When the MLB Network launched prior to the 2009 season, with a roster of non-idiotic talent like Matt Vasgersian and Al Leiter, I had high hopes that the fledgling channel would raise the level of baseball discourse after years of ESPN being the only game in town. I thought there might finally be an alternative to John Kruk starting manufactured arguments and Joe Morgan talking about the ’75 Reds during Giants-Dodgers games.
Over the past two years, my hopes have been dashed. The network’s studio show has slowly filled with ESPN-type analysts like Sean Casey and Eric Byrnes. Bob Costas has brought his gravitas and self-righteousness to specials and interviews. And the channel fills its hours with awful, nonsensical countdowns specifically designed to start arguments and enrage viewers.
Tonight, I’m officially giving up the ghost.
I just watched Harold Reynolds, Billy Ripken and Mitch Williams discuss how they would “fix” the spelling of Justin Duchscherer’s last name if it were up to them. Williams thought it should be spelled “Dukesher.” And they actually spent the money to show Photoshopped images of Duchscherer’s jersey with each imaginary spelling.
Can we get a baseball talk show with a panel of Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace and Paula Abdul? Because I’d rather watch that.
(Also, MLB Network, Game 7 of the dreadful 1997 Marlins/Indians World Series is decidedly NOT the 13th greatest baseball game of all time. There were 13 better games last September.)