Friday, October 3, 2008

MLB Network Ready To Drop

The New York Times has the most substantive article I've seen yet about the MLB Network. The in-season centerpiece:
The architectural plans for the facility look lavish, with two enormous studios (one is designed to look like a ballpark). But the network will be judged by its programming, including the centerpiece “MLB Tonight” studio program, which during the season will offer updates, live game look-ins and wrap-ups from 7 p.m. until at least 1 a.m. Eastern.
Certainly nothing beats watching the game itself, but if you're just looking to get the overview and flavor of what's going on in the league every night, that sounds like a pretty neat show. Unless they either (a) staff that thing with utterly grating personalities; or (b) try to give it some artificially-fast pacing in the interest of creating "excitement," I'm having a hard time seeing how that wouldn't be infinitely preferable to ESPN's Baseball Tonight. As for the first point:
The roster of commentators is expected to include Harold Reynolds and Al Leiter, but one of Petitti’s tasks will be to hire someone to be the undisputed voice of the network.
I implore you MLB TV: Avoid the temptation to go with an empty suit with a pedigree of nepotism as opposed to merit. No Chip Caray. No Joe Buck. No Ernie Johnson Jr. Baseball fans don't want a mere pleasant looking studio host. Get someone who can talk baseball up, down, and sideways, even if his tones are less than perfectly dulcet and his chin less than perfectly square.


Pete Toms said...

Hazel Mae has been hired by MLB Network. Don't know how prominent her role will be. Don't know if she knows her ball or if she was hired to be eye candy.

As for the programming, if my cable package includes the channel, I will likely tune in to some AFL games, WBC & maybe even some Caribbean World Series. The talking head programming and "classic" reruns don't interest me. ( If they give you a show Craig, I'll tune in ).

The larger question which will be answered over the next several years is, is it a sound strategy for the leagues to launch their own nets? Is it a sound strategy for teams to stream live games in local markets? The ball and stick leagues have made mountains of $$$ doing business with the TV nets. Can they succesfully walk the tightrope of being partners and competitors or will they kill the goose that laid the golden egg?

Sandomir notes what SBJ has also been reporting for months, the much publicized move to Harlem for MLB Channel ain't happening. Seemed like a cool idea. I've been to Harlem but not Secausus. I have to assume Harlem is cooler.

Anonymous said...

Here's a vote for Fantasy 411 contributor Cory Schwartz. You'd love this guy.

Jason McCash said...

He's not the prettiest but what about Lenny Melnick...that guys knows a lot about baseball

Anonymous said...

I have to agree ,cory shwartz would be a fine addition. He is my go to guy for knowledgeable baseball(fantasy or otherwise) info .

Anonymous said...

Hazel Mae is the one of most annoying people on the face of the planet.

And for that measure, I must agree with the other comments; Cory Schwartz knowledgeable and very entertaining and does a kick ass job of appealing to pretty much EVERYONE.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to take back all the nice things I said about Cory above. Although he's good, now that I've come to my senses, there are many better options out there

Rick said...

you gotta add cory schwartz. he helps me hustle all my buddies in fantasy baseball and is the most entertaining person on mlb live

Anonymous said...

Love Lenny Melnick! The man is the best!

jintman1 said...

they should just move the 411 to
The new network. But I still need the audio podcast.