TBS will get the wild card single game play-ins; MLB Network to get some division series games


MLB is going to hold a conference call for media to this effect here in a minute, but Richard Sandomir already has the scoop:  TBS will broadcast the two wild card play-in games in both 2012 and 2013.

On a personal level I like this because I simply prefer TBS’ baseball production to FOX’s. I will sort of regret not being able to hear Joe Buck talk about how the one-game playoffs are just like the NFL playoffs and how much better and exciting it is.

This, from MLB’s press release that just came in, I’m less happy about:

MLB Network will exclusively televise two Division Series games in each of the next two years, marking the first time MLB Network will air live Postseason games. MLB Network has produced weekly original game telecasts since its inaugural season in 2009.

As a person who has one of the few cable carriers in the country who does not carry MLB Network, allow me to say: bah!

UPDATE:  I was just informed — by a friend at MLB Network of all places — that my cable company does have it.  It’s only in single def, so it’s not ideal, but I do have it.  Amazingly, my cable company never mentioned it and still says “we’re working on it” when I call them to ask them to carry MLB.  So I guess if they themselves didn’t know they had it, I can be excused for not realizing I had it.

Hall of Fame will no longer use Chief Wahoo on Hall of Fame plaques

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Last month, in the wake of his election to the Hall of Fame, Jim Thome made it clear that he wanted to be inducted as a Cleveland Indian but that he did not want to have Chief Wahoo on his plaque.

His reasoning: even though that was the cap he wore for almost all of his time in Cleveland, “because of all the history and everything involved” he did not think it was the right thing to do. The context, of course, was the club’s decision, under pressure from Major League Baseball, to scrap the Wahoo logo due to its racial insensitivity, which it appears Thome agrees with.

Hall plaque decisions are not 100% up to the player, however. Rather, the Hall of Fame, while taking player sentiment into account, makes a judgment about the historical accuracy and representativeness of Hall plaques. This is to prevent a club from entering into a contract with a player to wear its logo on the plaque even if he only played with them for a short time or from a player simply picking his favorite club (or spiting his least-favorite), even if he only spent an inconsequential season or two there. Think Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray or Frank Robinson as, I dunno, a Dodger.

In the case of Chief Wahoo, the Hall has not only granted Thome’s wish, but has decreed that no new plaque will have Wahoo on it going forward:

To be fair, I can’t think of another player who wore Wahoo who would make the Hall of Fame in an Indians cap after Thome. Possibly Manny Ramirez if he ever gets in, though he may have a better claim to a Red Sox cap (debate it in the comments). Albert Belle appears on Veterans Committee ballots, but I’d bet my cats that he’s never getting it in. If younger players like Corey Kluber or Francisco Lindor or someone make it in, they’ll likely have just as much history in a Block-C or whatever the Indians get to replace Wahoo with than anything else, so it’s not really an issue for them.

Still, a nice gesture from the Hall, both to accommodate Thome’s wishes and to acknowledge the inappropriateness of using Chief Wahoo for any purpose going forward.