A nice move by the MLB Network

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The MLB Network is going to name three production studios after Ernie Harwell, Mel Allen and Vin Scully.  A classy move by the network that, one hopes anyway, will provide some inspiration for all who work there.  Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but I’d like to think broadcasters who see these luminaries’ names on the door each day will try harder and work smarter than they otherwise would.

And even if the inspiration doesn’t work, maybe having their names on the studios will inspire some cosmic justice.  Sadly, someday Harwell and Scully will join Mel Allen in broadcater Valhalla, and who’s to say their ghosts won’t drop a stage light on someone who goes on and on about how someone needs to give “110%?”

Not that they need to stop with Harwell, Allen and Scully.  There has to be a lounge there, so how about naming it after Harry and Skip Caray?  How about naming that visitor’s office way down at the end of the hall for Bob Uecker?  The possibilities are endless. 

And it doesn’t just have to be great announcers like those guys.  After all, it’s a big building, and I’m sure someone can find some rooms to name after Joe Morgan, John Sterling, Rick Sutcliffe and Steve Phillips . . .

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.