I am really, really glad for the MLB Network

soxhop411

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The fallout continues from MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams's meltdown at a Ripken Baseball youth tournament this past weekend, as parents and coaches tell Deadspin that "The Wild Thing" called one child "a pussy" while ordering one of his own 10-year-old players to hit the opposing pitcher with a beanball.
 
I feel he may get suspended or fired….
 
http://deadspin.com/witnesses-mitch-williams-called-child-a-pussy-order-1577451834?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow
 

cromulence

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Williams is now on a leave of absence from MLBN, with no exact timetable for him to come back. I'm sure they'll wait until we've all forgotten and sneak him back in there.
 

JimBoSox9

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Also, on Tuesday their live game broadcast debuted a new corner graphic that shows you the diamond and the defense's positioning when they're on the pitcher/batter cam.  That's frackin' cool.
 

soxhop411

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MLB Network just fell for a fake Ken Rosenthal account. And MLBN employes him so GJGE
 

LuckyBen

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I love listening to mlb radio on the road, but I refuse to listen to that weasel Casey Stern ever again. The other day he went on a rant calling Papi the most unbearable and dramatic person in mlb the past four months. Once Bowden put him in his place, he totally backtracked.
 

BornToRun

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Apparently, MLBN's idea of intelligent deadline analysis is Chris Russo saying stupid things in a loud voice.
 

BoSox Rule

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Reynolds and Russo agreed on something (I forget what it was, something about Cespedes I think) which basically assures us all that it won't be true
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Were it not for Russo's daily show and the occasional appearance of Reynolds on their afternoon fare, my TV probably wouldn't stray from MLB Network from about 7am to 7pm.
 

joe dokes

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Not sure if this goes in the Reynolds thread or the MLBN thread, but . . . .
 
Got in a bit after the Sox game ended, turned on MLBN...Reynolds and the host (Vasgersian maybe) were doing the studio voice over of the 9th inning of TB-LAA.  Angels up 5-3, Huston Street on for the 9th. He loads the bases with none out.  Street doesn't throw hard and there was a discussion of "swing-and-miss stuff." I cant remember the precise details, but Reynolds was equating "swing and miss stuff" with velocity. On and on he droned as Street was loading the bases.  The other guy just said, "koji Uehara," which destroyed whatever point Reynolds was trying to make; Reynolds said something unintelligible and Street struck out 2 of the next 3 guys with the bases loaded.
 
During a game that he's doing, you only get snippets of stupidity.  But when he's one of only 2 guys just watching the game and sorta bs'ing like any 2 guys might, his stupidity just gushes out. he's the Great Molasses Flood of announcers.
 

mabrowndog

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The other night after Brian Kenny (or maybe Vasgersian, I forget) cited an on-screen graphic listing some players ranked by WAR.
 
Then they cut to Reynolds, who just dismissively waved it off by saying "WAR, That's not a real stat".
 

grimshaw

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Reynolds just automatically gets more and more obtuse any time anything other than traditional stats are used to support arguments from the studio hosts.  Vasgersian can make him look slightly less baffled but you can tell Amsinger wants to fight him.
 
IMO here are the better former player analysts:
-Cliff Floyd
-Dempster (they've paired him with Smoltz a few times and it's at least rational)
-Al Leiter
-Plesac (more entertaining mostly)
-Smoltz
-Lowell isn't too bad
 
The meh ones (inoffensive)
-Darryl Hamilton
-Mark De Rosa
-Joe Magrane
-Dave Valle (notable for his huge head)
-Eric Byrnes (even though he needs to stop talking)
-Sean Casey
 
The unwatchable
-Bill Ripken
-Mitch Williams
-Harold Reynolds
 

Brianish

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The flipside of Reynolds is Eric Byrnes. He's not necessarily conversant in all of the stats available, and they don't seem to come naturally to him, but he's genuinely interested in learning and understanding what they can show him about the game. He brought up FIP the other day and Vasgersian (sp?) asked if he even knew what it was. Byrnes gave a simple, but accurate and pointed explanation when V seemed sure he would stump him. It's really nice to see a guy being open-minded about what new methods of analysis can teach him about the game he played. 
 

riboflav

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mabrowndog said:
The other night after Brian Kenny (or maybe Vasgersian, I forget) cited an on-screen graphic listing some players ranked by WAR.
 
Then they cut to Reynolds, who just dismissively waved it off by saying "WAR, That's not a real stat".
 
According to many SABRmetricians, Reynolds is not wrong. It is, after all, a stat based on the imaginary. 
 

Spacemans Bong

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Brianish said:
The flipside of Reynolds is Eric Byrnes. He's not necessarily conversant in all of the stats available, and they don't seem to come naturally to him, but he's genuinely interested in learning and understanding what they can show him about the game. He brought up FIP the other day and Vasgersian (sp?) asked if he even knew what it was. Byrnes gave a simple, but accurate and pointed explanation when V seemed sure he would stump him. It's really nice to see a guy being open-minded about what new methods of analysis can teach him about the game he played. 
Well, it helps that he's an economics graduate from UCLA. He's actually capable of understanding the math involved.
 

BornToRun

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Yeah, I like Byrnes. He seems like a genuinely intelligent guy, more so than most of his colleagues at least.
 

Brianish

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To be honest, the pleasant surprise was less about Byrnes himself, and more about the tendency some ballplayers have to be unwilling to accept that their subjective experience might not be the be-all and end-all of baseball knowledge (Reynolds, Williams). It's nice to see someone who's not threatened by that and is actually curious. 
 

Rasputin

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Spacemans Bong said:
i didn't mean to sound glib about it, but he is a pretty bright guy underneath the surfer dude exterior. Baseball probably throws up those guys more than any other sport.
More than intelligence, it seems like he has a genuine intellectual curiosity that's enormously refreshing. I just wish he didn't have his mouth hooked up to Canseco's rocket fuel.
 

Vandalman

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Former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams sues MLB Network, Deadspin
 
"There are people out there who love to bring down celebrities and the internet provides an incredibly easy and powerful forum to destroy a person’s reputation in an instant behind a veil of anonymity," Williams' attorney, Laura C. Mattiacci of employment law firm Console Law Offices, said. "When one’s reputation and livelihood are crushed by anonymous ‘sources’ it is absolutely devastating, but there are legal recourses available.”
The suit alleges that on June 13, the MLB Network wanted Williams to sign an ammendment to his contract saying he would no longer attend the sporting events of his five children (or as the suit says, "sign away his rights as a father"), including his 11-year-old autistic son. "As alleged in Mr. Williams' complaint, for an employer to make a job contingent upon signing away your right to be with your children, it is crossing the line,” Mattiacci said.   
When he refused, Williams said he was fired, losing out in the approximately $2 million balance of his contract, along with positions at mlb.com, the Sports Network and Fox Sports. Williams is seeking damages separately from each party.
 
 
 

richgedman'sghost

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soxhop411 said:
Why the hell is MLBN showing the bench warmers?
Huh? What are you referring to? The movie? A shot of the dugout? Care to offer a little background?
 

soxhop411

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richgedman'sghost said:
Huh? What are you referring to? The movie? A shot of the dugout? Care to offer a little background?
The movie that came out like 8 years ago
 

InsideTheParker

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I was just watching Brian Kenny's show on mlbn, and they were referring to a recent visit by Bill James. Rosenthal said that James had been
saying things that if anyone else had said them Kenny would have jumped on them. Kenny replied that James was apparently feeling as sentimental (or something like that) as a baseball writer. I have tried without success to find a video of this appearance. Did anyone see it? Did James go all warm and fuzzy about bunting or what?
 

BornToRun

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InsideTheParker said:
I was just watching Brian Kenny's show on mlbn, and they were referring to a recent visit by Bill James. Rosenthal said that James had been
saying things that if anyone else had said them Kenny would have jumped on them. Kenny replied that James was apparently feeling as sentimental (or something like that) as a baseball writer. I have tried without success to find a video of this appearance. Did anyone see it? Did James go all warm and fuzzy about bunting or what?
I don't have any hard evidence but I do remember a couple appearances from before last season where Kenny had James on as a guest and Bill said some stuff that would've been prime fodder for the folks at FJM back in the day. Stuff like Adam Jones is a great defender because he passes the eye test and there was some other things too. It was a while ago.

Point is, I wouldn't be surprised to see him say something else that made me do a double-take.
 

derekson

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James has started saying a lot of stupid and unsubstantiated crap lately. He's pretty well jumped the shark at this point. Of course he's always had a large streak of contrarianism for its own sake, so it's not really surprising to see him go in a different direction now that saber metrics has gotten relatively popular.
 

JimBoSox9

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derekson said:
James has started saying a lot of stupid and unsubstantiated crap lately. He's pretty well jumped the shark at this point. Of course he's always had a large streak of contrarianism for its own sake, so it's not really surprising to see him go in a different direction now that saber metrics has gotten relatively popular.
I'd ask you to provide some documentation of that first sentence. Discounting Adam Jones' defensive metrics doesn't quite get me all the way there.
 

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Brian Kenny was just talking about Madison Bumgarner and how his post season success doesn't tell us much about what to expect going forward. He was respectful of what Bumgarner accomplished, but was steadfast in sticking to his point. There are very few people I enjoy listening to speak about baseball more. He is knowledgeable, well spoken, and very approachable. Nothing new, I know, but I think it's worth pointing out once in a while.
 

JohntheBaptist

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Disagree. More or less agree with him on substance but he's a smarmy baseball ideologue. I dont want ideologues with my sports, just the facts ma'am. He's also always struck me as a bit too impressed with himself for being the talking head who knows about stats.

I'd rather someone who is totally up to date on events around the game and a decent sense of humor, as a general rule.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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To each his own, but I think he only gets smarmy when someone like Chris Russo starts getting dismissive because he doesn't want to take on the substance of Kenny's arguments. That he seems to have a good relationship with people like Russo, despite the violent clashes in philosophy suggests to me that a good deal of the smarmy attitude is played up for the sake of the audience.
 

JohntheBaptist

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Its his entire on-air persona. Thats his calling card, hes the one who does the important work of educating philistine baseball fans and media types and acting super frustrated when god forbid he has to contemplate the rhetorical use of RBIs or something.

It isnt a big deal but that is entirely his professional identity. He's the internet's approach to baseball being thrown some red meat. Just not my cup of Powerade.
 

JimBoSox9

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JohntheBaptist said:
Its his entire on-air persona. Thats his calling card, hes the one who does the important work of educating philistine baseball fans and media types and acting super frustrated when god forbid he has to contemplate the rhetorical use of RBIs or something.

It isnt a big deal but that is entirely his professional identity. He's the internet's approach to baseball being thrown some red meat. Just not my cup of Powerade.
 
My take is it's not clear if you've actually watched the man outside of 30-second promos.
 
Brian Kenny is m-----f------ awesome.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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JimBoSox9 said:
 
My take is it's not clear if you've actually watched the man outside of 30-second promos.
 
Brian Kenny is m-----f------ awesome.
 
Without BK, there wouldn't be a studio show on MLBN that was consistently watchable.  When about 6 hours of every off-season broadcast day prominently features Vasgersian, Reynolds, Russo, Rose, and Millar, anything with BK is a breath of fresh air.
 

JohntheBaptist

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Jimbo youre probably right, but it isnt rocket science. I know what I like and he aint it.

The basic issue is I just dont watch sports media outside baseball games anymore. I dont like any of it, including him. Just my 2 cents though.
 
edit--I don't mean to rag on him so much, I think, as baseball fans, Brian Kenny and I think alike. It's just really not my preferred approach to absorbing baseball via TV. Would I read the Brian Kenny column at Fangraphs? Sure. I'm here, I love all that shit on my little expeditions around the internet.
 
I've just heard Soshers mention how much they'd like, for instance, a SABR-y game broadcast, and I always think I'm not sure which I'd rather watch less--that or, I don't know, Dwayne Staats. I don't want someone guiding and/ or dictating ways to interpret what I'm seeing--particular if it's info I enjoy seeking out on my own. I want a simple, basic soundtrack to compliment the viewing experience that comes with some genuine though not-forced humor.
 
Comparing him to Harold Reynolds and Chris Rose and Matt Vasgergian or whatever, sure, he's more informed, articulate, aware, and anyone looks good up against those guys. That's a low bar though and I don't know that he's the particular alternative I'm seeking.
 

gars finnvold

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For those who may have missed it when it aired last week, the program on Pedro and Smoltz airing at 8:00 tonight looks really interesting. I caught a few minutes of it earlier this week and the segments with Pedro returning to the DR, after getting elected to the Hall are amazing. Anything Pedro related makes me smile and the segments I saw had me grinning from ear to ear.
 

Al Zarilla

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gars finnvold said:
For those who may have missed it when it aired last week, the program on Pedro and Smoltz airing at 8:00 tonight looks really interesting. I caught a few minutes of it earlier this week and the segments with Pedro returning to the DR, after getting elected to the Hall are amazing. Anything Pedro related makes me smile and the segments I saw had me grinning from ear to ear.
Some more description (if you don't want to know any more):
 
I watched the whole thing and the DR part was great. Papi and Cano there too. The Smoltz part is longer but just a convo with Matt Vasgersian in a NYC restaurant/bar.