Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zen Dayley: Home plate, for the hardcore

Note the time and place: Rogers Communications saying it will do something for baseball fans. (Why the cynicism?)
"If a deal can be reached, Rogers Media would introduce the Canadian version of MLB Network, which launched last week in the United States to enthusiastic reviews.

"Rogers would take programming from MLB Network, add Canadian content, and make the channel, titled Baseball TV, available to distributors."
– William Houston,
The Tao of Stieb notes that a Canadian spin-off would be "licenced to air 10% live baseball games, which would work out to about five live games per week." In the States, MLB Network is only carrying about 26 live games this season.

That would be a huge bonus, barring the possibility of a new Rogers Media channel being a pawn in another spitting match between media conglomerates, like with TSN2.

Baseball fans are underserved by the traditional media outlets in Canada. MLB Network has had some mixed reviews among the hardcore Seamheads. Again, one would need to watch MLB Network in order to comment upon it efficacy. Reairing vintage games and Ken Burns' Baseball documentary and having ex-jocks and talking heads banter in a some studio is pretty thin gruel. They hired Bob Costas, instead of someone who's got something relevant to say about baseball in this century.

The alternatives, like an in-depth look at the park factors of the New York Mets' stadium, are so much better. At this point, MLB Trade Rumours probably rates its own show.

Can't there be a baseball show for the hardcore? Why subject people to a first-ballot inductee into the Smug Hall of Fame stuck in his own nostalgia trip instead of offering something new?

The bottom line is this is positive news, and thanks again to the The Tao for posting on this when it was not on many people's radars. Anyone who got the image of Jamie Campbell and Sam Cosentino going through their 1983 O-Pee-Chee cards -- look, Ryne Sandberg was listed as a third baseman! -- when they heard about Canadian content is forgiven. This is a positive.

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