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Anything But Sports

At first it wasn't easy following baseball from Europe. I followed the 1991 World Series (the one where the Twins beat the Braves and Kirby Puckett drove the bus) by reading box scores on CompuServe and catching glances a day later at the international edition USA Today on the newsstand at the Wandsbek Markt U-Bahn station. That worked until we flew to Mallorca. I caught the scores of Games 6 and 7 on Voice of America via shortwave.

These days it's a lot easier thanks to satellite technology, hard disk recorders and the internets. I can satisfy my baseball cravings as a casual Twins fan by following news feeds from the official Twins site, the StarTribune baseball writers, the Twins page at Yahoo! Sports, and blogger Aaron Gleeman. Aaron and I share the indignity of have been snubbed by the U of M student newspaper Minnesota Daily. Aaron now makes a living from a number of gigs including NBC Sports and Rotoworld.

On the TV side there's ESPN America on German cable and satellite. For example, this week they are showing 12 baseball games live, including the Twins twice. Of course live in the US usually means wee hours of the morning here, so if you have a day job you need to record or wait for a rerun (with breaks cut out, so often better than live). The streams at mlb.tv are better yet. For a price they offer all Major League games either live or on demand, even on an iPhone if you so desire.

Strangely enough, my favorite site for general sports news is the German allesaussersport by Hamburg blogger Kai Pahl. He's a fan of anything and everything, but particularly NFL football. He also knows more about soccer than I ever will, so I get tips on figuring out the Bundesliga (try to say "Bruno Labbadia" and "master tactician" in the same sentence while keeping a straight face). I haven't been able to get into the community at aas, though. The German commenters tend to be hard core fans of whatever sport, and as casual fan of the teams from my youth I guess I don't take sports seriously enough to fit in. I ain't here for business, I'm only here for fun.

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