March 29, 2013

MLB Network Is "Embracing The Debate"

I'm not sure I can fully articulate my disappointment in the MLB Network. This network could have been special. An all baseball network that is something for everyone. The promise of classic games, studio shows, countdown shows, and original programming.

Half of those promises came true. The MLB Network indeed has studio shows if you can stomach Harold Reynolds or Dan Pleasac. The MLB Network does have countdown shows even if the majority of them are ridiculous. For some insane reason the MLB Network does not air classic games. Why this doesn't happen is beyond me. And then there is the original programming. The MLB Network has had some hits or misses here. The Rundown and Clubhouse Confidential have been great shows. Other original programming involves Bob Costas and they have been hit or misses. Intentional Talk is a show that I can barely stomach because of Kevin Millar but it's been popular. It's with great sadness though when I say though the MLB Network is going down the "embrace the debate" path of ESPN.

The MLB Network has been running promos for this Brian Kenny/Harold Reynolds show called "MLB Now". In the promos it clearly shows Kenny and Reynolds arguing sabermetrics vs. whatever comes out of Reynolds mouth. Now SBN's Steve Lepore has more details on the new show:

"MLB Now stars Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds, who will, according to a network press release, "represent two different groups of baseball fans and how they watch the game today as Kenny, armed with his analytic acumen, will match wits with 12-year MLB veteran Reynolds on daily news across the league, including everything from second-guessing a crucial managerial move in a game to discussing whether or not a player should be signed to a long-term contract." The show will also feature guests and interviews, and social media polling to help guide debates.

 The idea, according to Loomis, came from last season, "when we had Kenny and Reynolds together on MLB Tonight a lot." The Cabrera/Troup MVP race and the argument that sprung from it sort of showed there was an appetite for a show like that, "without having to cut away to game highlights."

Oh God just the phrase "second-guessing a crucial managerial move in a game" makes me sick. Giving Kevin Millar a full hour to scream "Got Heeeeeeeeeem" is one thing. Giving a jackass like Reynolds an hour to debate Kenny is another.

It saddens me that MLB Network feels like they need to go down the ESPN "embrace debate" route to gin up interest. The MLB Network could have been special, but instead they're going down the pathetic ESPN path.

/I'll still watch the MLB Network more than all the sports specialty channels combined


  1. "Embracing debate" is fine if you are over at your buddy's house watching a game or at the tavern knocking back a few, but unless you have an on-air chemistry and friendship like Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have with PTI, it's bad TV.

  2. The MLB Net's programming is atrocious. And now they let idiots like Plesac and Reynolds speak over the live look ins at games. The only program that was worth a damn was Clubhouse Confidential and that's only a seasonal program.