"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

A Tough Act To Follow

The MLB Network launches this evening at 6pm (EST) and will celebrate by airing the unedited original broadcast of Don Larson’s perfect game (including original commercials!) at 7pm, the first time it has been shown to a mass audience since it happened 52 years ago. You can find the new network’s location in your channel lineup by using MLB’s channel locator here. Unfortunately, my TV has been on the fritz for a couple of days, so I’ll miss the whole shebang. Someone watch it and let me know what happens, will ya?


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1 Raf   ~  Jan 1, 2009 5:42 pm

Sitting, waiting and anticipating. Watching Anthony Bourdain's show to pass the time.

2 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 5:58 pm

What is Stengel thinking going with Larsen. He walks a ton of guys and throws a million pitches. He isn't going to make it past the second inning just like in Game 2. The obvious guy to pitch this game is Turley! Stengel is a bum.

3 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:02 pm

More seriously, I really hope the MLB network will fill the void that exists in network coverage of baseball. Some of the publicized hirings are not encouraging, but I am still hopefully that the network will provide diverse and intelligent analysis that simply does not exist on ESPN, FOX or anywhere else. We'll see. The Network is already an immense success as the largest cable channel launch in history. If it is run well, the reward could be immense.

4 rbj   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:28 pm

Interesting analysis of Jackie stealing home by Harold. Promising start.

And I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict a Yankees win. Final line for Larsen:

6 IP, 2 runs, both earned, 5 hits, 2 walks and 3 Ks.

5 Joseph   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:28 pm

1st studio debate: Why hasn't Manny been signed? Harold Reynolds and Barry Larkin blowing smoke, while Al Leiter offers the truth, which is, teams remember Manny's ugly exit from Boston, and wonder if he was signed, how long before he goes into his "Manny being Manny" act.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:39 pm

[4] That was actually a very interesting segment...Larkin in particular had some nice insights. I'd never noticed Keller step into the baseline nor thought about how the type of glove impacted the play.

The segment also illustrates why an MLB network can be more successful than other sports. Not only does baseball have the most in-season content because games are played every day, but there is a lot more attention paid to the game's history and statistical legacy. No other sports captures that sense of nostalgia.

7 Joseph   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:39 pm


8 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:40 pm

[5] Blowing smoke? The potentcy of Manny's bat is not smoke. While some may remember how Manny exited Boston, others might recall the two World Championships he had a heavy hand in delivering.

9 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:41 pm

[7] Definitely my favorite hire so far! I am glad she was rescued from Red Sox Nation.

10 Raf   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:49 pm

[4] A bit of a stumble on the Joba in the pen debate...

[8] Leiter did make good points about Manny's bat. He simply stated Manny's "antics" may be the reason he hasn't been signed yet.

11 Joseph   ~  Jan 1, 2009 6:59 pm

[8] Nobody is doubting Manny the hitter, as I would say he is the best hitter, especially in the clutch, I've ever seen. But there is no question teams are leery of Manny the person. All the trade demands,all the antics while with the Red Sox, finally forcing his way out of Boston by basically quitting on his team at times, faking injuries, etc.

For Larkin and Reynolds to discount Manny's disruptive actions while with the Red Sox as a reason why teams are reluctant to offer Manny a multi-year deal, is IMO, blowing smoke.

12 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:02 pm

[10] At least it was a debate. Leiter's points were right on, even if Reynolds ignored them. So far, the only participant who is more ESPN old school bluster is Reynolds, but at least he has a lot of enthusiasm.

So far, Leiter and Larkin seem to be good choices as player analysts and Verducci and Heyman are big name reporter-types (and their SI affiliation positions them as a real alternative to ESPN), but what I still want to see are opportunites to have exchanges between different viewpoints. I am sure their will be shows featuring sabermetric types, but I want to see old school writers, players and saberguys thrown together so each can challenge the other. Such a show does not exist anywhere.

13 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:05 pm

[11] Sure, there are concerns, but you can't ignore that the Red Sox have had a ton of success with Manny and his antics. I didn't sense that Larkin and Reynolds were discounting why Manny hasn't signed, but rather rejecting that as a legitimate reason to reject his bat. Personally, I think teams are using the specter of Manny being Manny to lower the price, but when all is said and done, more than a few will step up to bid for him.

14 rbj   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:05 pm

[10] Yup on the Joba thing. The only reason I can think of to argue Joba in the pen is simply to have a debate. You do not put your best young arm in the pen for the 8th inning. It's a waste of resource

15 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:06 pm

[14] Unless, like Papelbon, you have concerns about that young arm staying healthy as a starter, which is still a question for Joba.

16 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:14 pm


Excellent point on the massive content library. I'm surprised it took them this long to launch the channel but then the website is so much better than any TV channel or site from any other league. They certainly had their priorities straight. If the channel doesn't canabalize the website's revenues, baseball is going to be be rolling in even more dough. And yet Astros' GM will still be complaining about the Yankee spending to cover up for his piss poor management.

17 Raf   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:25 pm

I wonder why more pitchers don't go to a no windup delivery

18 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:35 pm

[16] I don't think the network will cannibalize MLB.com because the latter is a repository, while the former is specific content distributor. Even though the new Network will provide programming options, the website will still be the place for fans to go for team specific news, information and most importantly, video and audio streams.

With the dawn of the web age and the enormous success of niche cable networks, MLB is sitting in the catbird seat. While the NFL’s schedule scarcity has made it an ideal network TV property, content is king on the internet and cable, and no sport has more than MLB. That’s why baseball has almost caught up to the NFL in terms of revenues, and will certainly soar past it in the coming years (bad economy or not).

Also, it should be noted that all revenue from MLBAM (the internet arm, which some analysts have estimated could launch as IPO to the tune of several billion dollars) and the MLB Network is being shared equally, kind of like the NFL agreeing to share their network TV revenue equally. As these revenue streams grow, it will help mitigate some of the discrepancy that has had so many up in arms.

19 Just Fair   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:38 pm

Duke Snyder just crushed one a tad foul into the Upper Deck in right. That was close.

20 Raf   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:38 pm

That shot down the line shows just how huge Yankee Stadium was.

21 Joseph   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:38 pm

Duke Snider just misses one down the right field line. Yikes.

22 Joseph   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:48 pm


23 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:48 pm

That Mantle fellow is pretty good...talk about clutch!

24 rbj   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:48 pm

Yes! Mickey! tremendous HR.

25 Just Fair   ~  Jan 1, 2009 7:50 pm

Don't forget to get your Baseball Encyclopedia. Only $1. Nice catch, Duke.

26 rbj   ~  Jan 1, 2009 8:03 pm

And Mickey brings his glove as well as his bat today.

27 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 8:03 pm

[25] Then they had the Baseball Encyclopedia. Now, we have web sites like Baseball-reference.com. Unlike any other sport, baseball has maintained a legacy. While other sports have individual seasons, many of which fade into the past, each year in baseball is the continuation of the past.

28 Joseph   ~  Jan 1, 2009 8:03 pm

Mickey's great speed on display as he glides over to rob Hodges.

29 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 1, 2009 8:04 pm

[26] In interviews, Mantle said that was one of better catches he ever made because of how hard the ball was hit and how far he had to go for the ball.

They are hitting Larsen hard now...better get Whitey up!

30 Raf   ~  Jan 1, 2009 8:10 pm

Interesting move Maglie has from the stretch

31 rbj   ~  Jan 1, 2009 8:34 pm

That's a weird doubleplay.

32 Just Fair   ~  Jan 1, 2009 8:36 pm

Damnit, Mickey. All you needed was a sac fly. Swinging for the fences and ya' wrap into a double play. : )

33 Max   ~  Jan 1, 2009 9:10 pm

Is this network available in HD in other markets, or is it a standard definition cable offering? Of course I'm not talking about the cool game being broadcast now, but my provider (RCN) offers MLB strictly in the SD block. This is a little surprising given that the NFL and NHL networks both have high definition offerings.

34 rbj   ~  Jan 1, 2009 9:20 pm

[33] I believe it is available in HD on directv (I've only got an SD tv)

OK Don, only two more outs to go!

35 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 1, 2009 9:25 pm

This was really cool. Good start for the MLB. network.

36 Just Fair   ~  Jan 1, 2009 9:26 pm

How cool was that to show the reactions of Yogi and Larsen as they watched their younger selves celebrate? Awesome.

37 Joseph   ~  Jan 1, 2009 9:39 pm

[34] Yeah, I've got DirecTV in HD, and the MLB Network is shown in both HD and SD.

38 Bobtaco   ~  Jan 1, 2009 9:54 pm

Wow, I'm watching on DirecTV in HD, and it's amazing.

The studios they have set up are sick.

It's also crazy watching the old clips in HD too.

I hope they put ESPN and Fox out of business. It reminds me of when Apple stopped using reseller brick and mortar stores and then did it the right way themselves with the Apple Store.

I can't wait for the season to start!

39 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 1, 2009 9:55 pm

Looking forward to Cliff's recap tomorrow, shweeet!

40 Max   ~  Jan 1, 2009 10:14 pm

[34] [37] Thanks guys! As it turns out, RCN does carry the HD feed for the MLB network (which I just found by searching around), but the MLB website didn't bother to list the HD channel when I used their channel locator, so I ended up taping an old classic that looked like an 8 bit game in SD on my new HDTV. No biggie...still fun to watch.

The HD feed looks nice, though it's interesting to note that the ESPN feed looks a bit glitzier and better lit....don't know if it's the lighting or the equipment that the MLB guys are using, or if it's just the makeup used by the WWL. :-) The MLB studio still looks great, and the overall presentation is very nice.

41 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 1, 2009 10:55 pm

Aww shucks. Thanks, Will, but like I said, my TV's on the fritz. You'll have to make due with my recap of the '77 All-Star Game from the sidebar.

Nice to see a mid-winter game thread. The 2 1/2 months to pitchers and catchers feels like forever.

42 thelarmis   ~  Jan 1, 2009 11:03 pm

[41] it's actually only a month and a half now til "pitchers and molina's," so it should only feel like eons, epochs & eras and not quite forever (and a day)!!! : )

in the meantime, w/ the TV on the fritz, it's a good time to practice your paradiddles, young man!!! ; ) if i had this MLB channel, i'd NEVER practice...or leave the damn house...

43 thelarmis   ~  Jan 1, 2009 11:04 pm

meanwhile, it appears as if everday scott proctor has signed on w/ the Fish...

44 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 2, 2009 8:18 am

Other than the Jimmy Rollins interview that went FOREVER and well past the point of being at all interesting, it was a fine debut for what should be a great network.

I have no desire to watch Red Sox memories or Red Sox World Series highlights tonight, though.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver