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Opinion: MLB Network Made More Errors Than Phillies Behind Awful Quartet

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MLB Network doesn't always hit a home run with its broadcasts, writer says.Erik Drost, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

By Dan Schlossberg

The “Clubhouse Edition” of MLB Network’s Braves-Phillies game Monday night was so bad that I had to mute large chunks of it.

CC Sabathia may be a future Hall of Fame inductee but he’ll never win anything for his broadcasting. His hearty, often-unwarranted loud laughter throughout the broadcast ruined the audio, apparently embarrassing the other three members of the broadcast crew.

If MLB Network was out to create cringe-worthy television, it succeeded handsomely.

The four of them were watching the game on a large screen from a studio most likely located in the Secaucus, NJ headquarters of MLB Network. Was it too expensive to send them down the turnpike to Citizens Bank Park instead?

Videos of all four — plus occasional guests ranging from Tom Glavine to Ryan Howard — were plastered vertically on the left side of the screen, taking away from the game itself.

But the worst part, beyond the barroom behavior, was the utter failure of any of the announcers to report on the game they were allegedly watching.

MLB Network would have been far wiser to pick up the TV feed from either the Braves or the Phillies and allow their viewing audience to enjoy that.

As a fan, writer, and baseball historian who generally disdains the concept of trying to make broadcasters out of ballplayers, I was so appalled by this presentation that I thought of complaining to its sponsors.

The usually-thoughtful Mike Lowell was okay but the quality of the broadcast and broadcasters sunk from there. Cliff Floyd wasn’t quite as bad as Sabathia but neither he nor anyone else could overcome the loud and constant laughter from the former Yankees pitcher.

It is sad that MLB Network, with so much potential at its disposal, squanders its opportunities to expand its audience — and especially the young fans who are the potential ticket buyers of tomorrow.

At least Brian Kenny and Dan Plesac, who work games from the ballpark, try to cover the contest to which they’re assigned.

Please, MLB Network, don’t do anything so awful ever again.

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ broadcast Syracuse University baseball with Len Berman and actually “did an inning” with Houston’s Milo Hamilton during a spring training exhibition game. E.mail him at ballauthor@gmail.com.

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