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.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.