Let’s do some links for you today. But first, some comments about last night’s MLB Network production of Stephen Strasburg’s debut for the Washington Nationaals.
At first, Bob Costas tried to temper expectations on Strasburg noting other heralded pitchers who eventually fell by the wayside either due to injury or not meeting potential. But as Strasburg continued to strike out the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup, partners John Smoltz and Jim Kaat were amazed at the speed and movement of his pitches. When Strasburg gave up a home run to Delwyn Young, temporarily giving up the lead, Costas wanted to know how the young man would face adversity. Smoltz properly noted that a good pitcher has a short memory and would continue to plug along and that’s what happened. Smoltz has shown that he has the potential to be a top analyst when he eventually decides to retire from the game and that should be any time now.
The MLB Network production was quite good. Pictures were mostly top notch. Replays were good. Kaat and Smoltz were on top of trends. Costas was verbose as he normally is, but he did attempt to keep things in perspective until Strasburg ended his night by striking out the last seven batters he faced. It was then where Costas got caught up in the moment, but again, he kept trying to temper his comments noting it was only Strasburg’s first major league start.
Costas did harp on the Nationals Park press box which is the highest in baseball, 7 stories above the field, but he didn’t go overboard. Sometimes he has a tendency to kill a point.
Overall, MLB Network did a decent job. I give the network a B for its effort.
Now to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t dislike ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser, he seems to really hate him.
Also at USA Today, Christine Brennan takes the Chicago Tribune to task for a picture of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Chris Pronger skating in a dress.
Brian Lowry at FoxSports.com is not a fan of the in-game player or coaches interviews.
ESPN.com says network college basketball analyst Digger Phelps underwent successful prostate cancer surgery this week. Our best to Digger.
The Nielsen Wire blog finds out that Brazil is a big favorite to win the World Cup.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that a new Consumer Reports investigation into protein supplements could hurt brands like Muscle Milk and EAS.
Darren says Golden Tate’s attempted break-in into a Seattle-area doughnut chain could be the best endorsement for a team sponsor.
And Darren notes that Stephen Strasburg Mania has nowhere to go but up as long as he continues to pitch well.
Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press praises ESPN/ABC’s NBA announcing crew of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson.
David Bauder of the AP says both the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals are gaining viewers this year.
Jake Coyle from the AP says the World Cup is getting more coverage online and on your cell phone.
Georg Szalai from the Hollywood Reporter says AT&T U-Verse is adding ESPN3D just in time for the World Cup.
This article is a bit technical, but if interests, go ahead and read it. Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable writes about ESPN using a fiber network to deliver the World Cup from South Africa to the United States.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says Rogers Communications in Canada is launching a new channel devoted to the World Cup.
Eric Gershon of the Hartford Courant writes that ESPN hopes to become a global player with its coverage of the World Cup.
At the New York Times, Richard Sandomir notes that the WNBA’s Liberty is getting less and less air time on MSG Network.
Also from the Times, Stuart Miller notes that Tennis Channel is finally getting noticed by viewers and advertisers.
David Hinckley of the New York Daily News says local radio will be picking up the World Cup.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette writes that ABC got a good rating for Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Ken says MLB Network will be airing plenty of Interleague games over the next two weeks.
John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News says the numbers prove that the NBA outrates the NHL on TV.
Regina Medina & Stephanie Farr of the Philadelphia Daily News look at the release of the flirtatious e-mails between NFL Network host Rich Eisen and former local news anchor Alycia Lane. When I started Fang’s Bites, I was hoping to see them then, not three years later.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says MASN2 showed Stephen Strasburg hitting over the century mark on the radar gun.
Dan says Strasburg’s debut smashed a ratings record for MASN.
Rob Pegoraro of the Post says not everyone got to see the Strasburg debut in HD.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner also writes about MASN’s record ratings for the Strasburg debut.
Lindsay Czarniak of NBC Washington affiliate WRC and TNT talks about her first time hosting the NASCAR prerace show on Sunday.
Tom Jones from the St. Petersburg Times says ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy has a good idea on the foul situation.
Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that the Florida Panthers are getting a break on its debt payments on the BankAtlantic Center.
Bill Shanks with the Macon (GA) Telegraph felt ESPN went overboard with its Stephen Strasburg coverage.
Alan Hinton from the Hattiesburg (MS) American Assistant reviews a new book by former Atlanta Braves announcer Pete Van Wieren.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer reviews a new Reds DVD.
John also provides more thoughts on the DVD in his blog.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks about Aaron Rodgers critiquing the NFL TV analysts who constantly critique him.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes that White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone was critical of Cubs manager Lou Piniella.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business says the Tribune is coming under fire for portraying the Philadelphia Flyers’ Chris Pronger skating in a dress.
James Janega from the Tribune has reaction to the Pronger picture.
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Cubs and White Sox will downplay BP’s sponsorship of the Crosstown Series.
Mike DeArmond of the Kansas City Star speaks with Big 12 college basketball analyst Jon Sundvold about the conference’s failure to stop the poaching from other leagues.
Lee Barfknecht at the Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska could join the Big 10 as early as Friday.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times profiles ESPN Radio NBA analyst Dr. Jack Ramsey who’s still going strong at age 85.
Diane is happy to have TNT Inside the NBA analysts Charles Barkley and Kenny “The Jet” Smith on NBA TV this week.
Dawn Chmielewski of the Los Angeles Times broke news late last night that Disney will be closing most of its seven ESPN Zone restaurants including those in Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News is amazed that the late John Wooden has been the cover of Sports Illustrated only twice and the second time comes this week.
Tom likes the NBA TV Companion.
Chris Zelkovich from the Toronto Star talks with CBC soccer analyst Jason deVos about the upcoming World Cup.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail is not happy with the Chicago Tribune over its “Chrissy Pronger” picture.
Truth & Rumours’ William Houston looks at CBC’s World Cup coverage.
GameFocus says EA Sports has replaced TNT with ESPN’s announcing crew for the NBA Elite 11 video game.
I owe Bob’s Blitz a link. He told me about an interview he conducted with the always grumpy Phil Mushnick of the New York Post last week and I keep forgetting to link to it. It’s here now. Take a listen as Bob put it up on his site in several parts on YouTube.
The Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings.
SMW says TNT’s NASCAR debut was down slightly from last year, but held up well compared to other sports events on Sunday.
And SMW says the NBA Finals did well again last night.
Dave Kohl of the Major League Programs Blog is concerned about TV stations outsourcing their sports reports.
And we’re done for now.