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MLB Network to produce Fox’s pregame show

Mar 22, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

old TV

I tend not to watch the pregame shows for national broadcasts. No compelling reason for it. It’s just that I spend all day thinking about the broader baseball news and upcoming games as it is, so when go to watch a national telecast I just like to turn on the TV and have the game begin.

For those of you who do watch the pregame shows, however, change is afoot: Fox is subcontracting out its pregame festivities to MLB Network:

MLB Network is teaming with Fox Sports on an expanded pregame show before the broadcaster’s game of the week. Fox Saturday Baseball Pregame Show will run for 30 minutes, originating live from MLB’s state-of-the-art Studio 3 in Secaucus, N.J.

The program will be hosted by veteran Fox Sports and MLB Network broadcaster Matt Vasgersian. He will be joined weekly by a rotating roster of MLB Network analysts: Harold Reynolds, Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar.

In other news, Chris Rose and Kevin Kennedy’s golf games may reach new heights this summer.

  1. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Sub-contract out Tim McCarver’s job next please. And no more Chris Berman ever again.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      So you don’t want Chris “back back back back back back”?

  2. singingfriar - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Byrnes and Millar are huge downgrades and the worst part of MLBN commentary.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Williams and Reynolds aren’t much better. MLBN has some awesome personalities, but I think they looked around and deliberately dug up their four worst for this assignment. Brian Kenney, Billy Ripken, Al Leiter, Larry Bowa, Sean Casey, Jay Jaffe and Joe Sheehan are all much, much better.

      • xmatt0926x - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        I think Mitch Williams actually has a lot to offer. He can give good insight from an ex-players perspective. Harold Reynolds and Sean Casey just come off to me like giggling school kids. They add little insight and just state the obvious as far as I see it. I never liked Reynolds when he was on espn for the same reason and I can’t believe he got another job. I just don’t get it. A 15 year old fan could add just as much. I think if Mitch Williams has a major flaw it’s that he goes too far with the self-deprecating stuff in order to seem like “one of the guys” with the fans.

    • DJ MC - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      That’s interesting. From what I’ve seen of Byrnes so far he seems far, far better as an analyst than Millar, and especially Reynolds and Williams.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 22, 2012 at 6:05 PM

        But his “High five, bro!” mentality makes me want to cringe.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 22, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      Byrnes is obnoxious, but I think Millar is a lot of fun, and has a silly humility few players have. He’s there for entertainment, and for me, it works.

      Reynolds and Williams make a lot of fine points, and I like how each of the commentators really seem to give their own opinion, without fear, unlike the dolts on ESPN.

      I love MLBN and I watch it at least an hour a day. It’s my favorite channel. Amsinger, Kenney and Leiter alone make it.

  3. gwolinetz - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Good for Matt Vasgersian. He’s one of the best in the biz.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 22, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Not always. Youtube the clip of him accidentally swearing on MLBN. It’s pretty funny. But he was awesome on Baseball IQ, alongside those stiff contestants.

  4. rkwhite321 - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Doesn’t matter who the MLB Network decides to put on the show, it will still be miles better than what TBS rolls out there. They tried waaaaaaaay to hard to create the baseball version of Inside the NBA. David Wells does not need to be working in tv. For anyone. Ever.

    • xmatt0926x - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      Agree wholeheartedly on David Wells. He honestly seems somewhat “slow” (best politically correct word I could think of) to me. He has that goofy little kid look in his eyes and his commentary is brutal. I’d like to know who he has pictures of to keep his employment. They have the worst post-season studio team I’ve ever witnessed.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 22, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        Wells is a big name, and he has a lot of blue-collar support, I’ve noticed.

  5. rkwhite321 - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    *too, not to.

  6. DJ MC - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I hope that in the rotation they “rotate” Reynolds and Williams away from the camera more than towards it.

    Williams is fine as a “Diamond Demos” guy, but ask him to provide analysis and you are swinging at the wrong pitch (probably a ball way outside).

    When I watched the Hall of Fame announcement ceremony this year and heard Reynolds parrot the “Morris pitched to the score” lie, followed by Gammons saying that it was completely false, and then heard Reynolds say the same thing later on MLB Tonight, I lost all respect for him as an analyst. Complete, epic failure.

  7. vanmorrissey - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    More Matty V is a good thing, and less Fox production is even better.

  8. APBA Guy - Mar 22, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Matty V is an A’s fan, and he grew up in the East Bay, so hopefully we’ll get a few more Billy North and related references like he dropped the other day on MLB Tonight. Always fun for us dwindling band of green and gold diehards.

  9. mplsjoe - Mar 22, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Byrnes and Milar are the worst kind of idiots: those who celebrate their idiocy.

  10. bigharold - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    “I tend not to watch the pregame shows for national broadcasts.”

    Ah! Signs of intelligent life. Now if they could just get McCarver to STFU I could go back to watching the game with the sound on.

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