TBS Hot Corner
Time to provide some linkage on this Saturday. Lots of stuff going on.
Tom Van Riper of Forbes.com notes that Cablevision and Fox are now acting like spoiled little children.
John Simon from Bloomberg reviews the Broadway play, “Lombardi”.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred wants to see the wall of ethics return in sports journalism.
Mandi Bierly of Entertainment Weekly writes that TBS has hired “Bull Durham” director Ron Shelton to create a minor league baseball comedy.
The Lalate blog notes that the TOcho show on Versus garnered really low ratings on Tuesday. Really, really low.
To SB Nation Boston, where Boston Sports Media Watch’s Bruce Allen discusses the local media and fan reaction to Patriots cheap shot artist Brandon Meriweather.
Dan Mangan of the New York Post reports that Brett Favre tried to contact Jenn Sterger a year after texting pictures of his manjunk. According to the Post, Favre allegedly called her when he was in New York for the premiere episode of HBO’s Joe Buck Live. Thanks to Robert Littal of Black Sports Online for this link.
New York Magazine chronicles Week One of the Cablevision/Fox dispute.
Dave McKenna of the Washington City Paper notes that a group of former ESPNZone restaurant workers in Baltimore and DC is forming a class action lawsuit saying the the closing of the theme establishments was handled illegally.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call notes that the son of the late Phillies announcer Harry Kalas will sing “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch of tonight’s Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden.
Victor Godinez of the Morning News has Fox skeptical of restoring its cable networks including its Sports Net affiliates to Dish Network anytime soon.
Jim Ingraham of the Morning Journal (OH) assesses the MLB Postseason announcers.
Patricia Babcock McGraw of the Chicago Daily Herald notes that there are mixed opinions on the new espnW.
Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes that the Timberwolves have finally released their TV schedule.
The Boulder (CO) Daily Camera reports that FSN Rocky Mountain will be all over University of Colorado sports over the next four months.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times says the FCC wants proof from Cablevision and Fox that they’re bargaining in good faith. Certainly does not appear to be the case.
The Los Angeles Wave looks at the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on former Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.
The Eugene (OR) Register-Guard notes that Versus is picking up the Oregon-Cal game on November 13.
Sports Media Watch says CBS is seeing its highest NFL ratings in over a decade.
SMW points out that Fox garnered a season low for its early NFL window last week and wonders if that was a result of not having Cablevision subscribers.
And SMW says NLCS Game 5 got the highest ratings of this year’s MLB Postseason.
We’re done with the linkage for today. We’ll be on top of any breaking news if it happens.
Let’s go over your baseball games on national TV this weekend. And we have plenty of action on both Saturday and Sunday. We first have the regional games on Fox Sports and Joe takes this week off. I have a feeling this is the beginning of the end of work for Joe Buck as he begins to prepare for NFL season. As it stands now, Buck will have worked 12 out of a possible 16 Saturdays for Fox. Here’s the press release.
FOX SPORTS NOTES, QUOTES & ANECDOTESRosenthal: Contenders Playing Poorly Since All-Star BreakPLAYOFF CONTENDERS LOOK TO STAY IN RACE – On Saturday, July 24 (4:00 PM ET) the Mets, Phillies and Dodgers are featured on the FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK. Each has struggled to begin the second half and is looking to reignite their playoff chases. In
, two of those teams meet as David Wright and the Mets take on Joe Torre’s Dodgers. The Phillies will have a tough time getting back in the win column as they face Los Angeles Rockiesace Ubaldo Jiminez in Philly. One team that is not struggling is the White Sox; they travel to to take on the A’s. This week, the pregame show originates live from Oakland with host Chris Rose. Once game action begins, Rose joins the game crew including Mark Grace to handle play-by-play duties. OaklandFor instant updates throughout the week and during games from the entire MLB on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MLBONFOX. Fans can gain more access to exclusive FOX Sports content by logging on to www.facebook.com/foxsports and www.myspace.com/foxsports. New YorkMets at Dodgers, Kenny Albert & Eric Karros, going to 51% of USA Los AngelesDodger Stadium – Los Angeles, CAMARKETS INCLUDE: Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Orlando, Phoenix, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, San Diego, Tampa, Washington, West Palm BeachProbable Pitchers: Mike Pelfrey, RHP (10-5, 4.01 ERA) vs. TBA
ColoradoRockies at Phillies, Dick Stockton, Tim McCarver & Philadelphia Ken Rosenthal,going to 24% of USA Citizens Bank Park– Philadelphia, PAMARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Houston, OklahomaCity, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, St. Louis, TulsaProbable Pitchers: Ubaldo Jimenez. RHP (15-1, 2.38 ERA) vs. TBA ChicagoWhite Sox at Athletics, Chris Rose & Mark Grace, going to 24% of USA Oakland Oakland Alameda CountyColiseum – Oakland, CAMARKETS INCLUDE: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, KansasCity, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Francisco, SeattleProbable Pitchers: Freddy Garcia, RHP (9-3, 4.37 ERA) vs. Vin Mazzaro, RHP (5-2, 3.50 ERA)KEN ROSENTHAL: “MANY CONTENDERS PLAYING POORLY SINCE ALL-STAR BREAK” – “As the trade market heats up, one interesting thing is how poorly some of the contenders have played since the All-Star break,” said MLB on FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. “The Dodgers and Tigers started 0-6, the Mets and Phillies 1-5, and the Mets ‘one win came on a disputed call at home plate in . None of those teams is further than four games out for a post-season berth, so it San Francisco ‘s not as if any should be in sell mode. Indeed, maybe each team is just going through a bad stretch. At the same time, smart clubs are realistic about their chances. Should the Phillies, for example, expend prospects for Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt when they have yet to really play well this season? This will be an important question for the Phillies to answer in the next 10 days.”
For Friday and Saturday, here are the games on MLB Network.
July 23 7:00 p.m.
Coloradoat Philadelphia7:00 p.m. Atlantaat Florida(only in Rockiesand Phillies markets)July 24 8:00 p.m. Los AngelesAngels of Anaheimat Texas
San Franciscoat (only in Angels and Rangers markets) Arizona
2010 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to Air EXCLUSIVELY on MLB NetworkAndre Dawson, Whitey Herzog and Doug Harvey Among 2010 InducteesCoverage to Begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 25Secaucus, N.J. and Cooperstown, N.Y. – Former MLB Rookie of the Year (1977) and NL MVP (1987) Andre Dawson, former Texas Rangers, California Angels, Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog and former National League umpire Doug Harvey will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on Sunday, July 25 in an induction ceremony airing live exclusively on MLB Network. Coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET with a pre-ceremony show live from MLB Network’s studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, hosted by Matt Vasgersian, former Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane, who played for Herzog, and Baseball Writers’ Association of America member and Hall of Fame voter Tom Verducci. Included in the hour-long pre-ceremony program will be prerecorded interviews with MLB Network’s Bob Costas and Herzog, and Harold Reynolds with Dawson and Harvey, plus live interviews with guests on-site.MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Reynolds and Peter Gammons, winner of the 2004 Spink Award for writers presented at Hall of Fame Weekend, will join with live coverage from Cooperstown, New York, including interviews with Hall of Famers in attendance.Live coverage of the ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET, including each inductee’s acceptance speech, an appearance by Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and introductions of an expected 48 returning Hall of Famers, including Hank Aaron, Tom Seaver, Al Kaline, and Johnny Bench, and a special performance of the baseball classic “Centerfield” by musician John Fogerty. Immediately following the ceremony, Dawson, Herzog and Harvey will visit live on-set with Gammons. Gammons will also participate in a post-ceremony roundtable with Dawson, Herzog and Harvey, moderated by Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony host George Grande, scheduled to air on MLB Network on Wednesday, July 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET.MLB Network’s live coverage of the Induction Ceremony will be simulcast online on MLB.com, MLBNetwork.com and BaseballHall.org.
TBS has Colorado at Philadelphia with Ernie Johnson, Jr. entering the Turner national booth for the first time this season. Charles Barkley will say hello. Seriously. He really is.
“Sunday MLB on TBS” Features a National League Clash Between the
Colorado Rockies@ Philadelphia PhilliesTNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley to visit the TBS broadcast booth“Sunday MLB on TBS” continues on July 25 when Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies host Carlos Gonzalez and the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park at 1:30 p.m. (ET). J.A. Happ is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies against the Rockies’ Jeff Francis. TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley will visit the broadcast booth during the game. His NBA on TNT colleague Ernie Johnson will handle the play-by-play alongside analysts Buck Martinez and David Wells.“Sunday MLB on TBS” includes match-ups on TBS every Sunday afternoon throughout the regular season. The network will also begin providing exclusive coverage of the Division Series and the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in October 2010.TBS has broadcast MLB coverage for more than 30 years serving as the exclusive home of the MLB Division Series (DS) and one League Championship Series (LCS) since 2007 and home of Atlanta Braves coverage from 1977 to 2007.Sun., July 251:30 p.m. Colorado Rockies@ Philadelphia PhilliesAnnouncers: Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) & David Wells (analyst)
SUNDAY MLB ON TBS UPCOMING SCHEDULE:Sun., August 11:30 p.m.
New YorkYankees @ Rays Tampa BayAnnouncers: Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) & Dennis Eckersley (analyst)
And this is what ESPN is airing on Sunday and beyond.
MLB: Cards/Cubs NL Central Matchup Highlights ESPN’s Schedule
The NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals and Albert Pujols will visit the Chicago Cubs on Sunday Night Baseball July 25 at 8 p.m. Tampa, currently second in the AL East, will host Detroit, currently second in the AL Central, Monday, July 26, at 8 p.m. This game will also be available in Detroit on ESPN.
Date Time (ET) Event Networks Sun, July 25 8 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago Cubs
Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine
ESPN HD/ESPN Deportes/ESPN3.com/ESPN Radio/ESPN Mobile TV Mon, July 26 7 p.m. Detroit at Tampa (ESPN’s telecast will co-exist in Detroit)
Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone, Chris Singleton
ESPN HD/ESPN3.com/ESPN Mobile TV Wed, July 28 7 p.m. St. Louis at NY Mets
Dave O’Brien, Rick Sutcliffe
ESPN HD/ESPN3.com/ESPN Mobile TV
That will do it.
With baseball ending its season with the World Series, it’s time to do the 1st Ever Fang’s Bites MLB TV Awards. This follows the 1st Ever Fang’s Bites Tennis TV Awards, the 1st Annual NHL TV Awards, the College Football TV Awards and the NFL TV Awards. I hope to do a College Basketball TV and Radio Awards down the line as well.
Let’s do this. Some of the choices may be obvious, others may not. Some may surprise you, others may not, but again, remember, this is just the Best and Worst, it’s not a competition, so please, no betting.
Starting with the top:
The Vin Scully Award for Best Play-by-Play: Named after the best play-by-play voice in baseball, bar none, this year’s award goes to Dan Shulman of ESPN and ESPN Radio. He’s no nonsense and really, one of the best multisport announcers as he also calls college basketball and the NBA quite well. Dan doesn’t yell, he doesn’t depend on catchphrases, he just does his job which is welcomed. He really should be ESPN’s number one announcer ahead of Jon Miller who seems to have slipped some this year.
Honorable Mention: Dave O’Brien, ESPN
Best Game Analyst: This is slim pickings as you have Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, Rick Sutcliffe, Eric Karros and others as candidates. I’m going to choose Orel Hershiser of ESPN out of default. He doesn’t offend me as the other analysts and he does a pretty decent job. With Steve Phillips out of the picture at ESPN, I expect Orel to get more assignments whether on Monday Night or Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN.
Honorable Mentions: Ron Darling, TBS and Jim Kaat, MLB Network
Best Debut: With the advent of league-owned TV networks such as NFL Network, NBA TV and NHL Network, it was only a matter of time for Major League Baseball to start one of its own and finally on New Year’s Day, MLB Network debuted, although not as smoothly as hoped. But once it got the glitches out of its system, MLB Network made splashes through big hires, coverage of breaking stories, live game coverage, going head-to-head with ESPN, and using its power to pick up live games whenever possible. In just 10 short months, MLB Network has become the Network of Record for Major League Baseball coverage, wresting the title from ESPN. Whether it be its signature show, MLB Tonight or being able to do live cut-ins at a moment’s notice, MLB Network has become a welcome addition to baseball fans.
Best Studio Show: MLB Tonight. The show is able to do live extended cut-ins unlike its ESPN counterpart, Baseball Tonight. There are cases as during a no-hitter when ESPN can cut-in, but those are only in special circumstances. Plus, whether the show is hosted by Victor Rojas or Matt Vasgersian, it moves quite well, although being on the air live for 6 hours can sometimes lead to some unfortunate comments, but for the most part, MLB Tonight has risen to the occasion to become the best studio show.
Honorable Mention: Inside MLB, TBS
Best Studio Host: In the past, it was Karl Ravech of ESPN, but he’s been overtaken by Victor Rojas of MLB Network. Victor is the answer to a nice trivia question. Who was the first person to be seen when MLB Network debuted and that answer is Victor Rojas. The former radio announcer to the Texas Rangers joined MLB Network and made a very good transition to studio host. While Matt Vasgersian and Greg Amsinger do most of the hosting for MLB Tonight, Victor is the best host the network has and should have been given a bigger role for MLB Network’s World Series coverage. And not only is he an excellent host, he’s also one of the funnier people on Twitter so follow him and also read his blog at MLB.com.
Honorable Mention: Karl Ravech, ESPN and Ernie Johnson, TBS
Best Studio Analyst: This is a tie between Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams of MLB Network. HR is a known commodity from his work at ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. But Mitch came over from Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and he’s fast becoming a star as a regular on MLB Tonight. HR explains baseball very well and can spot trends. Mitch can give perspective as a pitcher and is very funny. His one liners can break up the studio at a moment’s notice. Both HR and Mitch should be paired together during the 10-midnight hours of MLB Tonight.
Honorable Mention: Al Leiter, MLB Network
Best Game Coverage: Say what you will about its announcing crews, MLB on Fox does a very good job in its production of the games. Director Bill Webb does do a lot of crowd cutaways, but he and producer Pete Macheska do a bang-up job in finding right facts, pictures and replays to cover the stories that pop up during the 9 innings of a game. Very impressed by their work.
Honorable Mention: Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN
Most Valuable Network: Yeah, MLB Network. Yes, ESPN has Sunday and Wednesday Night games. Fox has coverage of the All-Star Game, LCS and World Series. TBS has Sunday afternoon games on the entire LDS, but in just less than a full season, MLB Network has shown it can juggle programming, add games, use the vast MLB historical archive and develop programming that can rival or surpass any of the league-owned channels. Color me impressed with MLB Network.
Best Move: MLB Network hiring Bob Costas away from HBO Sports to do play-by-play of the sport he loves and to host a regular interview show. It was only natural that Costas join MLB Network. I remember asking an MLB spokesman last year if the network was going to hire Costas and telling him it would be a natural fit. Sure enough, Costas came on board in February this year and made an immediate impact on the Alex Rodriguez steroids story. Hopefully, Bob will call more than just five or six games for MLB Network next season.
Honorable Mention: Fox hires Ozzie Guillen for the World Series
Worst Play-by-Play: Earlier this week during the Sports Media Weekly podcast, Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner gave praise to Chip Caray of TBS for his work during the MLB Postseason. From what I can tell, Jim is the only sports media writer to give Chip some love. I cannot. While I won’t take shots like some others have, I found Chip to be very annoying. His constant “FISTED” references plus miscalling plays early in the postseason led fans to go nuclear on Twitter and Facebook. Chip has done good work for the Cubs and the Braves, but he’s not worthy of being a number one announcer and shouldering the responsibility of leading a major broadcast. I hope TBS reconsiders and uses another announcer for next year. His work gave some fans a new appreciation for Joe Buck.
Worst Game Analyst: In a sport that has so many candidates, there’s only one who “wins” this award hands down. And it goes to Joe Morgan of ESPN. Morgan is dry, humorless, unwilling to see any team better than the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds, no manager better than Sparky Anderson, no middle infielder better than him and adds nothing to the game. In an effort to spice up the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts, ESPN brought in Steve Phillips to add another voice. It really didn’t work as Morgan continued to bore people at home. Why ESPN chose him to be its number 1 analyst and continues to use him in this capacity is beyond me. One of the worst analysts in sports television, period.
Dishonorable Mention: Rick Sutcliffe, ESPN and Tim McCarver, ESPN
Worst Game Coverage: World Baseball Classic, MLB Network. During March, MLB Network relied on the world feed for the games it was airing from Puerto Rico and Mexico. It resulted in pictures never matching what the announcers were saying and there were times when complete plays were missed. Replays were often the same angle that we had just seen on TV and some of the production was disjointed. For what was supposed to be a showcase for baseball on the world stage, viewers deserved better.
Dishonorable Mention: None
Worst Studio Host: Greg Amsinger, MLB Network. When I read he was hired, I thought it was would be as a backup to Matt Vasgersian and Victor Rojas, but for some reason, the former CBS College Sports host was given a prominent role during World Series coverage. He really doesn’t deserve it. Greg sounds like he smokes 60 packs of cigarettes a day. He raises his voice unnecessarily and he tries too hard to be funny. Leave the humor at home. I ask MLB Network to put Greg on its Quick Pitch show instead of MLB Tonight.
Dishonorable Mention: Chris Rose, Fox Sports
Worst Studio Analyst: Orestes Destrade, ESPN. What is that? Seriously. Why is he even on my TV?
Worst Way to End a Career: I don’t need to rehash the Steve Phillips affair. You all know what happened. But I have a feeling we won’t be seeing the end of Steve.
Worst Disappearing Act: TBS Hot Corner. I can go ad nauseum on how much I enjoyed TBS’ online coverage of the MLB Postseason when it began in 2007, but Hot Corner has gone from online studio show in 2007 to in-game reports last year, to virtually nothing this year. While we can see alternate angles, I wish TBS would go back to the online studio show it shared with MLB.com two years ago. And I would love to go back and forth with Beau Estes of Turner Sports once again. Please TBS, bring back the online show and a Friend of Fang’s Bites, Heather Catlin.
That concludes our first ever MLB TV Awards. We’ll back same time, next year with the 2nd Annual Awards.
As TBS gets ready to air the entire Division Championship Series and the National League Championship Series this year, we get this release that its analysts will be using Twitter throughout the postseason. Here is the release:
MLB on TBS Announcers Including Cal Ripken Jr., David Wells and Dennis Eckersley to Tweet Throughout Network’s Postseason Coverage
TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com Returns with Enhanced Features and Exclusive Highlights
TBS announced that beginning October 7 and continuing throughout the network’s coverage of the MLB Postseason, TBS television announcers will use the Twitter social networking platform to provide additional commentary and analysis of all the Postseason action. The tweets will be featured on the TBS Hot Corner Twitter feed at twitter.com/tbshotcorner. Among those tweeting will include the TBS studio team of Ernie Johnson, Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken Jr. and David Wells along with game announcers Chip Caray, Ron Darling, Buck Martinez, Marc Fein and Craig Sager.
Also returning this season is a redesigned version of TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com (http://www.mlb.com/tbshotcorner). This year, fans will have access to video highlights and interviews from the Division Series and National League Championship Series, as well as exclusive behind the scenes footage from the TBS studio show, Inside the MLB. Additionally, the TurnerSportsPR Twitter feed at twitter.com/TurnerSportsPR will retweet all TBS Hot Corner Twitter updates.
MLB on TBS will also get fans involved in the game using additional digital platforms allowing them to interact with each other as well as react to the action on the field.
- Facebook: Fans can get exclusive content and analysis from the TBS crew and other interactive features. http://www.facebook.com/pages/TBS-Hot-Corner/111005923243
- Hot Corner Blogs – Ask Eck, Chip’s Blog, From the Booth, and Buck’s Blog will keeps fans updated on the pennant race (http://tbshotcorner.mlblogs.com/)
On Friday, Sept. 25, TBS announcers Chip Caray, Buck Martinez and Craig Sager will call one of the most storied rivalries in sports featuring the Boston Red Sox at the New York Yankees. TBS will have exclusive coverage of all four MLB Division Series and the National League Championship Series beginning Oct. 7.
I think it’s a good use of the social network to get closer to fans. Of course, I’m a big proponent of Twitter so I’m happy to see this.
This goes out to my friends at Turner Sports who have been loyal readers of Fang’s Bites since last year. Bring back the TBS Hot Corner studio show for next postseason. Since TBS Hot Corner relaunched for this year’s League Division Series, I have visited the site three times. If you came here last season, you’ll know I live blogged Hot Corner throughout the LDS and NLCS. I quite enjoyed the interaction between the hosts and the viewers.
While the interactive camera angles are nice this season, the silence from Atlanta is deafening. I’ve seen Beau Estes and Trenni Kusnierek conduct interviews for Hot Corner from the field before games and they have done a great job, but overall, it has not been compelling enough for me to stay with the features this season.
I admit Heather Catlin and Kelly Cross were very easy on the eyes while tool Matt D’Agostino annoyed me to no end, but the studio show hit its stride and I thought it deserved to come back this season.
Hot Corner will return for the American League Championship Series and Fox Sports plans similar interactive features for the National League Championship Series with different camera angles, but so far, no word if it will have an online pregame show like it did last season.
So for next season, bring back the TBS Hot Corner pregame and in-game studio show and I’ll return to live blogging like I did last season.
Last October in its first year of airing the MLB playoffs, TBS tried something new by supplying online content to compliment its postseason coverage. The result was a studio show, called “Hot Corner” co-hosted by the always lovely Heather Catlin, tool Matt D’Agostino and the equally lovely Kelly Cross. It was quite popular garnering over a million hits during the ten days it was webcast. I live blogged the shows which culminated in a live fashion show of Alyssa Milano’s Touch clothing line.
Heather and Kelly modeled some of the clothes.
Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here. The whole reason behind this post is to inform you on what TBS has planned for this season. According to Turner Sports staffers, the online studio show will not return, however, fans will be able to click on various camera angles to make the viewing experience more interactive. This would be similar to what NBC is doing with Sunday Night Football Extra online.
Also, TBS plans to staff the games with on-site reporters. I don’t have the full roster as of yet and that will most likely be announced sometime on Thursday when Turner Sports holds a media conference call to discuss its plans.
As with last season, TBS will air all four League Division Series and this year, will carry the American League Championship Series.
When I get more information, I’ll post it here.
As I’m keeping track of the Marat Safin-Feliciano Lopez and Mario Ancic-Roger Federer matches from Wimbledon online (these backdoor sites are amazing), I’ll give you some links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes about NESN’s Dennis Eckersley and MLB.com’s Harold Reynolds joining TBS for this weekend’s All Star Game Selection Show.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks with new TBS studio analysts Dennis Eckersley and Harold Reynolds about the Brewers and the National League Central.
From CNBC’s Darren Rovell, he writes that former Celtic, Buck and Sonic Vin Baker joins the growing list of athletes facing foreclosure or have been foreclosed upon. And Darren writes that 20 years after being made for the movie “Back to the Future II”, Nike is finally releasing the “Air McFly”.
The Orbitcast Satellite Radio blog says XM will carry every SEC college football game this fall.
Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News reports that an assistant to St. Louis University coach Rick Majerus is leaving to run ESPN’s Scouts Inc.
An editorial from the Albert Lea (MN & IA) Tribune wonders why ESPN chose not to mention the U.S. Women’s Open on SportsCenter.
Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune liked ESPN’s coverage of Euro 2008.
Ric over at the Most Valuable Network says Euro 2008 became habit viewing in the US.
John Manasso of the Atlanta Business Journal writes that local sports radio talk show host John Kincade has re-upped with his station. Kincade also does some work on ESPN Radio.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes about Jim Nantz’s book.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says it’s not easy trying to find when the U.S. Olympic Trials are going to be televised.
Ron Judd of the Seattle Times says west coast viewers can watch the Olympic trials in real time, provided they know where to look.
That’s going to do it now. Not many links, but I have responsibilities here at work. I’ll have more later.
I won’t be able to give you the Saturday links as usual this morning. I’m currently away and have had to leave the house early for a get-together. I’ll give you the links later today.
As I celebrate the one year anniversary of the re-launch of this blog, I think back to some of the bigger stories of the last 12 months.
I’ll count them down in reverse order:
11. Alycia Lane’s pictures being e-mailed to Rich Eisen and having them intercepted by his wife.
10. Bethanie Mattek showing her cleavage to a ball boy at the US Open and dressing as a French Nanny.
9. The Red Sox firing Jerry Trupiano from the radio booth and using the combination of Dave O’Brien and the inexperienced Glenn Geffner to replace him in 2007 leaving Red Sox fans in despair whenever Glenn was on the air.
8. Turner Sports successfully debuting TBS Hot Corner during the MLB playoffs, mixing live coverage on TV and on the internet.
7. The NBA reups with ESPN and TNT for another 8 seasons.
6. Dan Patrick leaves ESPN Radio and then goes missing …. errrrr…. I mean, signs a weak radio syndication deal and then joins Sports Illustrated.
5. Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel was suspended for making a racial slur earlier this year and subsequently apologized upon her return.
4. Debut of the Big Ten Network to a miniscule audience.
3. NFL Network vs. Cable.
2. Media buyouts leaving newspapers and TV stations with skeleton staffs.
1. The Buzz Bissinger vs. Will Leitch segment on Costas Now.
It has been a good 12 months. I’ve enjoyed doing the links and I’ll continue doing them as long as I’m able. And thanks to the people who have sent kind words over the last 12 months including Neil Best, Ken Schott, David Scott, Richard Deitsch, Joe Favorito, Bruce Allen, Bob Glauber, Chris Pursell, Beau Estes, Vince Wladika, Darren Rovell, Andy Gresh, Curt Chaplin, Christopher Byrne, Andrew Siciliano, John Ourand, Dave Weekley, John Crowe, Rick Lacroix, Amazing Race Asia Executive Producer Michael McKay and anyone who has sent comments anonymously both good and bad. I appreciate your patronage and I hope you continue to visit over the next 12 months and beyond. This has been lots of fun.
First off, I wanted to apologize for not being able to provide Sunday links. I worked until 2 a.m. Monday and was not able to get the links done. But I’m here now and I’ll provide links for today.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says blowouts in the NCAA Tournament hurt CBS’ ratings.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says CBS is happy not to have Davidson in the Final Four. And Darren is in Day Sixteen of his Minor League Baseball Logo Contest.
Newsday’s Neil Best says CBS analyst Clark Kellogg went four for four in his Final Four picks. And he says the YES Network has produced an extra long opening for today’s Yankees game.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun writes in his Medium Well blog that there’s too much manlove for Tyler Hansbrough.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels CBS depends too much on graphics during the NCAA Tournament.
Chris Pursell of TV Week says ratings for the NCAA Tournament are down.
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press talks with native Screamin’ Gus Johnson of CBS about his rock star status as an NCAA Tournament play-by-play man.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch laments the loss of the Atlanta Braves on TBS.
Mike Tankersley of the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser says Charter Communications and Knology cable will both carry 45 Braves games televised by Peachtree TV. Chuck Williams of the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer says Braves fans enter a whole new world with three outlets broadcasting the games instead of just TBS.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says FSN Bay Area will be no more as of noon local time today.
Mets fans in Hartford will finally be able to watch SNY as the Courant tells us.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Major League Baseball is trying to expand its presence in Communist China.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has some pictures from Saturday’s Red Sox-Dodgers charity exhibition game at the LA Coliseum.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch feels Jose Canseco is reaching with his latest steroids book.
Laura Nachman has the Opening Day schedule for the Phillies on Comcast SportsNet and KYW-TV.
Seth Stevenson of Slate.com wonders if ESPN’s new ad campaign for Fantasy Baseball spoofing soap operas is a good thing.
Karl Greenberg of Mediapost’s Marketing Daily says MLB will unveil new Public Service Announcements today.
Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News says Fox and ESPN are virtually ignoring the Colorado Rockies in the first weeks of the MLB regular season.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says Comcast will offer the MLB Extra Innings package in HD, just in time for Opening day.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog calls out Brent Musberger for saying he hadn’t called a baseball game since 1995. And I challenge this as well.
The Sports Media Watch has the weekend ratings predictions. And the SMW mentions that ESPN’s John Anderson becomes the next SportsCenter personality to have a show on ABC.
The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich likes having an on-ice analyst on NHL games.
Mary Thurwachter of the Palm Beach (FL) Post profiles former NBC announcer Sam Nover who’s in a second career as an insurance adviser and marketing director.
Lastly, I ask that you go over and support a friend of mine who has created a fan site for actress and hottie Reiko Aylesworth who played Michelle Dessler-Almeida on 24. Just go over there and hit it a couple of times. I appreciate it.
That’s it for now. Thanks for your patience.
Last October as the MLB League Division Series was underway, I was watching TBS Hot Corner online and was in the midst of writing a post and saw Beau Estes for the first time. I proceeded to rip him and studio co-host Matt D’Agostino. In a surprise, Beau sent a nice e-mail to me saying he was thankful that someone was watching.
Since then, we’ve exchanged e-mails and Beau kindly agreed to do an interview with Fang’s Bites to discuss the return of TBS Hot Corner and his role as a host/reporter at Turner Sports over the years. The interview is below:
Fang’s Bites: First, thanks for doing this interview after I ripped you last October. I’m glad that you have a sense of humor about it.
Beau Estes: No problem. I’ve found it’s always wise to have a sense of humor especially when one of the parties involved has the words “bites” and “fang’s” in his monicker. In truth, I was thrilled that people were watching.
FB: Touche. How did you get involved in TBS Hot Corner?
BE: I am an anchor and reporter for Turner Sports Interactive so jumping in with Hot Corner was a natural fit. My regular roles have me covering a few of golf’s major championships; namely The Open Championship and the PGA Championship, as well as most of the NASCAR season.
In the past I’ve also hosted the Braves studio show on TBS (just prior to Erin Andrews who turned out more than ok I think) so there was a background in baseball that I could draw from. I think the people at Turner Sports knew that I was itching to get back out to the ballpark and I was thankful to them for giving me the opportunity to do that.
FB: I know that TBS and MLB.com worked together on Hot Corner. As far as you know, will the two be partners again this season?
BE: I know that TBS is working to build off of the momentum we developed last year during the playoffs on Hot Corner. The playoffs are obviously the thrust of these efforts, but I know that they are hoping to develop unique content during the regular season as well. What that content will be is currently being hashed out, but I can say that one of their main goals is to give our users the best access possible. From my perspective, I think the idea is to provide a window for our users to see those – behind the scenes – “wow” moments that so many of us as reporters are able to witness.
FB: What were some of the memorable moments for you covering last year’s playoffs?
BE: Well, since I wasn’t able to meet Alyssa Milano, I’ll have to go with something that happened during a rain shower prior to Game 3 of the Divisional Series at Wrigley Field. It was one of those “wow” moments that I’m hoping we can continue to deliver to our users in the future.
As the raindrops started getting heavy just after batting practice I sat by myself in the Cubs dugout preparing to file my first report for Hot Corner. Just moments after I sat down Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks walked out and sat right next to me. It was just the two of us alone in the dugout at Wrigley field with nobody around. I had interviewed him the year before during the PGA Championship at Medinah and so we started talking about his golf game, then Cubs baseball and his seemingly limitless energy. It was a moment I’ll never forget. The guy truly is a living legend.
FB: What will your role be for Hot Corner this season?
BE: We haven’t discussed a formal “role” at this point. The conversations have revolved more around ideas for taking what was a great start with TBS Hot Corner and improving upon that. Since the majority of my work is as a studio anchor though, I always welcome the opportunity to get out in the field and witness events first hand. No matter what though, I trust that Turner Sports is quite confident in my abilities and will place me where I am most useful to them.
FB: Was the fact that so many people were watching Hot Corner during the playoffs last season a deciding factor for TBS bringing it back in the regular season?
BE: I know that Turner Sports was very happy with the number of viewers and perhaps we owe you a debt of gratitude in that regard. Whenever people respond to what we do I know that it inspires everyone involved in the project. Frankly and simply, it makes us want to do a better job for the people who might be stuck in their office or cubicle around the world, but still want to connect with and follow the game. For those people, we are often the only broadcast they can get.
FB: Turner has been quite proactive in establishing its online presence for its big events like the NBA, NASCAR, the PGA Championship and Hot Corner. Do you see other networks following Turner’s step in this direction?
BE: I suppose it is already happening a bit, but yes, Turner pioneered this type of broadcasting to a large extent. If other networks aren’t working frantically to catch up with what Turner has done I would be surprised. What I like about Turner is that they are constantly pushing that envelope in the broadband broadcasting world. They are always asking the questions “what is next?” and “how do we make this better for our users?” For my money, that is the recipe for continued success.
FB: Have you enjoyed your tenure at Turner?
BE: Turner has been great for me and I hope I’ve been pretty good for them as well. Getting to work in the same studio with the same group of people that do Inside the NBA has made me much better than I ever imagined I could be.
FB: Where else have you worked?
BE: Prior to Turner I hosted a High School show on the local CBS affiliate in Atlanta and for about two years I was an anchor and reporter with FSN South in Atlanta.
FB: When did you join TBS/TNT?
BE: Actually I began working on Turner’s NBA coverage in November of 1994 while I was still in college. To get back to Turner in an on-camera role I did a “high school to the pro’s” move.
While hosting a prep sports show in Atlanta I auditioned for the Braves studio role. My test was good enough for them to give me the role of studio host going into the 2001 season and like most “high school to the pro’s” stories there was quite a few learning experiences and perhaps one or two growing pains. Following my Braves gig I hosted the Atlanta Thrasher’s studio show and was a sideline reporter for the Atlanta Hawks on the now defunct Turner South network. I took off from there for FSN South for a couple of years, but am now thrilled to be back with Turner.
FB: What has been your most exciting assignment thus far?
BE: That question is about as tough for me to answer as “what is the meaning of life?” On the High School show I covered Jeff Francouer when he was a prep star and watched him win back to back football and baseball titles. For pure fun, that would be hard to match. Believe me when I tell you he would have made the NFL without much difficulty.
The Braves studio show on TBS was a sort of validation for a kid’s dream of becoming a sportscaster so that was a thrill.
Being the worldwide online play by play voice for Tiger’s last two PGA Championships is something that I am very proud of and haven’t quite got my mind around. I think the significance of that is something that will grow as time goes on.
Reporting from Carnoustie at last year’s Open was maybe as excited as I’ve been – and on a personal level it was an absolute thrill to cover the 2005 UNC National Championship hoops team.
Still, what I always go back to though was getting to meet and work with James Worthy. Growing up in Charlotte, he was the basketball icon.
FB: So you didn’t get to meet Alyssa Milano. What can you tell us about Heather Catlin and Kelly Cross? And do you think the producers will allow you near Alyssa in the future?
BE: Heather and Kelly, along with Matt and Chris, are terrific. I know what it’s like to be responsible for hosting eight hours at a time of live coverage and I really thought they did a great job. Both Heather and Kelly are a lot of fun – but they also know how to get the job done on the air and I think you could see that from our product last year.
As far as the producers letting me near Alyssa all I can say is my fingers are crossed. From all that I’ve heard she was very knowledgeable and maybe as impressive – quite down to earth and easy to work with.
On some level though, I suppose it’s best if I work on the other side of the country from Ms. Milano. I’m afraid my reports if in her presence would have a sort of Brick Tamland “I love lamp” quality if she were nearby.
FB: Thanks once again for doing this, Beau. The fact you’re willing to be interviewed after I ripped you shows you’re a better man than me.
BE: I don’t care if I end up singlehandedly saving the human race from disaster – I’ll always hope you link to me as “the guy I ripped last October.”
If that unlikely scenario plays itself out, and only then will I begin to consider myself “the better man.” It’s been fun – thanks.
Once again, I’d like to thank Beau for doing the interview over the last two days. And I’ll have an interview with Rodney Vaughn, the producer of TBS Hot Corner coming up soon.
As we get ready for Selection Sunday, let me give you some linkage. And thanks to The Big Lead for linking to this site yesterday. Patrick Imig wrote about the Sports Emmy Award nominations and he had a problem with a few of them. Much appreciated. Any time a major sports blog links to here, the traffic is always welcome. Thanks, Patrick. And don’t forget to visit The Big Lead which is listed in the Friends of Fang’s Bites section.
Let’s get to your links, shall we?
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times is another media critic who praises ESPN’s Black Magic documentary.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman talks with Steven A. Smith who has put his fate in ESPN’s hands.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with tennis analyst extraordinaire John McEnroe and former U.S. soccer star Julie Foudy about their second careers in TV. Very good article (not that Neil needs my praise). And Neil has more from Julie in his blog. Neil also has some quotes from NBC Sports’ golf analysts on Tiger Woods. Finally, Neil has a transcript of an old Kiner’s Korner interview with Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra and his mom.
SI.com picks up an Associated Press story which says CBS almost moved the Big Ten Tournament final up to 1 p.m. ET today to accomodate the SEC Final. As you know, it didn’t happen.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner previews today’s action starting with the SEC Final on ESPN2.
Steve Edelson of the Ashbury Park (NJ) Press writes about ESPN basketball analyst Doris Burke who does great work whether it be on the sidelines or analyzing a game at mid-court.
Barry Janoff of Brandweek writes that the NCAA Tournament has become a marketer’s dream.
From the Daytona Beach (FL) News Journal, Bright House cable has come to an agreement with a local CBS affiliate in time for March Madness.
The Topeka (KA) Capital-Journal talks with broadcaster Fred White about what could be his last gig ever, the Big 12 Tournament.
Mike Tankersley from the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser says it’s still not known if the 45 Atlanta Braves games that will be carried by Peachtree TV will be seen on all cable systems in Alabama.
The Surviving Grady blog laments the loss of Tina Cervasio from Red Sox broadcasts.
Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune talks with Alyssa Milano about her MLB clothing line and her work for TBS Hot Corner during the playoffs last year. Don’t mind the headline, it’s a bit misleading.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says FSN Bay Area had one of those no-win situations when it switched from a girls high school championship game to a Sharks-Blues game.
Newy Scruggs (yes, that’s his name) has a transcript of his interview with TNT’s Charles Barkley in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
David Exum of the Boston Herald writes that after today’s Food City 500 race, Dale Jarrett will be moving over to ESPN permanently. He’s already called some races for the network last month.
That’s all for now. Enjoy Selection Sunday
Checking around the ‘net for links this evening, I came across a few things that I did not cover earlier today so I’ll give you some stuff before turning in for the evening.
Before going into the links, watching the coverage of the Red Sox Rolling Rally from New England Cable News through MLB.com was ok. Most of the interviews inside Fenway Park came from NESN so I don’t understand why MLB.com did not pick up NESN’s coverage anyway. With NESN being the Red Sox rightsholder and the only broadcasters allowed to do anything in the park while other outlets had to remain outside, it would have behooved MLB.com to pick up NESN unless the channel did not give permission. New England Cable News has a decent stable of reporters including sports anchor Chris Collins and the venerable R.D. Sahl who seems to have been in television since the 1950′s, but gives a nice historic perspective. It wasn’t bad, but I would have preferred to see NESN online. As far as I know, NESN did not offer its live coverage of the Rolling Rally online, but I have recorded it so I can compare it to NECN’s. At least Tom Ellis wasn’t involved otherwise, he might have recited a poem that no one would have wanted to hear.
A quick aside here. I knew someone who used to work at NECN and she told me that Tom would deviate from the teleprompter and the guys in the control room would have no idea where he was going or how long he would take before introducing a report. It would be a miracle if his broadcasts ended on time, but I don’t know if does that anymore. Anyway, let’s get to the links.
I knew there was a reason why I was live blogging TBS Hot Corner for all of its live webcasts during the League Division and National League Championship Series. Besides wanting to see Heather Catlin and Kelly Cross, the show was pretty decent and actually gave some pretty good information. As I mentioned in my posts, the Atlanta segments were well produced while the segments from MLB.com looked like they were produced in a dentist’s office. Well, it seems many of you were watching as well. Neil Best of Newsday blogged today that Sports Business Journal has done a story this week on TBS Hot Corner’s popularity and the online show had a million views during its coverage. Neil put up a picture of Alyssa Milano and while she was involved in Hot Corner, she was not on the live show albeit for one phone call. I cannot link to the Sports Business Journal story because the site requires a subscription, but you can get a four week trial subscription if you so choose.
The Sports Media Watch blog has the overnight ratings for Monday Night Football which had no sports competition from baseball and won the night for cable programs. Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News has more on the ratings for MNF. Kimberly Nordyke of the Hollywood Reporter says 14 million viewers on average watched Monday Night Football.
Last week’s Monday Night Football contest between Indianapolis and Jacksonville was the most watched cable primetime program for the period ending October 28..
Reynolds of Multichannel News adds that TBS and ESPN were tied for the top spot for the cable primetime ratings in October. And Reynolds writes that FSN Southwest hopes that the San Antonio Spurs can pace the channel to the top spot of the NBA Regional Sports Network ratings again.
John Dempsey of Variety writes that TBS saw a 123% increase in viewers in October as compared to a year ago thanks to the MLB Postseason.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that Fox’s Jay Glazer appears to be the spokesman for Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.
David Hinckley of the New York Daily News says baseball sleezebag Scott Boras manipulated the media during Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday.
Blogging for Broadcasting & Cable, Jim Cheney says that he doesn’t find Joe Buck and Tim McCarver as objectionable as he used to, but adds Fox crammed the commercials into each World Series game.
Michael McCarthy of USA Today has comments from TNT’s Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith in advance of tonight’s opening of the NBA season.
Gregg Easterbrook tries to tell us in his latest version of “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” that last week’s crazy column on “Good vs. Evil”, a comparison between the New England Patriots (“Evil”) and the Indianapolis Colts (“Good”) was satire (whatever), and he also rails against the NFL Sunday Ticket being on DirecTV. Keep it up, Gregg. You’ll have no friends by the end of the season.
James Fussell of the Kansas City Star writes that the NFL is increasing its marketing to women. Also from the Star, Jeffrey Flanagan says CBS’ Kevin Harlan wishes he could call the Green Bay-Kansas City game this Sunday instead of it being on Fox. Harlan has ties to both teams.
Albert Breer of the Dallas Morning News writes that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is enlisting powerful Texas state legislators in an attempt to get the NFL Network on cable systems in the Lone Star State. The Wisconsin State Legislature is looking at ways to get the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network on state cable systems. Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable writes about the NFL Network’s plans to air 36.5 hours of coverage on the Patriots-Colts game this Sunday. John Consoli of Mediaweek also writes about the NFL Net’s plans for the Pats-Colts. The NFL Network will carry its second college football regular season game this Saturday.
Mike O’Hara of the Detroit News reports that Fox is pulling back two Lions games to prevent NBC from picking them up for primetime.
Diane Sherrer of the Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette says NBC will show the start of the New York City marathon this Saturday on the Today show, then hand it off to NBC Sports.com which will show it live online (don’t forget it’s $4.95).
Nathan Summers of the Greenville (NC) Daily Reflector says MASN is in a dispute with Suddenlink Communications to get its channel shown in the area.
The Business First Journal of Louisville says Churchill Downs will air a daily half hour horse racing preview show online as well as on HRTV. Lenny Shulman of Bloodhorse.com writes that the ratings for the Breeders’ Cup on ESPN last Saturday saw only a marginal increase from last year and a viewership well below NBC’s ratings two years ago. Fred Angst of the Thoroughbred Times has his version of the story.
David King of the San Antonio Express-News writes that the 15 lateral play by Trinity to beat Millsaps can still be seen online, but not on YouTube. It can be seen over at ESPN.com, but of course, you can see it on Fang’s Bites here.
The Danbury (CT) News-Times says the UConn Huskies game against Rutgers will be on ESPNU this weekend, but many across the Nutmeg State will not be able to see the game because the channel is not carried by Comcast.
Plenty of links tonight. Back on Wednesday with more.
Arizona pulled to within 6-4 in the 8th, but Manny Corpas came on to get a 4 out save and wasn’t it fitting that Eric Byrnes made the final out?
As I’ve mentioned, it’s been fun watching TBS Hot Corner. The show got off to a shaky start, but the show overcame that and hit its stride. And the highlight was the fashion show displaying Alyssa Milano’s Touch line. Lucky for viewers, that is archived at the TBS Hot Corner site, so if you’ve read my entry on it, you can now see it for yourself.
The Rockies fans are celebrating a National League Championship and deservedly so. TBS and MLB should celebrate a job well done on this collaborative effort for a live online companion to the live action on TV. I’ll certainly go through some Hot Corner withdrawal with the ALCS on Fox over the next few days.
This is the 30th and last post on Hot Corner for this season. It’s been fun live blogging the show.
With Colorado putting up a 6 spot in the 4th inning and taking a 6-1 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, it’s looking as if TBS’ run in the postseason is about to come to an end. And it will also mean an end to TBS Hot Corner. Sad, but all good things come to an end.
I’ll miss chatting with Kelly Cross. I’ll miss seeing Heather Catlin. I’ll miss the analysis and humor of John Marzano. I won’t miss Matt Dagostino (although I did see improvement from him as Hot Corner progressed), Yankee homer Vinny Micucci and the tool from Baseball Prospectus.
This is the first venture for a live online show for MLB during the postseason and it went well. TBS showed that this could work and I’m sure there will be a version next year. And here’s hoping TBS will do this during its Sunday Game of the Week during the regular season.
TBS’ coverage is coming to an end, but Fox will continue at least for the rest of the week. We’ll have critiques of Fox as the ALCS progresses.
I’ve got to give the guys at TBS Hot Corner major props. For the past couple nights, Matt Dagostino and Heather Catlin have been re-enacting home run dances. This shows you how loose the format is. You would not see this on Baseball Tonight or the ALCS Live on Fox Sports.com.
So while the highlights of the Red Sox-Indians rolled, Matt noticed that Kenny Lofton and Victor Martinez were doing a handshake dance in the dugout. Heather suggested she and Matt attempt it.
Then this blogger sent an instant message to Kelly Cross stating that the handshake dance between Orlando Cabrera and Kevin Millar during the 2004 Red Sox World Series season be re-enacted. And shortly afterwards, the tape of the dance was shown. Whether it was pulled from the archives at TBS or MLB, this shows you that the guys are on top of their game.
We do look forward to seeing if a home run dance will surface tonight.
Right now, Arizona is up, 1-0 in the 5th and we have Vinny Micucci, John Marzano and the rotund tool from Baseball Prospectus in the MLB.com studios. I’ll be flossing my teeth during the rest of this segment. Someone rescue Marzano. It looks like he’s in the middle of a hostage situation.
This is like anticipating the last day of school. You’re kind of glad it’s here, but at the same time, you’re sad because it means the end. If Colorado wins tonight, this could be the end of TBS Hot Corner for this year. And it’s been fun to watch. Can you believe I’m actually rooting for Arizona to win tonight so we can have one more edition on Wednesday? I’m not rooting for the Diamondbacks because I want them to win, I want to have another day of Hot Corner so I can have something to write about.
I think the suits at Turner feel confident with hosts Heather Catlin, tool Matt Dagostino and Kelly Cross to have them fill time without a guest. As I mentioned, their chemistry is good and the show works. As of this post, Heather and Matt are discussing the steroids issue and the soon-to-be published Mitchell Report which will supposedly name names of those who juiced. It’s a good discussion and fans are sending their comments to Kelly.
Heather is looking lovely as always. Kelly also looks lovely. In fact, they both are stunning tonight. Matt? Not even close.
Anyway, we’re early in the game, scoreless through 2 innings of play. I’m hoping this game takes my mind off the Red Sox loss earlier tonight. We’ll be back down the line if anything breaks.
Well, we finally got some excitement from the studio in Atlanta. It was truly a blooper moment, but because I’ve been asked not to mention it, I will give the person a break and not put it here.
Up until then, it’s been a quiet night on the Hot Corner, but we did see some dancing in the studio which words cannot aptly describe.
With Heather and Kelly in the studio, they’ve been ganging up on Matt which is welcome at any time.
As the game is in the last of the 7th, we’re about to go to New York which probably means I will brush my teeth.
Short post here.
Giving you a post on TBS Hot Corner. This evening, I was busy giving you the Videos of the Week so my attention has been elsewhere. Plus, I’ve been entertaining guests so I’ve been a bit distracted.
Of what I’ve seen, the Atlanta studio crew of the lovely Heather Catlin, Matt Dagostino and the lovely Kelly Cross have been answering trivia questions on the TBS Hot Corner website. In addition, the MLB.com studio of Vinny Micucci and John Marzano have been engaged in a discussion during which I went to look at old pictures of my relatives.
Game 3 of the National League Championship Series has been good as it’s tied at 1 in the 6th inning.
I don’t have much to write about. I’ll continue to watch and if something happens, you’ll see it here.
Ok, let’s give you the Saturday links as the Colorado-Arizona game goes to extra innings. Late night for the Hot Corner crews in both New York and Atlanta. And I’m up giving you links. This is called dedication, my friends. LOL.
Starting with the San Antonio Express-News, Jerry Garcia writes that the Patriots-Cowboys will be the main focus for the NFL this weekend.
The Dallas Morning News’ Barry Horn talks with CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms who will call the Patriots-Cowboys game with Jim Nantz.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about Joe Buck’s possible venture into late night. And Caesar writes about Missouri getting some publicity thanks to ESPN’s College Gameday being on site at the Mizzou-Oklahoma game today.
John Dempsey of Variety has a story on the Big Ten Network and Comcast continuing to wage their war of words.
The Sports Media Watch has a look at the ratings from Thursday for Game 1 of the NLCS. They were low compared to past NLCS games, but for TBS, they were high. What do you think the know-nothing media writers will harp on when they get this news? That’s right, the low ratings because many media critics don’t understand the difference between over the air and cable TV ratings.
Peter Grant writes a remembrance of the late Cox Communications CEO James Robbins who fought against ESPN’s rise in programming fees.
Chris Casacchia of the Business Journal of Phoenix writes that Northern Arizona University has signed a contract to show its sports over the next five months on FSN Arizona.
Darren Meritz of the El Paso Times writes that city leaders are asking the State of Texas to get involved to bring the NFL Network to more fans.
Tracy Myers of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that it’s hoped the NHL Network will help to fill in the gaps for hockey fans who can’t get Versus or the Center Ice PPV package.
ESPN gives us its plans for Sunday NFL Countdown (including … wait for it…. a special appearance by Bill Parcells previewing the Pats-Cowboys! Ooooooh!!!!) and Monday Night Countdown.
I guess that’s it for now. If I find more links, I’ll put them in the Sunday edition. NFL Picks will be made later today.
I know the reason why TBS/MLB is alternating between the Atlanta and New York sites, to give the studio crew in Atlanta a break, however, there’s a difference in quality. The TBS studio has a much cleaner look. There’s a professional set designed by the Turner people. In New York, MLB.com has put two or three chairs together, a coffee table and a monitor. I know MLB has some money, let’s put together a decent looking set so it doesn’t look like a dentist’s office. All they need on the MLB.com set is a few magazines on the table and a receptionist. And most people don’t like going to the dentist so seeing that set makes viewers uncomfortable.
During the Atlanta portion in the 6th inning, Hot Corner ran a Matt Dagostino interview with TBS’ Cal Ripken and Ron Darling which was very good. Matt asked good questions of the studio analysts and got good answers in response. So when Matt does well, I’m willing to give him some love. Notice I’m not calling him what I’ve been calling him over the eight days of Hot Corner coverage.
It’s late so this is the last post on Hot Corner until Sunday.
I joined in the second inning of Game 2 of the Colorado-Arizona game during which Heather Catlin and tool Matt Dagostino were discussing the forced change in uniform of the Rockies as the Diamondbacks chose to wear their black unis. Colorado had worn their black unis for their entire hot streak and the only time they didn’t wear them was during their only loss to Arizona, ironically (isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?) in the last weekend of the regular season. Since then, the Rockies had worn black during their Wild Card playoff game and when they swept Philadelphia, so a lot of time was spent on this issue.
Heather is looking rather hot tonight. Matt is Matt. That’s the best I can say about him. Kelly Cross is back at the Instant Messenger desk lovely as always. By the way, if you IM her, give her a lot of smileys. I think she likes the smileys, especially from the new version of AOL Instant Messenger.
Because the TBS studio guys will head to Colorado for Games 3, 4 and possibly, 5, they had their last segment on Hot Corner. Ernie Johnson, Jr., Frank Thomas, Cal Ripken and Ron Darling seemed to be much more comfortable working with each other and were looser on the set tonight.
As for the MLB.com segment from New York, Vinny Micucci and a tool from Baseball Prospectus have to go. They’re awful. John Marzano is really good. Put Casey Stern there and this would be much better. Micucci and the Baseball Prospectus guy seem to be having a two way conversation while Marzano sits there and wonders why these tools are on the set. Not good online viewing. Plus the guy from Baseball Prospectus needs to lose 50 pounds.
I wait for the Atlanta portion to return and none too soon. Another update later.
Colorado leads Arizona, 5-1 in the 8th inning and TBS Hot Corner has shifted to the MLB.com studios in New York with Vinny Micucci, a blatant New York Yankee fan if there ever was one, and former Red Sox catcher John Marzano. I’m doing my best to ignore them now. Actually, John is good as he has done work on Comcast Sportsnet in Philadelphia and MLB.com, but Vinny annoys me.
As the night wore on, Heather Catlin and Matt Dagostino (I will refrain from calling him “Tool” for this post) were bantering back and forth. Kelly Cross interjected when she had IM’s from fans. For the most part, this works well. There were instances when the TBS studio crew of Ernie Johnson, Jr., Ron Darling, Frank Thomas and Cal Ripken came in. I like the Atlanta portion of Hot Corner. MLB.com’s portion in the 4th and 8th innings is ok, but it’s usually the time when I catch up on reading 24, Prison Break and Lost spoilers (no, I’m not going to post them here).
Anyway, the game is mostly in Colorado’s control although there was some controversy when Justin Upton of Arizona was called out for interference in the 7th trying to break up a double play and the D’Back’s did have the bases loaded in the 8th only to come out of the inning with nothing. TBS was on top of the replays and even Matt came in with some decent analysis on the interference call. I do give him his due on that, but I have to take away some points for him matriculating at Syracuse.
The game is winding down and unless the D’Backs rally, Game 1 will be in the Colorado column. I see that Fox will have its own online pregame show before each ALCS game. We’ll be checking that out as well and blog if anything interesting surfaces. It will have a lot to measure up to.
Ok, we have enough links to warrant an update this evening. The Friday mega-update will take place late as I’ll be away from the computer tomorrow.
Let’s give you a few links tonight.
First, in his Medium Well blog in the Baltimore Sun, Ray Frager provides his choices of what to watch this weekend.
Throughout TBS’ coverage, I have read appeals for Charles Barkley to join the studio. Well, they’re going to get their wish. Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable magazine writes that Barkley will be on TBS during Game 3 in Denver to promote the NBA tip off on October 30.
Mark Newman of MLB.com gives fans suggestions on the many ways to catch the LCS and TBS Hot Corner is mentioned with shout outs to Heather Catlin and the Tool, Matt Dagostino. No mention of Kelly Cross. That has to be fixed.
Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution goes inside the TBS studio and talks with Cal Ripken and Frank Thomas about their maiden voyage on TV.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated talks with Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn of TBS.
Could former Cubs analyst Steve Stone become the team’s General Manager? Yes, if Lou Weisbach buys the team. Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune explains.
Neil Best of Newsday blogs that Kim Jones of the YES Network will join Chris Carlin on WFAN for the 5 -6 a.m. hour starting tomorrow. Just one hour?
I’ll add Judd Zulgad to the mix tonight. His story will be in tomorrow’s edition of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, but I’ll link to it now. He writes that the Minnesota Timberwolves have hired Alan Horton as the team’s radio voice replacing Brian Sieman who’s now with the LA Clippers.
A good enterprise story from the Sports Media Watch blog. Paulsen noting that a mention in Richard Sandomir’s story in the New York Times about ESPN getting the rights to the Masters. Sandomir said that USA Network decided this summer not to bid for the Masters despite airing the tournament since 1982 and will most likely allow its contract with the US Tennis Association to broadcast the US Open to expire after next year. That means ESPN and the Tennis Channel could swoop it up.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back with another possible post on TBS Hot Corner and certainly again tomorrow with your mega-update.
I had to write something for the headline so “Keeping It Real” it is. No reason for it.
Anyway, as we’re early in Game 1 of the NLCS, TBS has a good game going with the 1-1 in the bottom of the second. TBS Hot Corner has Heather, Tool and Kelly in the studio. I like their chemistry. They don’t have a guest with them this time. I thought they might struggle, but all three are holding their own which is fine.
Now, I was going to write a snide remark about Tim Singer as he was annoying me last week in Philadelphia, but I only saw him once tonight. He may have been on more than that, but in that one report, he was fine. Perhaps my annoyance was limited to that one time.
I have gotten used to TBS doing the games thus far, so it will be a bit of a shock to see the ALCS on Fox tomorrow. TBS has a more low-key approach allowing the game to breathe, but Fox is more over the top. It might be culture shock to see Fox’ coverage when it begins in earnest on Friday.
But right now, TBS Hot Corner is rolling on with questions from viewers and just keeps on keeping on. I have no idea what I’m writing. Back later.
Well, it’s been three days since we’ve had a Hot Corner post and that’s because TBS Hot Corner hasn’t been on. TBS Hot Corner returns
Heather Catlin and Matt “The Tool” Dagostino are back and so is Kelly Cross looking very lovely tonight at the IM desk. Heather looks lovely as well and when does she not look lovely? Kelly is stunning tonight.
Anyway, we have had Tim Singer at the Ballpark formerly known as the BoB chatting with MLB.com’s Casey Stern. Alyssa Milano has conducted an interview with Tampa Bay’s BJ Upton who has a brother playing in tonight’s NLCS. And Craig Sager has made an appearance as well.
TBS and MLB.com have the heavy hitters working tonight as Brian McRae is also there. Thus far, the show has been action-packed. We’ll be here throughout the night to blog the game and TBS Hot Corner.
Let’s give you your links for this morning.
We start off with Neil Best of Newsday who writes in his blog that Suzyn Waldman is angry at WFAN’s Craig Carton who apparently has been quite critical of her.
To some weekly Thursday columns starting with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle. He talks with Fox’s Tim McCarver who will call the American League Championship Series with Joe Buck. McCarver tells Doyle that Red Sox manager Terry Francona deserves AL Manager of the Year honors.
Joanne C. Gerstner of the Detroit News has an e-mail conversation Alyssa Milano whom as regular readers of this blog are aware, is working with TBS on its Hot Corner site both as a blogger and an internet reporter.
To the Oklahoman where Mel Bracht says ESPN/ABC’s Kirk Herbstreit won’t be traveling after College Gameday on Saturday. Bracht also has his “What to Watch” feature this week. And Bracht has his media notes column.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times talks about ESPN beating TNT to air the first two rounds of the Masters next year.
Larry Stewart of the Los Angeles Times writes in the Morning Briefing that there’s a lot of college football on recently.
John Faherty of the Arizona Republic writes that the National League Championship Series between the Diamondbacks and Rockies doesn’t seem to carry a lot of juice for TBS which is carrying the series starting tonight. Joanne Ostrow of the Denver Post feels bad for those without cable or satellite who won’t be able to see the series. Dusty Saunders in the Rocky Mountain News writes that FSN’s Drew Goodman and George Frazier remain hopeful about the Rockies’ chances. Michael Smerconish writes in the Philadelphia Daily News that MLB messed up when it and TBS scheduled the Phillies for late afternoon and late night games in its series with the Rockies last week. Get over it, Michael.
Speaking to the HD World Convention in New York, Executive Vice President for NBC Olympics, David Neal, said the 2008 Summer Olympics will be broadcast entirely in HD.
Wayne Fish of the Bucks County Courier Times says former Versus and NBC NHL host Bill Clement misses his old roles.
Those are your links for now.
As I did with the League Division Series, I’m going to give you the schedule for the American League and National League Championship Series by date and by series.
Don’t forget TBS will carry the NLCS and Fox will have the ALCS this season. ESPN Radio will carry all of the games. TBS Hot Corner will run during the NLCS, but not the ALCS.
From what I understand, TBS will assign Chip Carey, Tony Gwynn and Bob Brenly to the NLCS. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will work the ALCS for Fox. ESPN Radio will assign Dan Schulman and Dave Campbell to the NLCS while Jon Miller and Joe Morgan will be on the ALCS.
Thursday, October 11
Game 1, NLCS, Colorado at Arizona, 8:30 p.m., TBS
Friday, October 12
Game 1, ALCS, Cleveland at Boston, 7 p.m., Fox
Game 2, NLCS, Colorado at Arizona, 10 p.m., TBS
Saturday, October 13
Game 2, ALCS, Cleveland at Boston, 8 p.m., Fox
Sunday, October 14
Game 3, NLCS, Arizona at Colorado, 8:30 p.m., TBS
Monday, October 15
Game 3, ALCS, Boston at Cleveland, 7 p.m., Fox
Game 4, NLCS, Arizona at Colorado, 10 p.m., TBS
Tuesday, October 16
Game 4, ALCS, Boston at Cleveland, 8 p.m., Fox
Wednesday, October 17
Game 5, NLCS, Arizona at Colorado, 8:30 p.m., TBS *
Thursday, October 18
Game 5, ALCS, Boston at Cleveland, 8 p.m., Fox *
Friday, October 19
Game 6, NLCS, Colorado at Arizona, TBD, TBS *
Saturday, October 20
Game 6, ALCS, Cleveland at Boston, TBD, Fox *
Game 7, NLCS, Colorado at Arizona, TBD, TBS *
Sunday, October 21
Game 7, ALCS, Cleveland at Boston, TBD, Fox *
American League Championship Series on Fox (all times Eastern)
Game 1 – Cleveland at Boston, Friday, October 12, 7 p.m.
Game 2 – Cleveland at Boston, Saturday, October 13, 8 p.m.
Game 3 – Boston at Cleveland, Monday, October 15, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Boston at Cleveland, Tuesday, October 16, 8 p.m.
Game 5 – Boston at Cleveland, Thursday, October 18, 8 p.m. *
Game 6 – Cleveland at Boston, Saturday, October 20, TBD *
Game 7 – Cleveland at Boston, Sunday, October 21, TBD *
National League Championship Series on TBS (all times Eastern)
Game 1 – Colorado at Arizona, Thursday, October 11, 8:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Colorado at Arizona, Friday, October 12, 10 p.m.
Game 3- Arizona at Colorado, Sunday, October 14, 8:30 p.m.
Game 4 – Arizona at Colorado, Monday, October 15, 10 p.m.
Game 5 – Arizona at Colorado, Wednesday, October 17, 8:30 p.m. *
Game 6 – Colorado at Arizona, Friday, October 19, 8:30 p.m. *
Game 7 – Colorado at Arizona, Saturday, October 20, TBD *
* – If Necessary
Here are your links for today.
I’ll start by saying TBS Hot Corner hosts Heather Catlin, Kelly Cross and even the Tool, Matt Dagostino should be given a show of their own. When they were wrapping up their online coverage last night, all three were sitting on the couch on the set and just talking. It was enjoyable. If TBS ever decided to give them their own daily online show, I would watch. If Kelly and Heather had primary roles and Matt sat on the desk giving updates like Natalie Morales on the Today show, I think that would work rather well. And we continue to get hits for Heather and Kelly especially after the Fashion Show. I think we have a hit here. So if the guys at Turner Sports are reading this, just know that TBS Hot Corner has become very popular online.
To your links. John Molori of Boston Sports Media Watch calls TBS’ coverage of the League Divisional Series disappointing and says there has to be a role for Red Sox TV announcer-in-exile, Sean McDonough. I agree on Sean, but I disagree on TBS. I liked their coverage.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at the ratings of selected events from the weekend.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says George Steinbrenner’s ill-timed comments about Joe Torre’s job status must be blamed for one of the reasons why the Yankees lost their series to Cleveland.
Richard Sandomir in today’s New York Times says TBS had an error-plagued Game 3 of the Yankees-Indians series. Sandomir adds that the ratings on TBS for the LDS are way up from last year when ESPN and Fox shared them.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has reaction from Indians’ fans who feel TBS’ coverage was biased towards the Yankees.
Over to the the Akron Beacon Journal where George M. Thomas says the Indians are ruling the TV roost in Cleveland.
Joanne Ostrow of the Denver Post says the Rockies scored in the ratings for Game 3 of the NLDS against the Phillies.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the Yankees’ elimination from the MLB Postseason has Fox seeing blue today.
Dave Del Grande of the Oakland Tribune says TBS blew coverage of the postseason beginning with the NL Wild Card playoff game last Monday.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the NFL TV partners rave over Brett Favre.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says ESPN handled the wild Monday Night Football game quite well last night.
Craig Handel of Florida Today says the Miami/Florida State game will air either on ESPN or ABC on October 20.
Bob Baptist in the Orlando Sentinel writes that Insight Cable customers will be able to see this Saturday’s Ohio State-Kent State in HD while Time Warner Cable customers remain shut out of the Big Ten Network. Paul Cordes of the Minnesota Daily, the school newspaper of the University of Minnesota, says he’s on the Big Ten Network bandwagon.
Will McCulloch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that high school football is finding more outlets to broadcasts its games.
That’s it for now. I’ll have the ALCS and NLCS schedules coming up.
While I’ve been watching TBS Hot Corner during the Yankees-Indians game, I’ve also been monitoring the ‘net for stories and we have enough to warrant an update.
The Sports Media Watch says TBS cannot be happy seeing the National League Championship Series involve neither the Cubs nor the Phillies. The overnight weekend numbers are in and Paulsen has them.
Neil Best of Newsday blogs that WFAN’s website streamed the Devils-Ottawa game today instead of Mike and the Mad Dog live from Yankee Stadium. Interesting.
It’s still early October, but we must get ready to think about College Basketball season. At least ESPN wants you to think about it because ESPNU will have coverage of Midnight Madness this Friday.
Buffalo Business First reports that despite signing a national deal with Time Warner Cable, the NHL Network may not be carried in upstate New York.
Chris Pursell of TV Week says Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will head the committee overseeing the NFL Network.
The Naples (FL) Daily News says CBS has not decided which SEC game it will air on October 20.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that CBC’s NHL season opening doubleheader was beaten by CTV last Thursday.
Some links for you tonight. Back to work on Tuesday and I’ll be back with links in the morning.
I’m like Neil Best of Newsday tonight. And I probably will do a Monday Night Links update tonight as I check around the sports media world.
Alyssa Milano called into the Atlanta studios to give her love to Heather and Kelly for modeling her clothes. And she even gave Matt some props for reading the liner cards. I’m not going to go that far, but TBS Hot Corner needed a host so Matt was needed.
I do know Red Sox fans enjoyed Alyssa’s visit to Fenway Park last week during the ALDS and she has a few features including an interview with GM Theo Epstein so head on over to the MLB/TBS Hot Corner site and check them out.
This has been easily the most enjoyable night for TBS on the Hot Corner. If the score holds with the Indians leading the Yankees, we won’t see it until the NLCS. But we’ll continue with the entries here as long as it’s on.