News Bites for January 31, 2015

Serie Del Caribe Logo.
(h/t channelguidemagblog.com)

Serie del Caribe: Caribbean World Series 2015 TV schedule. All thirteen games will air in Spanish only on ESPN Deportes starting February 2, although ESPNDeportes.com launched a microsite in advance of the tournament this past Wednesday, January 28.  Coverage will be provided by “Caribbean Baseball Hall of Famer Candy Maldonado, and baseball experts Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Carolina Guillen, Enrique Rojas, Guillermo Celis, Eitan Benezra and Jorge Eduardo Sanchez”.

Bobby Ojeda splits with SNY as sides fail to agree on new contract. Even though Ojeda was said to have “absolutely wanted to” return, a agreement could not be reached between the two sides.

Baseball Scheduled for Four Games on National Television. The  University of Cincinnati will air two on SEC Network + on February 13 and 14, and on SEC Network on March 10 and 25.

Rome Braves games to be broadcast on 99.5 the Jock. Starting with the April 9 season opener, all 140 games will be handled by Kevin Karel on play-by-play and Charlie Johnson on color.

UCF Announces 2015 Baseball Radio Schedule. The University of Central Florida will air 28 home and away games on Orlando’s 740 The Game, anchored by Marc Daniels.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS, UECK. Even at age 81, Bob Uecker looks to be in good enough shape to get up to his seats “in the front ro-o-o-ow”.

Twins announce Spring Training broadcast schedule. Twelve games will be televised on Fox Sports North starting March 4, and 18 games will be carried on radio on twinsbaseball.com, with 14 of them also airing on Go 96.3 in the Twin Cities.

Baseball and Softball Added to Bear Sports Network. Twenty-five Washington University baseball contests (and sixteen softball tilts) will stream live on bearsports.wustl.edu, beginning February 24.  Matt Schumaker will fly solo in the booth on the baseball side.

Bulldog broadcast schedule set for 2015 baseball season. The Cumberland University Bulldogs will air 29 of their 55 games split between WANT 98.9 FM and WCOR 1490 AM beginning February 28.  The remaining 26 games will stream on the Internet only.

MLB Veterans Join Baseball Broadcast Crew. Oklahoma University will benefit from the insights of George Frazier and Mickey Tettleton on the 21 games being aired by the Sooner Sports TV network across four FOX RSNs.  They will split color duties in support of play-by-play announcer Chad McKee.

LCU Baseball Online Broadcasts are Back.  All Lubbock Christian games will be broadcast “in some form”, although all those forms will be exclusively online.

News Bites for January 27, 2015

Jerry Gross, long-time radio announcer for the Padres and Cardinals in the 1960s and 70s, died last Wednesday at the age of 81. (h/t  utsandiego.com)

Versatile broadcaster Jerry Gross dies: Gross was the first play-by-play announcer for the major league version of the San Diego Padres, doing radio 1969-71, and also TV in 1969 and 1978.  Gross also did St. Louis Cardinals games in 1961 and 1963-67.

Bears to have 11 home games featured on FOX Sports’ family of networks.  The games will start with the West Virginia series on March 21 and be spread among six different Fox networks before the final doubleheader on May 17.

93.9 The Ville New Radio Home for Louisville Baseball. The new station, a venture of ESPN Louisville, signs onto the air this Thursday, January 29.

Longhorn Network to air 28 baseball games. Every University of Texas home game, except one, will be aired on the ESPN-run network, beginning with the February 17 tilt against UT-San Antonio.

News Bites for January 26, 2015

Wildcats lose play-by-play voice Chris Graham; WNC baseball looks for new broadcaster: Chris Graham, who has called the games for the Western Nevada College baseball team for eight years, is leaving the voluntary post for a full-time job with the Nevada legislature.  If you have your own broadcasting equipment and have a deep understanding of baseball, contact Coach DJ Whittemore at (775) 445-3250 to apply.

Auburn Doubledays hire an operations manager, play-by-play voice: The nascent New York-Penn League franchise has hired David Lauterbach, a senior at Syracuse University, as their play-by-play voice.  Lauterbach worked the games for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League for the past two seasons.

Headrick joins RailRiders broadcast team: The Yankees’ Triple A affiliate in Scranton-Wilkes Barre has hired Darren Headrick as color announcer alongside play-by-play guy John Sadakon on both radio and television game broadcasts.  Headrick previously did PxP for the indians’ Advanced A affiliate Carolina Mudcats, and was named 2013 Carolina League Broadcaster of the Year.

Welcome Liebhaber to the radio booth: The Jackson Generals radio booth, that is.  Brandon Liebhaber is a 22-year-old graduate of Northwestern University.  The Generals, who play in the Southern League, are the Double A affiliates of the Mariners. Liebhaber has previously announced in the Cape Cod league and for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League.

Royals’ Matthews on pace of play: Keep hitter in batter’s box, call a strike a strike: As the Royals’ TV PxP announcer, Denny Matthews has a definite opinion about pace of play.

Bye Bye, Bud: Selig Left His Mark On Baseball: Say what you want about the guy.  Whether you love him or hate him, either way, you gotta admit it: the reign of Bud Selig has been very positive for the growth of baseball media.

 

News Bites for January 23, 2015

This is the first “News Bites” post for this blog, which is something we’re going to experiment with.  The intent is to make News Bites a round up of stories involving the baseball media that broke during the prior day (or few days).

Major baseball media stories will rate their own, more elaborate posts with greater analysis, but otherwise we will put as many stories as we can capture into a News Bite post and provide links for you to “read all about it.”

The hope is that there there will be enough ongoing baseball media news to rate publishing a News Bites post at least most days.  And there have been in the last 24 hours, so here you go:

Jeff Levering joins Brewers radio broadcast team: Levering was play by play for the Pawtucket Red Sox the past two seasons.  He will work three innings on those days Bob Uecker is absent, and will do media support for the broadcasts otherwise.

MSSU Athletics announces baseball radio partner for 2015: Missouri Southern State University will have ten regular season games air on WMBH-AM in Joplin.

River Bandits return to the radio: All games in 2015 for the Quad Cities team will air on KBOB-AM, bumping Chicago Cubs broadcasts to ESPN 93.5.

Tech Baseball Will Have Nine Big 12 Games Televised: The games will air on Texas Tech TV on Fox Sports starting with the home opener against Kansas on March 27.

SEC ANNOUNCES BASEBALL TV SCHEDULE: A total of 80 games will air on the new SEC Network beginning with the February 21 Florida State/Georgia tilt.

WKU baseball has five TV games: Western Kentucky University games will air starting May 1 against Middle Tennessee on Fox Sports 1.  The other four will run on the overflow channel for the SEC Network and on WatchESPN.

“Broadcasting the Baseball Game”: Glorious Magazine Cover from 1924

Committee member John Thorn came across this gorgeous magazine cover from the May 1924 issue of Scientific American, demonstrating the coming technological marvel that was the vocal transmission of an account of a baseball game beyond mere shouting distance.

At that point in time, there were only three teams broadcasting home games on a regular basis: the Cubs and the White Sox on WMAQ in Chicago; and the Reds on WMH (now WKRC) in Cincinnati.

And as seems to be the case with all technologies in their infancy, radio broadcasting tended the province of the very young.  The famous first broadcast in Pittsburgh on KDKA in August of 1921 was called by 26 year old Harold Arlin, and the Cubs and White Sox in 1924 were announced by 23 year old Hal Totten.  I don’t know how old Gene Mittendorf, who called the Reds in ’24, was, but if I had to guess, he wasn’t anything like the septuagenarians and octogenarians who routinely populate the AM and FM baseball airwaves of today.

In any event, without further ado, here is that wonderful cover, for your ogling pleasure (click on it for a larger view):

Radio Broadcast Scientific American May 1924

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT … PART DEUX

As a follow-up to coming out of hibernation with yesterday’s In Case You Missed It post, which pointed to numerous feature and news articles of various stripes that have been published on the tubes since season’s end, Part Deux will focus on some of the local media moves and renewals that have occurred since then:

Dodgers buy a stake in KLAC (570-AM), renew radio broadcast rights: This can’t possibly go as badly as the SportsNet LA boondoggle, can it?

Don Orsillo Renewed by Red Sox for 2015: One of the sharpest knives in the play by play drawer.  Do BoSox fans know how lucky they are?

Texas Rangers Move Back To 105.3 The Fan: Moved from another local FM station located 2.0 down the dial.

Josh Lewin re-signs with WOR for Mets games: The curse of Harry Caray didn’t torpedo Josh’s career after all, did it?  A good talent who can also do PxP as well.

Jamie Moyer exits Phillies’ broadcast booth: Doesn’t it always sounds suspicious when someone says they’re leaving a job to “spend more time with [his] family”?  But considering the Moyer family lives in California, this time it’s probably true.

Cubs, WGN-Ch. 9 confirm 5-year deal and It’s official: WLS-Ch. 7 to air 25 Cubs games: This is a seemingly odd backwards move towards a network affiliate, but the last years leading up to the presumed dedicated Cubs cable network must march on, fractured though the situation may be.

White Sox’ Hawk Harrelson Won’t Cut Back On 2015 Schedule: Good news for White Sox fans, I presume?

John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman officially back in Yankees’ WFAN booth for 2015: And Yankees fans as well?

McCarver returns to Cards’ TV broadcasts: And Cardinals fans?  Yes?

Orioles return to CBS RADIO’s 105.7 The Fan

Breaking: Yankees, WPIX-TV Close to Deal (Daily News)

WPIX, channel 11, was the home to the Yankees from 1952 all the way through to 1998, but the Daily News says the Yanks may be coming back home.

The Mets are already there, so it may be a challenge for the station to work out a schedule to avoid a conflict between the two, but WGN in Chicago has managed to carry the Cubs and White Sox simultaneously without tripping over their own feet, so it can be done.

Read more here:

YES Network close to deal with WPIX-TV to put some Yankees games on Ch. 11

UPDATE 1/23/15: The official announcement came down yesterday saying that there will be “about 20” games broadcast on WPIX in 2015.

 

In Case You Missed It …

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted anything in the way of news here.  Bad on us, and we’re working to be better in 2015.  We have to, because it’s our New Year’s resolution.

So we’re jumping back in by providing links to some of the top baseball media stories that have broken just since the end of the season.

World Series TV Ratings: Giants/Royals Game 7 Nears Ten-Year High: Game Sevens really do matter. The only game with a higher rating in the past ten years was also a Game 7 (2011 Rangers/Cardinals).

MLB’s Low National Ratings vs. Record-High Local Ratings: I love dichotomies, and not just because it’s a fun word to say.  Although as the Sporting News says in that first linked article, it might be more of a Fox problem than a general national problem. If you want to know what I think, ask me offline.

DIRECTV and Disney sign long-term agreement; adds WatchESPN and Longhorn Network: Oh my god, THANK you. Finally. This means you (and I) as a D*TV subscriber will soon be able to watch baseball on your smartphone or tablet without begging a friend for their Dish or WOW login credentials.

Early overdose: Even without Jeter, ESPN still loves Yankees for Sunday night: You probably already saw this in Chad Osborne’s post from last week.  Eye rolls, yeah, I know, but let’s face it: almost 9% of the entire US lives in the New York and Boston TV markets, but also, according to Facebook, the Yankees and Red Sox are among the top teams in basically every county in the United States. Just goes to show you: you don’t always have to rob banks to know where the money is.

Chicago news: Harrelson pumped up about White Sox moves; won’t cut back schedule: Vin Scully isn’t the only multiple decade-tenured broadcasters working well into his golden years.  And just think, Hawk Harrelson is 13 years younger than Vin, so maybe he’s got a long way to go?

ESPN goes all in on Cubs to open 2015 baseball season: And really, who doesn’t want to spend a chilly Sunday night in April gazing at a Jumbotron rising from the surrounding wreckage whence people once watched baseball games?

Networks will be active in quickening the pace in baseball; New commish expected to be ‘open to new ideas’: This is one of those rare instances in which the interests of fans and of broadcasters are well-aligned.

Long-time Detroit baseball writer retiring after 29 years on the beat: Did you know that John Lowe invented the quality start?  He may be ink-stained, but he’s not a wretch.

The Sportswriter of the Year is Si’s Tom Verducci: Tom is both a baseball journalist and a baseball broadcaster, so he’s double trouble, and thus a favorite.

SportsNet LA standoff was top story: Because of TWC’s strong-arm methods, 70% of the LA market did not have Dodger games available to them, and there doesn’t appear to be any thawing for 2015 as of yet.

Scully may travel less in 2015: And really, who can blame him? After all, the guy is 86 freaking years old.  Most people born the same year as he was aren’t traveling anywhere anymore.  (Yes, it’s because they’re dead.)

Fox’s Chatty Booth Makes Few Good Points to Speak of During World Series: Two’s company, three’s a crowd?  Four is definitely a British Invasion band, though.

Postseason Vanishing From Broadcast Networks: But with the combination of cable and “alternate delivery systems” penetrating about 90% of TV households, will anyone really miss it?

Enberg, Gage Named Ford C. Frick Award Winners: Big shout out to two Detroiters made good in baseball media.  Hat tip to you both.  Congratulations.

 

ESPN announces Opening Day quadruple header, first month of Sunday Night games

Where you are right now, it may be sunny and bright or it may be cold and white.

But one thing is for sure as we mark another day off the calendar: Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is right around the hot corner.

Today, Jan. 14, ESPN announced its slate of Sunday Night games through May 3, including the April 5 opener pitting the St. Louis Cardinals against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The network also announced a quadruple header for April 6.

Your first question might be: Is my team playing in one of the ESPN televised games? Maybe. You’ll have to check the schedule.

Your second query may ask: How many times will a Yankees-Red Sox game be televised during this first month of the season?

Twice.

There has to be at least a couple, right?

Right!

The Monday, April 6, Opening Day ESPN schedule begins with a 1 p.m. American League East matchup between the Blue Jays and Yankees in New York. Of the nine broadcast games announced, the Yankees will play in four.

At 4 p.m., viewers can see on ESPN a potential pitchers’ duel between the Mets and Nationals in Washington, D.C. ESPN’s Buster Olney recently ranked the Nats’ and Mets’ pitching staffs as the best and fifth best in the MLB, respectively.

Cleveland visits the Astros for a 7 p.m. game on ESPN, and then at 10 p.m. on ESPN2, the World Series champion San Francisco Giants visit the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Beyond the aforementioned opener at Wrigley, ESPN announced the lineup for its next four Sunday night games, which include:

April 12, 8 p.m. – Red Sox at Yankees

April 19, 8 p.m. – Reds at Cardinals

April 26, 8 p.m. – Mets at Yankees

May 3, 8 p.m. – Yankees at Red Sox

ESPN is entering its 26th season of broadcasting Sunday night games and will again use the three-man booth of Dan Shulman, John Kruk and Curt Schilling. Olney again will serve as the field reporter.

And if you’re a radio guy like me, you’ll be glad to know ESPN Radio will also carry the Sunday Night games with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton calling the action.