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Category Archives: TV and video

MLB Now: B-Net Heroes

My latest appearance on MLB Now was my most enjoyable yet. I got to spend more than two hours having extended and often playful conversations about a variety of baseball topics with Brian Kenny, Sean Casey, and John Smoltz. Unfortunately, most of the country didn’t get to see it. Let me explain.

When the MLB Network airs a mid-week regular season day game, they can’t air a competing broadcast of that game in the home markets of the two teams involved (indeed, they typically just pick up the broadcast of the home team), so they have to air a similarly timed “B game” in those markets. Of course, the two games don’t sync up perfectly, one is bound to end before the other, so coming out of those games, the Network is temporarily split into what they call the A-Net and B-Net, the former broadcasting to most of the country and the latter broadcasting only to the markets of the two teams playing in the A game. The show scheduled to follow the games, which is typically MLB Now, begins after whichever game ends first, but doesn’t go fully national until the end of the other game.

On Wednesday, the A game was the Nationals’ 11-inning win over the Yankees, while the B game was the Blue Jays 7-2 win over the Marlins. The Nats game started at 1pm and lasted three hours and 36 minutes, leaving us less than a half hour for the portion of the show that was seen by most of the country starting around 4:40pm Eastern. The Jays game, however, started at 12:30 and lasted just two hours and eight minutes, meaning we actually went on the air in New York and Washington and the surrounding markets around 2:40. As a result, we did two hours of show that only 26 percent of the MLB Network’s viewing audience saw and two hours and twenty minutes total of what is, on non-game days, only a one-hour show.

On top of that, once the Nationals game reached the bottom of the ninth inning with a tie score, we had to stay on the air (meaning not in commercial) as long as the home team (the Yankees) was at bat, because if the game ended, they needed to come straight out to us. The led to some particularly lengthy discussions which took place after we had already been on the air for an hour and a half. Unsurprisingly, things got loose and a little goofy.

Fortunately, those two hours on the B-Net weren’t resigned to the dustbin. MLB.com has posted three clips from that portion of the show. Our interview with Blue Jays beat reporter Arash Madani, whom our producers collared without warning to help us fill out that extra time, was pretty straight forward, and relatively early in that two-hour stretch, but here’s a six-minute conversation about the shift (watch for my Julio Franco impression as we throw to commercial):

And here, perhaps best capturing the spirit of the show, is a nine-minute conversation about no-hitters stemming from Chris Heston’s no-no the night before in which Smoltz looks back in anger at two near misses from his own career:

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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in TV and video

 

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MLB Now: Royals, Relief Pitching

I was on MLB Now again on Friday, appearing in consecutive weeks for the first time. Thanks to the lack of day games, we got the entire show in this time. MLB.com has posted two segments from the show, the first concerning the Royals’ recent bad behavior and the second addressing the Dodgers bullpen and a small ray of light in the battle to get teams to use their best relievers in the highest-leverage situations.

I also wrote about the Royals’ recent issues at SI.com on Thursday night.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2015 in TV and video

 

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MLB Now: Kris Byrant

I made my first appearance on MLB Now’s new set in Studio 21 on Thursday in an abbreviated installment of the show (due to day games being broadcast on the Network). From the roughly 20 minutes of show we did, MLB has posted this clip discussing what was then the still-unofficial promotion of Kris Bryant on Friday.

For more depth on Bryant, here are the things I have written about him this spring at SI.com:

Preaching patience for talented Cubs trio of Soler, Baez and Bryant (March 11)

Don’t blame Cubs for taking advantage of rules with Kris Bryant (March 18)

For Cubs, there’s no longer a reason not to call up top prospect Kris Bryant (April 16)

What debuts of former top prospects can teach us for Kris Byrant (April 17)

Swing and a miss: Cubs’ Bryant suffers rough day at plate in debut (April 17)

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in My Writing, TV and video

 

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TV Party: MLB Now four-pack

MLB.com has posted four clips from my latest appearance on MLB Now with host Brian Kenny, Ron Darling, and my former SI.com colleague Jon Heyman. They are . . .

Quick takes on recent contract talk from Zack Greinke and Jeff Samardzija:

BK’s All-Underrated team and honorable mentions from the panel:

Baseball Prospectus’s Sam Miller on PECOTA predictions for top pitchers, with our takes on Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander and picks for breakout pitchers for 2015:

Round-table interview with Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette:

 

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in TV and video

 

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TV Party: MLB Now and again

Clubhouse Confidential is not returning to MLB Network this offseason, but Brian Kenny is doing his best to keep the spirit of that show alive on MLB Now. He had me on as a guest analyst on Thursday with Ron Darling and Dan Plesac and ran Pablo Sandoval through the shredder:

He also spoke to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale on location at the owners meetings in Kansas City, which set up Plesac, Darling, and myself for some conversation on Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann:

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in TV and video

 

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TV Party: MLB Now

I wound up making seven appearances on MLB Network’s “Clubhouse Confidential” this past offseason, as well as one on Al Jazeera America’s “Inside Story” with host Ray Suarez and fellow panelists Rob Neyer and Jonah Keri discussing performance-enhancing drugs and the Hall of Fame. However, MLB.com stopped posting Clubhouse Confidential segments after November, so I never got to properly update this post. I finally have another TV appearance to share, however. I made my debut on the Brian Kenny-hosted “MLB Now” on the MLB Network this past Wednesday, with fellow panelists Eric Byrnes and Joel Sherman, and MLB.com posted one of our segments discussing the Final Vote for the All-Star Game. Incidentally, Anthony Rizzo pulled ahead in the voting later Wednesday evening and eventually won the vote. I can’t take credit for that, but I will anyway.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in TV and video

 

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TV Party: Clubhouse Confidential appearances 2013-14 offseason

It appears I’m going to be a regular correspondent for Clubhouse Confidential this offseason, so rather than put up a new post after each appearance, I’ll just use this one as an archive for all of them with the newest up top.

November 21

Thursday’s topic: The Ian Kinsler-Prince Fielder trade. My solo take followed by discussion with Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

 

November 14

Brian Kenny and crew had me back on Clubhouse Confidential on Thursday to discuss the Most Valuable Player awards, which were given out just a few hours later on the same network. Here are my spots, with FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron and the Detroit Free Press’s Drew Sharp.

On the AL race and the definition of value:

On the NL race:

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in TV and video

 

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