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.

2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame Election Results to Air Live on MLB Network & MLB.com

mlb-networkExtensive Coverage Begins at 11:00 a.m. ET and Will Feature First Interviews with Electees

Ron Darling, Peter Gammons, Brian Kenny, Al Leiter, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci to Appear on Special Hall of Fame Roundtable Show This Friday at 9:00 p.m. ET

December 29, 2014 – The results of the 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced exclusively on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com on Tuesday, January 6 live at 2:00 p.m. ET as part of a four-hour announcement show beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Featuring National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson and the first interviews with electees, MLB Network’s coverage will be anchored by Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Lauren Shehadi with commentary from Bob Costas, Ron Darling, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, Christopher Russo, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Peter Gammons, Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman and Tom Verducci, and include segments analyzing the ballot from a sabermetric perspective. Live coverage and analysis of the Hall of Fame announcement will be featured throughout the day on MLB Network beginning with Hot Stove at 9:00 a.m. ET and continuing on Intentional Talk, MLB Now and MLB Tonight starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.

This week MLB Network will air a special Hall of Fame Class of 2015 roundtable show on Friday, January 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET, featuring Darling, Kenny, Gammons, Al Leiter, Rosenthal and Verducci debating the first-year eligible nominees, including Cy Young Award winners Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and MLB Network analyst John Smoltz; returning candidates from previous elections, including All-Stars Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza; the election process, and candidates who deserve more consideration. The show will re-air on Sunday, January 4 at 6:00 p.m. ET and again on Monday, January 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET. Quotes from the program are transcribed below.

The day after the announcement, MLB Network and MLB.com will air the National Baseball Hall of Fame press conference with the electees live from New York on Wednesday, January 7 at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by in-studio interviews with the electees at MLB Network later that day.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) 2015 Hall of Fame ballot features 34 candidates, including 17 holdovers from previous elections. Dick Enberg, who has spent close to 20 years calling Major League Baseball games in Southern California and is the current television voice of the San Diego Padres, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Tom Gage, the Detroit News’ traveling beat writer on the Tigers for 36 years, has been named the 2015 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award presented annually to a sportswriter for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.

The 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 26 and air exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com.

 

Highlights from Hall of Fame Roundtable Show on the Class of 2015:

Tom Verducci on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot:

“I think there are more than three Hall of Famers, but when you do the math on this, I’d be shocked if we get a fourth in.”

Al Leiter on Pedro Martinez:

“He was intimidating, no question. He had a little bit of Don Drysdale in him. He’ll knock you down, as we know. Historically, he’ll move guys and hit guys and not be afraid. Pedro was very, very awesome to watch.”   

Peter Gammons on Martinez:

“[Hall of Famer] Bobby Cox once made the observation that he’s the only pitcher [he’s] ever seen that the home crowd never goes to concession [stands] when the opposing team is at the plate because they don’t want to miss anything.”

Ken Rosenthal on Randy Johnson:

“My favorite stat for Johnson [is] 75 wins in his 40’s, 64 in his 20’s. He got better and sustained it throughout his career. Once he found it, he really found it good.”

Ron Darling on Johnson:

“He’s the only guy in Spring Training in West Palm Beach [who], when they asked you to step in there in the nine-slot and bat against him, I said, ‘This is not happening.’”

Verducci on John Smoltz:

“His numbers are plenty good enough to be a Hall of Famer. Even as a starter, they’re that good, [and] especially with the Postseason component. He lost only four games in his Postseason career. His teams scored a total of four runs in those four games. He was almost unbeatable.”

Gammons on Gary Sheffield:

“Sheffield had almost 1,400 walks and 1,100 strikeouts. He’s one of the most unique hitters I ever watched. He swung the bat so hard and didn’t strike out. He had Ted Williams-kind of numbers with walks-to-strikeouts.”

Rosenthal on Craig Biggio:

“This guy was basically what you wanted in a leadoff-type guy. The 3,000 hits, the extra-base hits, the on-base percentage, hit by pitches, all of this combined with the defensive versatility. Is he [in the] inner-circle [of Hall of Famers]? No. Is he a Hall of Famer? Yes.”

MLB Network to Premiere Documentaries “The Third Team: All-Access 2014 World Series” & “Derek Jeter: 2 Witness An Icon”

mlb-networkDecember 10, 2014 – From a crew of umpires calling a remarkable seven-game World Series to a renowned player who thrived in pressure-filled moments, MLB Network will premiere two new documentaries this week that bring viewers behind the scenes of some of baseball’s biggest stages with the debuts of The Third Team: All-Access 2014 World Series this Friday, December 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET and MLB Productions’ Derek Jeter: 2 Witness an Icon tomorrow, December 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

For MLB Network’s second installment of The Third Team, the 90-minute show includes highlights from more than 80 hours of footage and live audio both on and off the field, giving a glimpse at umpires’ personalities and their interactions with members of the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals, including during the outburst between Royals catcher Salvador Perez and Giants reliever Hunter Strickland in Game Two. With expanded replay used for the first time in 2014, The Third Team also gives viewers an exclusive look inside the MLB Replay Operations Center during each of the two World Series replay reviews, including the pivotal overturned call at first base during Game Seven.

During the filming of The Third Team, MLB Network spent 11 straight days with the 2014 World Series umpire crew, including veteran World Series umpires Ted Barrett, Jeff Nelson and crew chief Jeff Kellogg, plus four umpires working their first World Series: Eric Cooper, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and second-generation MLB umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. For the first time, MLB Network’s cameras captured exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre calling each umpire to let them know of their World Series assignment, which can be seen here.

In MLB Productions’ Derek Jeter: 2 Witness An Icon, the one-hour special presents some of the most famous moments of Jeter’s 20-year career from the perspectives of those who witnessed the plays first-hand. From the flip play in the 2001 ALDS to his 3,000th hit and the walk-off single at Jeter’s final home game, former manager Joe Torre, former teammates David Cone, John Flaherty, Paul O’Neill, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, and Jeter himself each share stories of what they saw and experienced first-hand on the field.

Highlights from The Third Team: All-Access 2014 World Series

Joe Torre: “This is what they strive for. Just like when you lace them up in Spring Training as a player and manager, you want to get to October. These guys want to get to October.”

Hunter Wendelstedt: “As an umpire, we have the same passion, the same love for the game that the ballplayers have. We’re not a black-hearted villain. We don’t try to make mistakes. We love the game of baseball more than anybody.”

Jeff Kellogg: “Anytime you have a tough call in the Postseason, it is magnified a thousand times, and depending on the closeness of the game, it can be magnified even more, so the ability to go to replay is huge.”

Highlights of Derek Jeter: 2 Witness An Icon:

Jeter on hitting a home run for his 3,000 hit: “You feel a sense of relief, and then you can’t believe what just happened.”

Jorge Posada on the flip play in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS: “We do practice this in Spring Training, especially on large fields with large foul territories, so six months earlier we were practicing it and he still has it on his mind.”

Paul O’Neill on Jeter’s walk-off home run in Game Four of the 2001 World Series: “You don’t see a lot of emotion in Jeter’s career, you saw a lot there. … Because it became November, is it more memorable? Possibly. But World Series game-winning home run, that says enough itself. It was the most exciting baseball I think I ever remember.”

Rob McGlarry Named President of MLB Network

mlb-networkDecember 9, 2014, Secaucus, N.J. – MLB Network today announced that longtime baseball executive and current network EVP Rob McGlarry was named president of MLB Network, reporting to MLB President of Business and Media Bob Bowman effective immediately. McGlarry succeeds Tony Petitti in the role, following Petitti’s appointment as Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball.

“Rob McGlarry is the right person to extend the successes of MLB Network, and he is ideally suited to integrate the Network with MLB’s other media assets,” said Bowman.

“I’m incredibly proud of all that MLB Network has achieved in its first six years,” said Petitti. “Rob McGlarry is one of the most talented and experienced executives in the business, and I know MLB Network will only continue to thrive and grow under Rob’s leadership.”

McGlarry, who will have oversight of all day-to-day operations of the network, has been an executive at MLB Network since its launch in 2009, first as SVP of Programming and Business Affairs and most recently as EVP, Content. He has been instrumental in the network’s affiliate relations, including its recent distribution renewals, as well as its programming and on-air production.

Prior to joining MLB Network, McGlarry worked at Major League Baseball from 2003-2008. As VP of Broadcasting Business Affairs, McGlarry played a key role in negotiating MLB’s broadcasting deals and the landmark agreements to create and launch MLB Network.

 

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 from the best in the business, including Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Jim Kaat, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 in a record-setting 50 million homes and is currently distributed in approximately 70 million homes throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.MLBNetwork.com.

 

2014 Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award Winners To Be Unveiled on Saturday, Dec. 6

 mlb-networkComprehensive Voting Selected Top Players, Pitchers, Plays & Moments from the 2014 MLB Regular Season & Postseason

            Dec. 4, 2014, New York & Secaucus – The Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards, which have honored the best players and must-see moments following each of the past 12 seasons, will be announced exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com during a show hosted by Greg Amsinger, former Major Leaguer Bill Ripken and former Major League general manager Jim Duquette on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The GIBBY Awards represent baseball’s most comprehensive award-balloting process based on nearly two months of voting, encompassing the entire awards season. All votes came from local and national reporters and broadcasters, club front-office personnel, former players and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members, as well as fan balloting at MLB.com and the 30 Club websites across computers, smartphones and tablets.

This year’s GIBBY Awards feature winners in 25 categories. Individual honors will go to the Most Valuable Major Leaguer, in addition to the year’s best starting pitcher, everyday player, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout everyday player, breakout pitcher, bounceback player, defensive player, manager, executive and Postseason MVP. Each award was voted on without league-affiliation restrictions to recognize the best in Major League Baseball. GIBBY trophies also will be awarded to the year’s top regular season play, outfield throw, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 Topic, regular season moment, Postseason storyline, Postseason walk-off and Postseason play.

Up for consideration for the Most Valuable Major Leaguer award are Madison Bumgarner (SF), Clayton Kershaw (LAD) and Mike Trout (LAA), while nominees for Manager of the Year include Bruce Bochy (SF), Buck Showalter (BAL) and Ned Yost (KC). Candidates for Defensive Player of the Year include Alex Gordon (KC), Juan Lagares (NYM) and Andrelton Simmons (ATL).

The complete list of categories and nominee video highlights from MLB.com’s Must C reels may be found at MLB.com/gibbys.

MLB Network Set to Air Most-Ever Coverage of Winter Meetings

mlb-networkWall-to-Wall Programming Begins This Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET Featuring Insiders

Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal & Joel Sherman

December 3, 2014 – With one of Major League Baseball’s most anticipated offseason events approaching, MLB Network today announced it will televise more than 45 live hours of coverage over five days at the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego next week, including interviews with managers and general managers throughout the league. The schedule will represent the most live coverage of the Winter Meetings in MLB Network’s six-year history.

Starting with MLB Tonight this Sunday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET, MLB Network will feature updates and analysis on the latest trade and free agency rumors and news across all of its programming, led by its team of insiders including Peter Gammons (@pgammo), Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS), Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) and Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1).

From Monday, December 8 through Thursday, December 11, Matt Vasgersian, Harold Reynolds and Ron Darling will co-host Hot Stove, television’s only morning show dedicated to baseball, live at 11:00 a.m. ET, immediately followed by High Heat with Christopher Russo from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET.

MLB Tonight, MLB Network’s signature studio show, will air each day live at 2:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET, featuring hosts Greg Amsinger and Chris Rose (@ChrisRose), analysts Ryan Dempster, Kevin Millar (@KMillar15), Dan Plesac (@Plesac19), Harold Reynolds, John Smoltz, and guest analyst and former MLB general manager Dan O’Dowd. MLB Tonight will air live at 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 11.

MLB Now, hosted by Brian Kenny with Ron Darling, Ryan Dempster, Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman, will air at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET from Monday, December 8 through Wednesday, December 10. On-site editions of Intentional Talk, co-hosted by Chris Rose and Kevin Millar will air live at 5:00 p.m. ET from Monday, December 8 through Wednesday December 10, and at 2:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 12.

MLB Network will also televise the 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame Golden Era election results announcement on Monday, December 8 live at 2:00 p.m. ET. Candidates on the ballot include Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills.

Leading up to the Winter Meetings, MLB Network will debut MLB Network Roundtable presented by Delta Airlines: State of the Game this Friday, December 5, 9:00 p.m. ET. The latest edition in this roundtable series features Bob Costas, Dan Plesac, Bill Ripken, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci reviewing the 2014 MLB season, including expanded replay, major player contracts, the rise of the modern bullpen, and proposed pace-of-play initiatives, plus a look ahead to the 2015 season.

MLB Network’s complete programming schedule is available at MLBNetwork.com.

Carlos Pena Joins MLB Network as Studio Analyst

mlb-networkDecember 1, 2014 – MLB Network today announced that after a 14-year career, Carlos Pena has joined its roster of on-air talent as a studio analyst. Pena, who served as a guest analyst on MLB Network during the 2014 and 2009 Postseasons, will appear across MLB Network’s studio programming and make his debut on MLB Now and MLB Tonight this Thursday, December 4.  

“I am thrilled to be joining MLB Network, working alongside many guys that I have gotten to know throughout my playing career. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m eager to get started,” said Pena.

Pena, a 2009 American League All-Star and 2008 Gold Glove Award winner, hit 286 home runs and 818 RBI in his career. Pena hit more than 25 home runs in six different seasons, including 46 in 2007 when he won the Silver Slugger Award for American League first basemen as well as the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award. As a member of the 2008 American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays, Pena finished the season tied for the most home runs in the American League with 39. A first baseman and designated hitter, Pena broke into MLB and played this past season with the Texas Rangers (2001, 2014) and also spent time with the Oakland Athletics (2002), Detroit Tigers (2002 – 2005), Boston Red Sox (2006), Tampa Bay Rays (2007 – 2010, 2012), Chicago Cubs (2011), Houston Astros (2013) and Kansas City Royals (2013).

Coming Next Week on MLB Network: The Return of “Hot Stove” & End-of-Season Awards Announcements

mlb-networkOffseason Studio Programming Begins Monday, November 3 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Awards Coverage Includes BBWAA Awards, Players Choice Awards,

Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards, Silver Slugger Awards & MLB.com GIBBY Awards

October 30, 2014 – Fresh off its extensive coverage of the 2014 World Series, MLB Network’s offseason programming begins with an expanded schedule on Monday, November 3 as High Heat with Christopher Russo and MLB Now, hosted by Brian Kenny, continue year-round.

Weekdays in the offseason on MLB Network will include a full slate of studio shows, beginning with Hot Stove presented by Sports Authority, now in its third season and hosted by Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds live at 9:00 a.m. ET. The afternoons feature High Heat presented by Liberty Mutual, MLB Now presented by the U.S. Army, and Intentional Talk presented by The Marines with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar. MLB Network’s signature studio show, MLB Tonight presented by Kay Jewelers, will continue to provide the latest news and interviews around the league live at 6:00 p.m. ET.

MLB Network will provide exclusive coverage of end-of-season awards announcements throughout the next several weeks, starting with the winners of the Players Choice Awards presented by PlayStation on Monday, November 3. Later in the week, MLB Network will host the announcement of the finalists for the BBWAA Awards on Tuesday, November 4, followed by the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards on Wednesday, November 5, and the Silver Slugger Awards presented by Louisville Slugger on Thursday, November 6. Beginning on Monday, November 10, MLB Network will dedicate the entire week to the BBWAA Awards and the exclusive announcements of the winners of the Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. Coming in December, MLB Network and MLB.com will host the announcement of the winners of the 13th annual MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards.

As announced earlier this week, live baseball coverage will continue this offseason as many of the game’s elite prospects can be seen on MLB Network and MLB.com in Arizona Fall League games televised and simulcast online starting tomorrow, October 31 at 3:30 p.m. ET. MLB Network’s daily offseason programming schedule can be found here.