Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy birthday MLB Network

Happy birthday to the MLB Network! The network focusing on all things baseball turned one year old yesterday. I'm a regular viewer and a big fan, having started watching during the World Baseball Classic. I wanted to travel up to Toronto to watch the games in person, but was under a travel restriction because of my blood clot condition. Watching the games on the MLB Network was the next best thing, especially hearing Jim Kaat calling games again.

More recently, I've been watching the Hot Stove show, which has done a superb job of covering the latest trade rumors and free-agent signings and is often first with interviews of players who have changed teams. I particularly enjoyed their live broadcasts from the winter meetings, including their chats with baseball general managers and team skippers. Thanks to the MLB Network, I don't even watch SportsCenter anymore.

What I like most about the network is that they have former players providing great insight and commentary on games, trades and rivalries. I like that they provide live peeks into games in other cities at key moments. And unlike the Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network, MLB didn't hold back from covering the steroids controversy that has tainted the sport, breaking into planned programming with live coverage when Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were outed as cheaters.

Bud Selig & Co. should be congratulated for a very successful first year for their new network. Looking forward to seeing they do in Year 2.

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