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The title always seemed like the most reasonable baseball advice I ever heard. Since I was a lousy ballplayer, maybe I can apply that advice to a blog.
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MLB Network

Posted 04-20-2009 at 01:57 PM by tebman
Updated 04-20-2009 at 02:12 PM by tebman

I've enjoyed watching the MLB network since it went live this year. Its combination of actual insight, current news, and nostalgia works well. My worry is that they have 24 hours to fill. That's a real worry.

I remember clearly when ESPN first went live. It was only on part of the day and had some amateurish sports recap show and a lot of low-rent sporting events like Australian-rules football, polo, and badminton. But it got better, smoother, and gradually attracted higher-profile sports and broke ground with Sportscenter as a snarky highlight show.

Success bred success, and ESPN got rights to major-league sports, was bought by ABC and became part of the Disney empire. Good for them. But it's turned into the Microsoft of sports coverage, and like the Heisenberg principle, they affect the sports they cover just by showing up. Now ESPN is the network everybody loves to hate; can't live with them and can't live without them, because where else are we going to go? Newspapers are nearly kaput and sports radio has been influenced by the faux-opinionated ESPN model.

That's why I worry about the MLB Network. It costs a lot of money to staff and produce a full-scale television broadcast and the MLB investors are going to be looking for money back. The temptation will be there to follow ESPN's lead and fill time with vacuous announcers shouting at each other, dubious original productions and other ephemera to juice it up. I'll miss Mitch Williams and Barry Larkin giving insightful opinions if they get dumped for not being exciting enough.

I love watching baseball and hearing real baseball people talking baseball. I hope MLB Network keeps it real.
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