January 1 marked the debut of the MLB network on (some of) the major cable and satellite carriers around the country. Personally, it is not available on my particular TV network, but I’ll be changing that soon enough, dumping my regional-sports blackout-happy cable provider and moving to DirecTV where it is available–along with most Vols games on SportSouth. The network claims to be available in 50 million homes, currently.
I thought I’d take a look around Blogfrica this morning and see how MLBN is being received.
The main focal point of the network so far is its baseball-only version of ESPN’s SportCenter called Hot Stove featuring Harold Reynolds, Barry Larkin, and Al Leiter. The show is aired from Stuido 3 (honoring The Babe) and has a simulated indoor baseball field for demonstrations called Studio 42 (honoring Mr. Robinson).
More winter baseball televiewing after the slow-roller to third…
Tigers home blogger Ian Casselberry at Bless You Boys (in our Blogroll for over 2 years) didn’t have a stellar review for it, but I’m guessing he’s still just irked at the 140 million dollar last place finish–just like me.
If you’re going to discuss transactions that teams have or haven’t made – for instance, why Manny Ramirez hasn’t signed with anyone yet – three ex-players aren’t going to give you a full insight into the situation.
Reynolds, Leiter, and Larkin all said, “Hey, I’d want that guy as a teammate. I’d tell my GM to sign Manny.” Okay, sure. As a player, you want your team to be better. But what might a general manager think about signing someone like Manny? How would he weigh his production versus his clubhouse reputation? What is he looking at, in regards to a contract? How would he try to sell this to his team’s owner?
I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt this early… they’ve only been on the air for 5 days. They’ll get ahold of Cashman, Dombrowski, and Schuerholz before too long. And that’s when it will get good.
With it being a slow time of year for stick-n-ball, they’ll surely struggle to keep the news fresh and the air filled, but as we get closer to spring training, I’m betting I’ll be glued to MLBN nearly daily. And even in the colder months, I tend to agree with Jeff Morrow, “As a baseball nut, this channel is going to warm up for me of few of these cold winter nights we’re going to have during the next few months.”