Friday, January 02, 2009
The MLB Network took to the air last night after a stirring introduction from Baseball Commish Bud Selig, and while I got the channel clean and clear here at AAHQ, a good bit of America didn't get the broadcast so smoothly. Fang's Bites is saying that customers in Denver, Portland and Phoenix all had issues at the start, and Ken Schott also had problems up in upstate New York.
Cable things aside, I watched a good bit of the first night on the network, and have to say I was rather impressed. Victor Rojas led the roundtable for the night, and had help from Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter, and Barry Larkin at the desk. Hazel Mae and Trenni Kusnierek, as well as "Insiders" Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman, were also on hand with various reports. Each analyst started out by introducing themselves, and the first program "Hot Stove" completed a recap of 2008 and MLB's offseason. After that, the network slowly started bringing guests on to the set for various discussions and deoms.
Jimmy Rollins was on hand for a stolen base discussion surrounding Jackie Robinson's theft of home in 1955. Bob Costas then went onto host a discussion with Yogi Berra and Don Larsen, while airing the pitcher's perfect game from the 1956 World Series. While I still can't the use of "mini fields" on-set, both the Robinson and Larsen features were entertaining and light-hearted.
The only real issue I had with the network was the amount of "jumping around" that MLB Network did, and the amount of people used, but it was the first night and they definitely needed to highlight everyone and everything around the studio. Hopefully in the future they won't feel the need to cater to the ADD crowd.
Here is a little video collection I put together in case you missed the launch....
The First Four Hours of The MLB Network Did Not Necessarily Go Smoothly (Fang's Bites)
Late update on Time Warner/MLB Network problem (Schenectady Gazette)