It's one in the morning, and I'm up and sick as hell; thus, I'm going to go over the latest and greatest in Oriole-land.
As most fans know by now, MASN will show about quarter of it's games in HD in 2008 for both the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles.
MASN’s HD schedule includes key match-ups with the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Braves, as well as the Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Marlins, and Rays. The network will provide HD telecasts for all six inter-league games between the Nationals and Orioles.It seems like they are saving the high-def broadcasts for the most popular teams to stroll through the region rather than just random games. I sort of sensed this, as I'd assume based on the transient nature of the region, those teams would be represented.
As posted previously, this would point MASN in the right direction to making itself into a great sports network; however, I still think the network needs to take more steps in order to become the cream of the crop.
I'm a simpleton when it comes to these matters, and I obviously will not be running a sports network anytime soon, my huge complaint is not so-much with the HD issue, but it’s the general product. I’d like to see a lot more locally produced programming, than seeing an ESPN News feed X hours of the day. That’s a big reason why I have not tuned into it at all — maybe with the advent of another baseball season and a year plus under it’s belt, it will evolve.
For example, I think MASN can do a lot better -- let's use for example, the John Riggins show intro. It looks like a 7th grader took some random pictures and played with Photoshop to make a promo — that’s a prime example.
Don’t mean to nit-pick or denigrate people who assuredly work as hard they can to make a viable product, but it’s stuff like that makes the network less than ideal in my eyes.
As I noted earlier, the Orioles have hired Matt Klentak as director of baseball operations. I really didn't know much about him until tonight, until I googled his name and found this informative article from the Pursue the Passion website.
Hey, Mr. Klentak may be young, but let's give Andy MacPhail credit for thinking outside the box. Nothing else has worked in the past decade, so we might as well try something new.
Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck seems to be enamored with the move and it reminds him of a young executive that runs a rival of ours. As well, Peter gets a few words with the big boss, Andy MacPhail.
The Washington Post has more on the new hire.
In a bit of good news, it looks like Melvin Mora has stopped his grousing and whining like a petulant little child, and has embraced new infusion of talent. It will remain to be see if he'll be third baseman for the years to next few seasons.
It looks like Adam Loewen is going to pitch in the first opening Grapefruit League game, and he's healthy, & ready to go & Roch Kubatko has a list of what pitchers will appear on Thursday; meanwhile, new pitching coach Rick Kranitz has his work cut out for him with the young pitching staff; and PressBox Online has a piece on Dave Trembley and his coaching philosophy.
The Washington Post has a piece on the amazing story of George Sherrill; Luke Scott is looking forward to playing in Baltimore; Jay Gibbons is looking to come back from his ugly 2007 filled with tragedy, injury and bad news after bad news; Estaban Yan is working on his comeback, and the plethora of young arms are improving.
WNST's Rex Snider thinks Spring Training is too long --- I agree to an extent and the whole schedule seems to be ingrained in tradition, but the whole experience is what makes baseball very unique. However, I think pitchers really need to build their arm strength and hitters need to get in their timing ability -- it's not like basketball, where you can train a short while and just get back into it.
Thryl Nelson has an excellent post on the WNST blog and he advocates the Orioles go even further in their rebuilding.
Hope I get better enough to travel this week and I'll talk to you all in the morning.