Biggio, Johnson, Martinez & Smoltz Take Center Stage at Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Exclusively on MLB Network

mlb-networkMLB Network’s Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz Join Craig Biggio and Randy Johnson in the 2015 Induction Class

Amsinger, Gammons, Kenny, Millar & Reynolds Anchor Live On-Site Coverage Beginning Sunday at 12:00 p.m. ET

July 22, 2015 – Marking just the third time that four players were elected in the same class, MLB Network will exclusively televise the ceremony as Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York this Sunday, July 26. Anchored by Hall of Fame award-winning writer Peter Gammons, Martinez’s former Boston Red Sox teammate Kevin Millar, Johnson’s former Seattle Mariners teammate Harold Reynolds, and hosts Greg Amsinger and Brian Kenny, MLB Network’s live on-site coverage will begin with MLB Tonight on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Induction Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. ET.

MLB Network’s exclusive live telecast of the ceremony will include the acceptance speeches by Biggio, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz, the four electees from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America vote in January. The ceremony will also feature the introductions of an expected 53 Hall of Famers, including Whitey Ford, Juan Marichal, Joe Morgan and Nolan Ryan.  Beginning this Friday on MLB Tonight, MLB Network’s Hall of Fame coverage will also feature a special tribute to the three pitchers in the 2015 class as Hall of Famer and three-time Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver narrates an essay by MLB Network’s Tom Verducci that recalls how Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz each overcame unique challenges to exceed expectations over the course of their careers.

On Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET, MLB Network will premiere a new episode of Studio 42 with Bob Costas featuring the 2015 Hall of Fame pitchers, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz, filmed in Cooperstown earlier in the week. With a combined nine Cy Young Awards among them, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz became the first trio of pitchers honored by the BBWAA in the same election, with each appearing on the ballot for the first time. Immediately following the interview, MLB Network will televise an abbreviated version of the Induction Ceremony at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Leading into its live coverage on Sunday, MLB Network will air the 2015 Hall of Fame Awards Presentation at 11:00 a.m. ET. The presentation, which will be held on Saturday, July 25 in Cooperstown and hosted by Greg Amsinger, will honor longtime Detroit News sportswriter Tom Gage with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for his contributions to baseball writing and San Diego Padres announcer Dick Enberg with the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting.

MLB Network’s live coverage of the Induction Ceremony will be simulcast on MLB.com and BaseballHall.org, and available for live authenticated streaming via MLB.com At Bat. MLB Network will make footage of the ceremony available live via satellite and additional details on the satellite feed will be sent to media from MLB Network. The Hall of Fame’s 2015 election results were announced on January 6 live from MLB Network’s studios for the seventh consecutive year and aired exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com.

About MLB Network:

MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring the multiple Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight, live regular season and Postseason game telecasts, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 in a record-setting 50 million homes, is currently distributed in approximately 70 million homes throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, and is available for live, authenticated streaming via MLB.com At Bat and MLBNetwork.com. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.MLBNetwork.com.

MLB Network to Air Live & New Original Programming Throughout 2015 All-Star Week

mlb-networkWall-to-Wall Coverage of the 2015 All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati

Top MLB Prospects Showcased in SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game This Sunday, July 12 and

Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 15

MLB Network Presents Returns with New Episodes on Randy Johnson & Buck Showalter

 

July 8, 2015 – MLB Network will air live and new original programming throughout Major League Baseball’s 2015 All-Star Week, anchored by more than 13 live hours of coverage from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, featuring 2015 Hall of Fame inductees Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer Sean Casey, Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, Brian Kenny, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Chris Rose, Christopher Russo, Matt Vasgersian, Heidi Watney and Matt Yallof.

On returning to Cincinnati for the 2015 All-Star Game, three-time Reds All-Star Sean Casey said, “There’s nothing like the Midsummer Classic as a player and a fan. I’m so excited that the All-Star Game is back in the Queen City, a place with such a deep baseball history, and that the sports world will get a chance to see up-close the amazing place I called home for eight seasons.”

 

Programming Highlights

  • Three MLB Network studio shows will present live on-field coverage during batting practice for the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders and the 2015 All-Star Game, with analysts using wireless “hat cams” to capture live HD footage of players on the field from a different perspective.
  • Viewers will have two chances to see future All-Stars in action with MLB Network’s exclusive telecasts of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game live this Sunday, July 12 at 3:00 p.m. ET from Great American Ball Park, and the 28th annual Triple-A All-Star Game live on Wednesday, July 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET from Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • The original series MLB Network Presents returns for a mid-summer run of new episodes during All-Star Week. Hosted by Bob Costas, MLB Network Presents: Buck Showalter, A Life in Baseball on Wednesday, July 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET, is an in-depth look at the passion and philosophy that have been at the core of the current Orioles manager’s more than two decades of coaching and managing among four Major League clubs. MLB Network Presents: Randy Johnson, The Big Picture, on Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. ET, is an intimate portrait of the 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and his transformative journey from raw talent to dominant force. Narrated by Metallica lead singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Hetfield, the hour-long show includes unique perspectives from interviews with former teammates, opponents, managers and celebrity friends that shed light on one of the Hall of Fame’s newest members.
  • Following its launch last month, MLB Network programming is available for authenticated live streaming via MLB.com At Bat for iPhone, iPad and supported Android smartphones and tablets, and online at MLBNetwork.com, through participating TV providers.

 

MLB Network 2015 All-Star Week Programming Schedule:

  • Sunday, July 12:

o    3:00 p.m. ET – SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game with MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian, Dan Plesac, Heidi Watney and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo on the call from Great American Ball Park

  • Monday, July 13

o    1:00 p.m. ETAll-Star managers Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost will announce the starting pitchers for the 2015 All-Star Game at the All-Star Media Day.

o    4:00 p.m. ETHigh Heat with Christopher Russo presented by Liberty Mutual, with guests Bruce Bochy, Ned Yost and MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre

o    5:00 p.m. ETIntentional Talk presented by Dairy Queen

o    6:00 p.m. ETMLB Tonight: All-Star Batting Practice presented by Gillette and Head & Shoulders

o    Post-Home Run Derby – MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition presented by Gillette and Head & Shoulders

  • Tuesday, July 14

o    3:00 p.m. ET – All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet with Greg Amsinger, Sean Casey and Heidi Watney; follow @MLBNetwork and use #ASGRedCarpet for behind-the-scenes photos

o    4:00 p.m. ETHigh Heat with Christopher Russo presented by Liberty Mutual

o    5:00 p.m. ETIntentional Talk presented by Dairy Queen

o    6:00 p.m. ETMLB Tonight: All-Star Batting Practice presented by Esurance, with guest MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.

o    Post-All-Star Game – MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition presented by Esurance

o    The music of Cincinnati-based platinum-selling pop-rock band WALK THE MOON will be featured throughout MLB Network’s All-Star Week programming, including exclusive video and interview footage with the band filmed last month at Great American Ball Park.

  • Wednesday, July 15

o    7:00 p.m. ETMLB Network Presents: Buck Showalter, A Life in Baseball

o    8:00 p.m. ET – Triple-A All-Star Game with MLB Network’s Paul Severino, Bill Ripken, Sam Ryan and Baseball America editor-in-chief John Manuel on the call from Werner Park in Omaha, NE.

  • Thursday, July 16

o    7:00 p.m. ETMLB Network Presents: Randy Johnson, The Big Picture

o    9:00 p.m. ET – Cable network premiere of “Trouble With the Curve,” starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake

About MLB Network:

MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring the multiple Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight, live regular season and Postseason game telecasts, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 in a record-setting 50 million homes, is currently distributed in approximately 70 million homes throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, and is available for live, authenticated streaming via MLB.com At Bat and MLBNetwork.com. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.MLBNetwork.com.

Costas & McCarver to Call First Game Together in 35 Years This Thursday

mlb-networkMcCarver to Join Costas for the San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals This Thursday, July 2

June 29, 2015 – Hall of Fame award-winning broadcaster Tim McCarver will join MLB Network’s Bob Costas to call the MLB Network Showcase telecast of the San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals this Thursday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Though they’ve each called MLB games over the last four decades, July 2 will mark the first time that Costas and McCarver will call a game together since two “Game of the Week” broadcasts on NBC in 1980, and it will be the first national MLB game McCarver will call since the 2013 World Series.

Over the last 35 years, there are only four World Series – 2014, 1983, 1981 and 1980 – in which neither Costas nor McCarver were part of the broadcast team. McCarver, who most recently spent 18 years as the lead MLB analyst at FOX, has called baseball games for four national U.S. TV networks, including 24 World Series and 20 All-Star Games. McCarver’s guest analyst role on MLB Network Showcase this week is in addition to his current work as an analyst on St. Louis Cardinals game telecasts for FOX Sports Midwest.

“Over the past few years, we’ve looked for opportunities for interesting announcer pairings for the sheer enjoyment of it,” said Costas. “A few years ago, I did a game with my friend Al Michaels; last year it was Bob Uecker; this time, Tim McCarver. He and I have been friends for 35 years, dating to the two games we did together on NBC in 1980. While our paths have crossed zillions of times since then, and we’ve each worked too many games to count, this will be the first time we’ve worked together since. Let’s hope we’ve each learned a few things in the meantime.”

“One of the expressions that I abhor in baseball is ‘at this pace,’ and yet, at this pace, Bob and I will work together every 35 years,” said McCarver. “I’m delighted to be with Bob again, if only for one game.”

The remaining MLB Network Showcase games in July will feature the New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox on Friday, July 10, the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers at NL East first-place Washington Nationals on Friday, July 17, and the Dodgers at New York Mets on Thursday, July 23. Games will be blacked out in each club’s home television territory unless otherwise announced. Viewers in areas subject to blackouts will be provided with an alternate game telecast or other programming. MLB Network’s complete programming lineup is available here.

MLB Network Launches Live Authenticated Streaming

mlb-networkProduct Marks the First Live, Authenticated Stream of a League-Owned Network

on PC/Mac, iPhone, iPad & Supported Android Smartphones & Tablets Across Multiple Distributors

Authenticated Streaming Via MLB.com At Bat and MLBNetwork.com Will Be Available Through Eight of the Top Ten U.S. Pay TV Providers

            June 11, 2015 – MLB Network today announced the launch of a live, authenticated stream of its 24/7, award-winning baseball programming via MLB.com At Bat for smartphones and tablets and online at MLBNetwork.com. Today’s launch marks the first time that a league-owned TV network will offer a live, authenticated stream of its programming on PC/Mac, iPhone, iPad and supported Android smartphones and tablets across multiple distributors. Eight of the top ten pay TV providers in the U.S., including AT&T U-verse TV®, Bright House Networks, Cablevision/Optimum, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS, will authenticate MLB Network subscribers via the MLB.com At Bat app and online at MLBNetwork.com.

Launching ahead of tonight’s MLB Network Showcase telecast of the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants at New York Mets at 7:00 p.m. ET, the HD-quality stream, powered by MLBAM’s streaming technology infrastructure, will be available via MLB.com At Bat and at MLBNetwork.com for viewers after they have logged in with their TV provider credentials.

“Since 2009, MLB Network has provided Major League Baseball fans with the most comprehensive coverage of the game on television through its award-winning programming,” said Rob McGlarry, President of MLB Network. “In partnership with MLB Advanced Media, which has been an industry leader in live streaming for over a decade, these new platforms will provide fans with MLB Network wherever they are.”

The live, authenticated stream will include all MLB Network studio shows, original programming, regular season, Postseason and Spring Training game telecasts, and analysis from the best in the business, including Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Al Leiter, Pedro Martinez, Harold Reynolds, Ken Rosenthal, John Smoltz and Tom Verducci. As with MLB Network game telecasts, games watched via the authenticated stream will be subject to local blackouts depending on the user’s location. Users in areas subject to blackouts will be provided with an alternate game or other programming.

Additional information can be found at www.MLBNetwork.com. Download the At Bat app for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets at MLB.com.

Pedro Martinez Quotes from MLB Network Media Conference Call

mlb-networkMarch 25, 2015 – MLB Network today announced that newly elected Baseball Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez has joined its roster of on-air talent as a studio analyst. Martinez, who was elected on the first ballot to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January, will make his debut on MLB Tonight during Opening Week and appear across MLB Network’s studio programming. Martinez will also be part of MLB Network’s pre-game coverage of the Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees game on Friday, April 10 on MLB Network Showcase. Martinez’s work with MLB Network is in addition to his role as a Postseason analyst with Turner Sports, which he began in 2013.  Martinez can be found on Twitter at @45PedroMartinez.

Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2004 World Series Champion with the Boston Red Sox, posted a 219-100 record with a 2.93 ERA during his 18-year career. An eight-time All-Star, Martinez is the only pitcher in history to lead MLB in ERA in five different seasons. Martinez began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-1993) before joining the Montreal Expos (1994 – 1997), Red Sox (1998 – 2004), New York Mets (2005 – 2008) and Philadelphia Phillies (2009).

Following are quotes from a media conference call hosted earlier today by MLB Network with Martinez and MLB Network President Rob McGlarry:

McGlarry:

We’re very excited to welcome newly elected Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez to MLB Network. Pedro will be appearing across all of our studio programming throughout the regular season, in addition to continuing his work with Turner Sports during the Postseason. Pedro will make his debut with us during Opening Week on MLB Tonight, and he’ll also contribute to our pre-game coverage of our first MLB Network Showcase game, which is Friday, April 10. As you all know, Pedro was a terrific competitor and an electric performer both on and off the field, and he’s always displayed a unique appreciation and understanding of the game. We look forward to having him join his Hall of Fame classmate John Smoltz as an MLB Network analyst and share his perspective with our viewers throughout the season. We’re really looking forward to him working with all of our analysts and providing his unique perspective.

Martinez on joining MLB Network:

I’m extremely excited to join this great group of human beings, before I say “players” and “former players.” I’m looking forward to having fun, to doing what we like the most, which is talking baseball, relive moments, analyze some of the things that happen in the game and how we would approach some of those things. I’m extremely excited and can’t wait for the moment to get there and actually see those guys, start the handshakes, and also just, you know, acting with them and spending time with them. It’s going to be great, I think.

Martinez on working with fellow Hall of Fame inductee John Smoltz at MLB Network:

I’m extremely excited to be with him. Not only to work with him, but to interact with him as a human being. Wow, what a gentleman, what a family. I’m more excited about being with him in the same area than I am actually to analyze the game and work with him. Just to hear those guys and see what kind of family men they are, how funny they are, it’s extremely exciting to me. I can’t wait for the moment to be with those guys.

 

Martinez on how he’s progressed as a TV analyst:

I have been trying to learn every time I go up there. I’m feeling more comfortable just as I got closer to TV and how things work. I’ve also had a lot of help from the people I work with. They have been really patient, really generous as far as being with me and teaching me the right things to do, and also very efficient as far as making it easy for me and getting all the data and all the information that I need. I feel a little bit more comfortable every time I go out. I feel like I have progressed a little bit, but I have so much to learn in this field.

Martinez on his time in TV and how David Ortiz would do as a broadcaster:

I am enjoying working on TV, at least for the time I’ve done it on TBS, a lot more than I thought. It’s a lot of hard work, so I have a lot more respect for you guys that do this on a day-by-day basis. There’s a lot of analysis that goes on behind doors. It’s a lot more work that I thought, but I also enjoy it because it gets me analyzing players and I love doing that. I love looking at the players, looking at the games, looking at the situations. You learn so much as well and not only that, you’re kind of learning to build a new career for yourself. I’m extremely happy doing it for the time I’ve done it for TBS, and now I’m looking forward to doing it this time.

For David, I don’t know how much he will enjoy it because David is always in the spotlight. I remember after I stopped playing baseball for the first two years, I didn’t want to be seen on TV even though you have to show up. It’s part of the job to actually cooperate with the media. I didn’t want to be seen on TV any more than I was in baseball. For David, he’s got the same chances we all have. With learning, dedicating himself to analyzing and doing the things and putting the time in, I think he can do it. Why not?

 

Martinez on making seven consecutive Opening Day starts:

I enjoyed those moments. I wanted to be that guy that was singled out to go and take responsibility of the team from the get-go. I wanted to be the guy that was responsible to say, “Hey, this is how we started and we started this way because of me.” I also wanted to take the pressure off the rest of the pack that was coming behind me. I always liked big games, big moments and I was so looking forward to those challenges. I’m pretty sure this team in Boston realizes how important it is to actually look forward to the challenge and face the challenges.

 

Martinez on Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs:

Theo is a very smart man. [He’s] kind of reserved to himself a little bit, but he can be aggressive if you give him leash. I wish he had more leash in Boston to actually do the things that he wanted to do, but being a young GM, you sort of had to guide him first…but I think in Chicago he’s got his hands a little bit free to do more of the things that he thinks he can do and I’m pretty sure he’s going to do a great job. So far, with the team he’s putting together, it looks like he’s trying the right way.

Martinez on the Red Sox’ offseason moves and their upcoming season:

I’m excited, I’m excited. I actually went over to John [Farrell] and David [Ortiz] and some of the players and we kind of held a little group meeting where we were just talking, and I pictured myself facing the Red Sox and I came up with so many things that I realized would happen during the season. Guys with a little experience in the big leagues with the starters, they’re going to have a hard time dealing with that lineup. When you look at Mookie Betts, [Shane] Victorino, [Dustin] Pedroia, you look at Bogey [Xander Bogaerts], you look at David, you look at Hanley [Ramirez], you look at Panda [Pablo Sandoval], you look at [Mike] Napoli – healthy, totally healthy, and one of the best trackers – even behind Panda. Panda is one of the toughest at-bats that you can get in the big leagues – the toughest to strike out, so Napoli is going to track a lot of pitches. It’s going to be really, really a headache to face that lineup, and from the pitching standpoint, it’s going to kick in to everyone over there that they’re all aces. I think that even though they’re not called “aces” by numbers, they’re going to have to step up it and be that ace, even though some of those guys have done it before, and they all have the talent to do it. I think they’re capable of doing anything that any other ace does, and it’s just a matter of them approaching it that way.

 

Martinez on his early World Series pick:

I’m going to say it’s too early. It all depends on how they break out of camp, but so far, there are teams with plenty of talent. Believe it or not, the Red Sox is one of the teams if they stay healthy…the Washington Nationals, I would have to say Toronto, I think they are really tough. So many teams that can probably be in the hunt for it. It all depends on how healthy everybody leaves camp and if everybody is the way that they’re structured to be. I would say between the Red Sox, the Washington Nationals, if the Yankees stay healthy, they’re going to be in the hunt, Kansas City without a doubt, you can’t take them lightly. I think the Dodgers are going to be tough, also. I’m talking about playoff teams. I can’t tell you really a winner, no, but playoff teams that I believe can be in, those teams that I just mentioned can probably make it. San Diego could be a team that could surprise everybody.

Martinez on Felix Hernandez’s streak of Opening Day starts:

When you ask about durability, when you ask about consistency, I think Felix brings every one of them. Not only that, Felix is still so young, so capable of doing anything…King Felix will be that guy that you ask to be that ace for a long time. Thank God Seattle has him there.

That’s another team that’s going to be interesting as well. Now with Nelson Cruz and the offense going a little better, I think that’s another team you have to keep an eye on. King Felix will probably set the tone for all of them.

Martinez on Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame:

With all due respect to everybody and to the Hall of Fame, the new commissioner, the former commissioner, I believe he should be in there as well. I’ve always been very vocal about Pete because I remember coming up in the 80’s and watching Pete Rose – “Charlie Hustle,” like they called him – and his performance in the field, to me, was outstanding and something that, looking at the history of the game, “Who is the next guy?”. I thought Derek Jeter had probably the best chance at probably catching Pete Rose, he retired and he was the closest…so what he did is special for the game. I think he paid his dues already, I think he’s been out and suffering for not being in long enough, I believe he should be in.

Martinez on Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds:

My words about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have been that I thought they were Hall of Famers before they got into the different things that they did.

MLB Network’s “MLB Central” to Debut on Opening Day from All-New Studio 21

mlb-networkMatt Vasgersian, Mark DeRosa and Lauren Shehadi to Host Live, Three-Hour Daily Show

State-of-the-Art “Studio 21” Named in Honor of Roberto Clemente

March 23, 2015 – MLB Network today announced that it will debut its first-ever regular season morning show, MLB Central, on Opening Day, Monday, April 6 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Hosted by Matt Vasgersian, Mark DeRosa and Lauren Shehadi, MLB Central will be the first program to originate from MLB Network’s new, state-of-the-art Studio 21, named in honor of Hall of Famer and humanitarian Roberto Clemente.

With fans looking for baseball content around the clock, MLB Central will offer an entertaining and informed take on the game live every weekday morning, with updates and context on the latest news, extensive on-field highlights, and long-form conversation with guests, celebrities, and insiders from around the league. MLB Central will prominently feature the perspectives of the show’s hosts, from Vasgersian’s irreverent style and his experience as an announcer at every level in the game, to DeRosa’s unique outlook as a former teammate of more than 200 current Major Leaguers from his 16-year MLB career with eight different clubs, and Shehadi’s authentic personality and interview style from three years of hosting MLB Network’s The Rundown and the off-season morning show Hot Stove.

Each show will begin with an opening that includes 21 Major Leaguers and four club mascots, followed by “The Wake-Up Call,” a fresh look at the biggest highlights and news stories in the game. DeRosa will give his pointed opinion on the latest on-field performances in “The D-Train,” and the show’s analysts will give their daily take on the hottest players and best moves in the world of fantasy baseball. On Opening Day, the show will give viewers a first look at the brand-new, 8,000-square foot Studio 21 and air vintage on-field footage of Roberto Clemente. Recurring features will include interviews with MLB players, managers and others inside the clubhouse, and a segment inspired by the MLB Network trivia show Baseball IQ. Viewers will be able to interact with Vasgersian, DeRosa and Shehadi via MLB Network’s Twitter feed and Facebook page using #MLBCentral.

“The launch of MLB Central is a natural continuation of the way we’ve built out our live programming schedule since MLB Network’s debut in 2009, and we’re excited to debut our first regular season morning show in our newest studio space,” said Rob McGlarry, president of MLB Network. “MLB Network has a tradition of celebrating legendary players of the game, starting with Studio 3 and Studio 42, named in tribute to Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. As we take the next step in our history, it is with tremendous respect that we call our latest facility ‘Studio 21,’ in honor of Hall of Famer and humanitarian Roberto Clemente.”

Starting on Opening Day, Studio 21 will be home to three daily studio shows, including MLB Central, MLB Now and Quick Pitch. The new space will innovate the way MLB Network studio programming is presented, using at least five multi-camera studio positions and cutting-edge technology adaptable to any show, story or club, from hanging video displays to augmented reality graphic components.

Studio 21 combines elements of a traditional ballpark with the latest in modern TV technology. The walls of the studio resemble the exterior of a ballpark, including a 1,800-square foot courtyard, six-foot tall entrance gates, and a brick pattern on the floor. Given its namesake, the studio design pays tribute to Roberto Clemente, with a seven-foot bronze medallion bearing Clemente’s uniform number “21” and a 15-foot wide “Studio 21” sign in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ signature block lettering at the entrance. Photos of Clemente are featured throughout the space, and his is one of five framed jerseys on display, among fellow Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig, Tony Gwynn and Kirby Puckett. The walls of the studio are lined with nearly 1,400-square feet in high-resolution LED displays and, in the studio’s premiere feature, 14 back-to-back 55-inch monitors are suspended from the ceiling to be rotated, raised and lowered in synchronized timing as well as according to specific show content and direction.

 

“Hall of Fame Pitchers: Smoltz & Pedro” on “MLB Network Presents” on Tuesday, February 3

mlb-networkExclusive Footage Includes the Hero’s Welcome Martinez Received In the Dominican Republic After His Hall of Fame Election; Watch Clip Here

January 29, 2015Exclusive interviews and inside access with newly elected Baseball Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz will be featured in Hall of Fame Pitchers: Smoltz & Pedro, the fourth installment of MLB Network Presents, on Tuesday, February 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Hosted by Bob Costas, the program begins with a behind-the-scenes look at Martinez’s election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including the moment he got the call and the enormous celebration in his native Dominican Republic with fans and family. Using highlights from 18 hours of exclusive footage, the episode features Martinez’s trip to New York immediately following the election announcement, and the hero’s welcome he received upon arriving at the Dominican Republic’s Aeropuerto Internacional Las Americas, about which Martinez says, “After I hugged my mom and my brother and I told them, ‘Mission accomplished,’ it was like, ‘This is a party now.’”

The show features footage of Martinez’s car ride through the parade thrown in his honor, the massive party in his hometown of Manoguayabo with countrymen and current Major Leaguers Robinson Cano and David Ortiz, and his visit with President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina at the National Palace. In interviews featured throughout the show, Martinez and his wife Carolina discuss his journey to become becoming just the second player from the Dominican Republic to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and his country’s reaction to the election. Martinez also shares his thoughts on being selected as the Dominican Republic’s newest Goodwill Ambassador and the new responsibilities that come from being a Hall of Famer. A preview clip of this feature can be viewed here.

Filmed last week at the popular baseball-themed Foley’s New York Pub and Restaurant in New York City, Hall of Fame Pitchers: Smoltz & Pedro continues with MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian sitting down with Smoltz to reflect back on his Hall of Fame career and the emotional ride he’s experienced since being elected. Smoltz talks about his reputation as a big-game pitcher, how he transitioned from an All-Star starter to closer, and the surprising hitters that had success against him.

Smoltz also discusses how he would like his Hall of Fame speech to unfold, about which he says, “I want it to be obviously filled with humility, but I am going to take this moment to make a point to the crowd, to have an opportunity to use this as something the crowd and parents and adults can hear and listen to and get something out of it because that’s … the one impact I’ll be able to have. I want to make sure all the right people are thanked, but at the same time, I want to define not only who I was and what you can be, [but] change the culture of this next generation that’s coming up that either … desires to one day be on that stage or just wants to be a baseball player.”

MLB Network Presents is a series of documentaries and access-driven profiles on some of baseball’s most prominent personalities, with the final episode of the offseason airing on Tuesday, February 10. Previous episodes have included The Offseason: Hope in Chicago and Miami, Nasty Boys: The 1990 Cincinnati Reds and The Odd Couple: Bochy and Flannery.

 

Stanton, Maddon & Rizzo Profiled on “MLB Network Presents” on January 27

mlb-networkGiancarlo Stanton, Joe Maddon and Anthony Rizzo in the Spotlight on

The Offseason: Hope in Chicago and Miami, The Third Episode of MLB Network Presents,

Premiering Tuesday, January 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET

January 22, 2015 – Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will be featured in The Offseason: Hope in Chicago and Miami, the third installment of MLB Network Presents on Tuesday, January 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Hosted by Bob Costas, the show offers exclusive profiles of three of the most talked-about names in Major League Baseball today as they face enormous expectations in the upcoming 2015 season.

The program begins with a behind-the-scenes look at Stanton’s daily life this offseason, following the signing of his record-setting $325 million contract with the Marlins in November 2014. Joined by MLB Network’s Peter Gammons, Stanton speaks in-depth about the traumatic injury that brought an early end to his 2014 season, and looks ahead to getting back on the field in 2015. Stanton also brings the cameras inside his rigorous workout routine as he goes through hitting drills and practice sessions in Southern California.

The episode continues with a trip to Chicago, as Maddon brings MLB Network’s Tom Verducci inside his new life as the Cubs’ skipper at the annual Cubs Convention in Chicago. Filmed last week in between interviews, autograph appearances, meetings and a coaches Q&A panel, Maddon discusses his decision-making process to leave the Tampa Bay Rays and join the Cubs, and his methodology on managing. Maddon also addresses the heightened expectations in Chicago, including Rizzo’s recent comments about how the Cubs will win the NL Central division this season, about which Maddon says, “I totally agree with him that we can win the Central this year. No question in my mind.”

The hour-long show concludes with a look at the journey Rizzo has taken from battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008 to becoming a first-time All-Star with the Cubs last season. Sitting down with MLB Network’s Lauren Shehadi at his home in Florida, Rizzo discusses the initial shock of being diagnosed with cancer and how he was able to persevere with the help of his family and the baseball community. Also included are interviews with Rizzo’s parents, John and Laurie, as well as Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, who discusses Rizzo’s character and the relationship he has with the first baseman, which began when Epstein, then-GM of the Boston Red Sox, drafted Rizzo in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Cubs ace and cancer survivor Jon Lester and Rizzo also detail the bond they share, beginning with their first-ever conversation at Fenway Park shortly after Rizzo’s cancer diagnosis, and continuing up to today, when they became teammates after Lester signed with the Cubs as a free agent in December.

MLB Network Presents is a series of documentaries and access-driven profiles on some of baseball’s most prominent personalities that will air on Tuesdays throughout the offseason on MLB Network.

“Nasty Boys: The 1990 Cincinnati Reds” to Debut on “MLB Network Presents” on January 20

mlb-networkJanuary 15, 2015 – In Nasty Boys: The 1990 Cincinnati Reds, the second installment of the new original series MLB Network Presents, host Bob Costas marks 25 years since the 1990 Cincinnati Reds completed a World Series sweep of the defending champion Oakland A’s, bolstered by three wild relief pitchers known as the “Nasty Boys”: Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers. The episode premieres on MLB Network on Tuesday, January 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Featuring interviews at home with Charlton, Dibble and Myers, the hour-long show looks back at their eccentric personalities and how their hard-nosed, aggressive attitude to each opponent matched the amount of talent on the team, which never spent a single day of the 1990 season out of first place.

The episode also includes interviews with several members of the 1990 Reds staff, including manager Lou Piniella, Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, right fielder Paul O’Neill, infielder Ron Oester, catcher Joe Oliver and starter Tom Browning, plus Hall of Fame award-winning broadcaster Marty Brennaman, Hall of Fame award-winning writer Hal McCoy, Cincinnati Enquirer sportswriter John Erardi, and former Cincinnati mayor and talk show host Jerry Springer, who each recall the team’s clubhouse antics, including the “Reds Hot” rap song, and their incredible on-field success.

A preview clip of Nasty Boys: The 1990 Cincinnati Reds can be viewed here.

Highlights from Nasty Boys: The 1990 Cincinnati Reds

On the 1990 Reds team:

Rob Dibble: For us, there wasn’t a team we didn’t dislike. … It wasn’t just Randy and I and Norm. There were a lot of lunatics on that team.

Norm Charlton: [From] 7:05 to 11 o’clock or however look it took, [we were] dead serious. After that, “Katy, bar the door.”

Barry Larkin: Our fans loved us because we went out there and we put [a] blue collar-brand of baseball on that field every single day.

Paul O’Neill: I remember getting off to an unbelievable start. As a young player that had never been in that position, you don’t want to pinch yourself and don’t want to wake up.

Marty Brennaman on Lou Piniella: The very first time he met with that team, he told those guys, “We have the talent to win a World Championship here and I’m not going to be happy with anything less.”

Jerry Springer: The 1990 team was really the first people’s team because they were regular characters. Nuts, but regular.

On the “Nasty Boys”:

Larkin: Those three guys, I thought they were the most valuable piece of the ‘90 team.

Randy Myers: With us three, stuff could happen in the first five innings, but from six on, it ain’t happening.

Charlton on Myers: Randy used to sit and read the sports page in his locker on the floor with his legs spread, like he was doing yoga or something, and he’d have salami and cheese there and he’d cut it with a machete.

Marty Brennaman: If they happened to hit you, and you wanted to take issue with it, they would all walk halfway to the plate so you didn’t have to go all the way out there. They were all three extremely tough guys.

O’Neill: In most bullpens, you match up lefties against lefties, and righties against righties. Lefties or righties don’t hit Rob Dibble. Lefties or righties don’t hit Norm Charlton. These guys weren’t matchup pitchers. You really could’ve drawn any one of them out of a hat to be the closer.

Larkin on Dibble: Dibbs didn’t just want to get you out. Dibbs wanted to strike you out, and a lot of times I felt like he wanted to embarrass you.

New Series “MLB Network Presents” Premieres Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET

mlb-networkBob Costas to Host Series of Documentaries and Access-Driven Profiles on Some of Baseball’s Most Prominent Personalities

First Episode The Odd Couple: Bochy and Flannery to Premiere on Tuesday, January 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET

January 8, 2015MLB Network will take viewers beyond the white lines and explore some of baseball’s most captivating stories and personalities in its new original series MLB Network Presents, hosted by Bob Costas and premiering on Tuesday, January 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The first installment of MLB Network Presents is The Odd Couple: Bochy and Flannery, an in-depth look at the unique friendship between San Francisco Giants manager Bruch Bochy and his longtime third base coach Tim Flannery, including the first interview with the two together since Flannery announced his retirement from coaching in November. Throughout the hour-long program, Bochy and Flannery discuss the bond they have shared for nearly half of their lives despite coming from two different backgrounds. Bochy, the son of a U.S. Army Officer, and Flannery, a noted musician in addition to being an accomplished coach, began their relationship as teammates with the San Diego Padres in 1983 and continued to enjoy great success together on the Padres and Giants coaching staffs for 15 seasons, including three Giants’ World Championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

The episode includes interviews with Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, Giants general manager Brian Sabean, Bochy’s wife Kim, and Flannery’s wife Donna discussing why Bochy’s and Flannery’s personalities have meshed well over the years. The episode will also provide glimpses of Bochy’s and Flannery’s lives away from baseball, including a fishing trip in San Diego with Bochy, Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir sharing his thoughts on Flannery’s passion for music, and an interview with Bonnie and Erin Stow, the sisters of injured Giants fan Bryan Stow, explaining how Flannery has hosted concerts to raise money for Stow’s care.

A preview clip of The Odd Couple: Bochy and Flannery can be viewed here.

Highlights from The Odd Couple: Bochy and Flannery

Bochy on managing: I don’t think you ever figure it out … and … hopefully I’m better than when I started in 1995 and I keep getting better the next couple of years. I don’t think you ever arrive at what you do.

Tim Flannery on his relationship with Bochy:  We won a lot of games together. I’m his field manager … and we have a special relationship that I believe … it’s going to get a lot better when I’m out of the game and he’s out of the game, we’re sitting around talking about it.

Hunter Pence on Bochy: You can write him into the Hall of Fame already. We’re talking about one of the greatest minds to be a part of the game.

Bochy on his relationship with Flannery: He sent me a picture a couple years ago for Christmas, [a] picture of us two sitting together when we were players and [from] a year ago as staff members, and boy, I’ll tell you, it’s amazing the years that’s gone by. The picture really told a great story, I think. … The journey both of us have been on together over all these years.

Bochy on Flannery announcing his retirement from coaching in November: Tim played such a critical role in our success and I don’t think we’re the same club without him. … [He’s] not going to be easily replaced.

Bob Weir on Flannery: Tim is a guy that could have made it in music at any point in his life. … I think he has a whole bunch of friends in the Deadhead community now for his music.