You have to hand it to Major League Baseball. For years, other sports leagues embraced (or at least tolerated) the free(r) flow of highlights and full games throughout the Internet. Baseball responded by zealously shutting down any and all attempts to watch anything anywhere except MLB.com. Except MLB.com was impossible to navigate, giving you plenty of ways to view stuff that happened yesterday, but little to no chance of finding cool clips from five years ago, let alone 10, 20, or 50 years ago.
Then out of the blue, a treasure trove of amazing highlights became available, some even tracing back to the Say Hey Kid's Say Heyday. You could while away half a weekend watching Bob Horner murder baseballs, Glenallen Hill murder more baseballs, or countless other random moments. But the beauty of that release was also its biggest weakness: It was all very random. Searching for Nolan Ryan would force you to wade through countless clips of Ryan the executive before you had any hope of finding actual game footage of the Ryan Express. And good luck finding complete game archives. Aliens arriving on Earth, wanting to learn more about baseball and surfing MLB.com to do so, would conclude that the game consisted of 45-second clips, moving randomly from Jheri-curled speedsters swiping bases in the '80s to hulked-up sluggers crushing balls into kayak-infested bays 20 years later.
Then, a miracle happened. After years of doing everything short of executing anyone who posted baseball clips on YouTube, MLB announced a partnership with the site. Reading through the details of the deal made you want to punch yourself in the eye with a Kenesaw Mountain Landis bobblehead: "In 2010, MLBAM began offering full-game archives and highlight reels on a YouTube channel accessible exclusively in Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and Russia." Hey, thanks MLB! So glad to know I had to travel to Oki F'ing Nawa to watch a damn game on the Internet.
Larry Bird explains to Bill Simmons how injuries hobbled the Celtics of the late '80s, and says that his injuries were so bad that he would have retired and handed the Celtics over to Len Bias had Bias lived to play in Boston.
Jalen Rose recounts his playing days at Michigan after learning that Grantland has him listed as a no. 1 seed in our "Most Hated College Basketball Players of the Last 30 Years." Watch the video after the jump.
NBA legend Bill Russell tells Bill Simmons about the time he was coaxed out of retirement to play for the Lakers, the racial tension he felt in Boston, and why he never wanted his number retired. (Excerpt from the NBA TV special "Mr. Russell's House." Check your local listings for airtimes.)