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MLB Network to launch a game show that sounds kinda neat

Jan 11, 2012, 11:30 AM EST

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I once tried out for “Jeopardy!”  Passed the test and went on to the practice game.  They said I was “in the contestant pool” but they never called me.  Since then I’ve had one boss and four coworkers who have gone on “Jeopardy!”, all of whom won at least once and two of whom were five-time champions.  Meanwhile, I roam the Earth as a Trivial Pursuit hustler.  Coulda been somebody. Coulda been a contender. Alas.

But I won’t let my life’s biggest disappointment put a damper on this, which actually sounds pretty cool:

MLB Network today announced the launch of Baseball IQ, its first-ever game show, premiering Tuesday, January 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Hosted by MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian, Baseball IQ is a recall-based trivia show featuring two participants, 30 minutes and a chance to win up to $45,000 for charity. Questions will cover all things baseball, from current players and managers to World Series champions, MVPs, Cy Young Award winners, Hall of Famers, milestones and more.

There should be rooting interests too, because they’re doing it as a bracket-style thing, with a representative from each club, one from MLB.com and one from the Hall of Fame.  But don’t think you’re going to have Adam Dunn facing off against Ozzie Guillen here. It’s way more likely that you’ll have the Tigers’ bright young media relations guy matching wits with the Mariners’ assistant to the travelling secretary. UPDATE: here’s a list with all of the participants and more details.

Which I think is way more fun, actually, because people will fall in love with these guys like they do reality show contestants. Some will be endearing, some will be off-putting. It should be kinda neat.

At least if we don’t get overload.  According to the press release, tthere will be two new episodes every Tuesday through Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET from January 24 through February 23, leading up to the start of Spring Training.

That’s a lot of those shows, but it’s not like we have anything else to do.

  1. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I would love to see Charlie Manual square off against Ozzie Guillen. That would be some funny shit. 30 mins. would turn into an hour. No one would be unable to understand what Manuel or Guillen would be saying. Vasgersian would need a translator.

    • Old Gator - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      Into what – Serbo-Croatian?

      • Old Gator - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        What’s with the thumbs down? It’s not my fault the guy’s parents named him like a Pokemon.

  2. heynerdlinger - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare at the TV and watch dumb game shows and wait for spring.

    • sportsdrenched.com - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      That’s one of my favorite baseball quotes. And so true.

  3. Old Gator - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Mrs. Carolyn Presky, you’ve so-o-o-old out! Now let’s see what you’ve won on your fifth day on Hawaiian Sellout! Geroge – what’s Mrs. Presky’s heave so far?

    Right Jack! So far, a set of broken cullet bars for Mrs. P’s new home. Some level mung skis and water rollers for that fun-filled open season! A stand-up goodbye preheater with a smoked window, and now….
    three hundred pounds of Chef Antoine’s southern fried gligs, burned, reheated and returned to water before you’re ready, Mrs. P, and inside, look at this, two shelves where none are needed, close the door…and the light stays on!

    PS – On the Waterfront. Bleeeeeng!

    • yankeesgameday - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      I didn’t understand a word if that and I pride myself on getting every arcane reference imaginable. So just what the heck ar you saying here?

      • Old Gator - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Ready to triple your ARQ (Arcane Reference Quotient) in forty five minutes?

  4. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    How about a game show like Comedy Central did years ago with Ben Stein:

    “Win Tony LaRussa’s Money”, with your host, Tony LaRussa…

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      If you win more than a certain amount, he gets to bean you!

  5. natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Didn’t make it onto Jeopardy, huh? Hmmm, this helps explain the vexed, peeved, annoyed, etc.

    Sounds like fun, though having the front office guys is more likely. While it would be fun to see how little players and managers know about the game’s history, I’d imagine that most wouldn’t want to risk the embarrassment.

    But what I’d really like to see is a game for media guys. Imagine Peter Gammons, Vin Scully, Jayson Stark and Bill James competing in a baseball trivia contest. That would be awesome.

  6. thefalcon123 - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    I’ve never been on anything as glamorous as Jeopardy, but I was a contestant on the Newlywed Game last year (yes, it still exists on the little watched GameShow Network). They contacted our wedding photographer to get our info because *no one tries out for that show*. They desperately search out anyone they can get on it.

    So, what happens on a game show (at least ones that air on 3 digit channels)?
    1. You sit in a green room in a dingy hotel for 6 hours, half convinced this is secretly a scam and someone is going to steal your wallet. I should point out that this green room does have a TV…but you’re not allowed to turn it on. Some guy comes in at one point to tell you not to say “fuck” on the air please.

    2. Someone hastily throws some makeup on you to cover up the bruises on your foreheard from banging your head against the wall from being in a green room with nothing to do for six hours.

    3. Got into a tiny, tiny room with the other couples with a bottle of champagne because the producers realize the only chance at the show being in the least bit entertaining is if someone gets drunk enough to throw up on their spouse.

    4. Play the game! Didn’t win? Don’t worry, the prize is 3 nights in a fucking Breezes resort. Pass.

    5. Get hastily rushed out of the back room into the smallest room of all, where someone gives you a thing to sign to claim your consolation prize. You then just kind of wander out into the street. Not congratulations, no thanks, just “sign this” and the stares of an impatient guy wondering what you’re still doing standing there. You walk out onto the street, turn to your spouse and say: “Did I really use a personal day for this”?

    Hopefully MLB network will class up the experience a wee bit.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Wow, that’s some crazy insight. I wonder if Jeopardy’s as awful as that.

    • b7p19 - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      Thats an awesome story. Sounds like a horrible day except for the opportunity to get drunk and pretend you are completely different people. I feel you missed an opportunity to really embarrass yourself on TV.

  7. The Dangerous Mabry - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Full list of rules and participants:

    http://mlbnetwork.mlb.com/network/promotions/BBIQ.jsp

    I’m pulling for the Reds’ scoreboard operator, or the Cardinals’ Manager of Stadium Tours, personally.

  8. mattraw - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Damn, I was hoping for a real life version of the George F. Will Sports Machine

  9. 12strikes - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I can see your tryout now:

    HOST: “Craig you have 500 points, your next closest competitor has 100 points, there is one answer left… 2011 MLB Playoffs for 500. The answer is 2011 NL Wild card team”

    Craig hit the button and asks the question with his heart, not his brain.

    HOST: “Oh, your in the contestant pool. Don’t call us we’ll call you”

  10. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    You’ve worked with some famous folks, Craig!

  11. O.Handwasher - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Didn’t Vasgersian host “Sports Geniuses” on FSN a few years ago?

  12. snowbirdgothic - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Is it just me, or is that contestant pool more of a sausage-fest than the grand opening of a Golden Corral in Bavaria?

    • b7p19 - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Looks like you finally got to use that line.

      • snowbirdgothic - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Naah, just made it up, actually.

  13. b7p19 - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Does it bother anybody else that the charity for the Hall of Fame guy is: “Hall of Fame”? Does that count as a charity? I mean, I know Jack Morris almost got in, but I still wouldn’t call it a charity.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      Maybe they’re going to use the money to buy brains for many of the folks on the voting committee.

  14. Bryz - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I’m friends with the Twins’ representative (we both work in Guest Services and we knew each other from college). Good luck, Craig Nordquist!

    • Bryz - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      Actually, I should have added also that I tried out to be the Twins’ rep., but there was no way I could beat Craig Nordquist.

  15. Walk - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    Looking over that list i believe i am going to root for the red’s represenative. Looks like they sent the only scoreboard operator. Guy has to know a ton of trivia.

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