Satellite dishes are beautiful things. Especially if you are bedbound, or live in a town where there is so little to do or the weather is chronically so lousy that you might as well be. (I won’t make cracks about Bakersfield here, I promise.) Believe me, I know even gimping over to the mailbox when it’s 200 degrees out (or there’s snow up to your solar plexus) to pick up or mail in your Netflix isn’t exactly an appealing prospect. So I am totally down with Dishness, at least in theory.

And now, of course, with Major League’s Baseball’s new exclusive deal with DirecTV (although still not final yet as of this writing), cable subscribers who used to get the MLB Extra Innings package through their digital tiers will be “forced” to switch to DirecTV if they want to see out-of-market games on television.

Even subscribers who used to get the package through Dish Network will be screwgied; they too will be “forced” to kneel before the Goodness that is DirecTV if they want their Mets, or Sox of whatever color, or whatever they follow that plays where the viewer ain’t. Even John Kerry, evidently, is powerless to stop the DirecTV train from running over all our pinkytoes despite pleading on behalf of all those scattered Sawx fans. You WILL get a DirecTV dish. You WILL. You WILL. Bwahahahaha.

New Yorkers, next time you complain about your outrageous rents and killer humidity and being squished up against pervs on the subway close enough to braid your pit-hairs, please just remember this on behalf of all the out-of-town Mets fans: You need do virtually nothing in order to see and hear your Mets. You just turn on your TV, and…thanks to the minor miracle of basic cable, there they are. You flip on the Fan on the crappiest of transistor radios, and there they are. You have already jumped through your share of flaming hoops just surviving in New York, you need brave no more hoopage in order to enjoy your ballgames. So get grateful already. You have no idea what the rest of us Mets fans have to go through in order to keep up.

But me, get a dish? Get stuffed. Not gonna happen. MLB is 8,756,902 kinds of stupidstupidSTUPID if they think this deal is going to be worth their while.

Like many people who got the games on cable before, I live in a dwelling without a clear view of the southern sky, which is what you need in order to receive dish signals. Many people who do own dishes already own Dish Network dishes and aren’t about to take those dishes down and put up DirecTV dishes just for baseball. Many people also live in apartment buildings or planned communities where dishes aren’t allowed, at least where they can be seen by the neighbors (and anyone who has ever dished it can attest, you have to be able to put the silly thing wherever it can get the signal!). So plenty — probably millions — of former viewers simply won’t watch anymore. Dumb de dumb dumb duuuuuumb…

I happen to be a neo-Luddite sort, actually, who doesn’t even have digital cable. The reason I don’t have digital cable is because if I got digital cable, I would watch digital cable, and watch and watch and watch and watch until my eyeballs liquefied and started dribbling out of their sockets. This happened to me once before, and my ophthalmologist was not amused. I have basic basic, which means no ESPN or ESPN2, even. When I saw last night’s home opener, I went to a sports bar, which showed the game with…no sound. Egads! How did I survive without Jon and Joe’s auricle-melting insights on what I was seeing?

Easy. I have MLB.com’s Premium Package, which includes audio and video of every game, archived in perpetuity. When ESPN or Fox shows a game the TV feed is blacked out live, but you can get it in the archives the next day, and you always have the radio (home or away, English or Spanish). You can also go back and listen to a broadcast you missed — as we speak, I’m listening to the Mets’ broadcasters from WFAN doing the radio feed from last night’s opener. If you’re in a hurry, you can get condensed games and highlight reels from the TV broadcast. It’s great.

Great, but not perfect. Despite the “new and improved” video feeds this year, they’re still a little on the herky-jerky side (although cleaning out your cache and rebooting does help). And the Mac player is still vastly inferior to the PC version; if you have a Mac I’d definitely recommend using Flip4Mac and QuickTime, unless you just love watching video on a screen the size of your thumb.

And all just $19.95 a month, no setup fees, nothing else to buy. Compare that to the price of getting a dish and then paying for the basic programming package and then the baseball package on top of that — and then, only for the TV, no radio — it’s quite the steal.

Dish? Nope, not hungry. Thanks, Senator Kerry, but I’m all set.