  9. JumboShrimp says:

    The unauthorized access story is on hold, waiting for some indictments.

    Athletes often beat the allegations. Front office types, we will have to stay tuned.

  10. blingboy says:

    “When you sign a contract, what you create remains property of the Cardinals or the organization you work for,” La Russa said. “Jeff left, and a lot of his guys are still in (St. Louis), they’re still doing the work. It’s a bit nebulous to me where the blame is going to fall here.”

    (quote is at the end of the article)

  11. Brian Walton says:

    From the Houston Chronicle:

    “This wasn’t a hack, in the common usage of it,” a person familiar with the situation said. “This is more of an unauthorized intrusion.”

    The legal definition of hack includes unauthorized access, but the source was noting that a great amount of skill wasn’t needed to gain that access.

  12. blingboy says:

    Any Buzz Bissinger sightings yet?

  13. JumboShrimp says:

    It should be remembered that the FBI is not investigating all sports team for intruding on their competitors. It is investigating one mysterious episode, the disclosure of information from the Astros.
    If the FBI instead were to search more widely for individuals working for teams trying to find out information on other teams in their sport, whether football or baseball or basketball, can it really be the case that only some underlings for the Cards are trying to do opposition research inside the computers of another team? The prevalence of this activity must be widespread and commonplace, simply uninvestigated and unreported.

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