I give Bud Selig lots of grief -- much of it deserved, in my opinion. But I have to give him his props, where it's due. And with the MLB Network, he deserves props. It came to life on my cable system on New Year's Day as promised, and so far, I'm liking the Hot Stove program and the hosts -- who seem more concerned about talking baseball than they do arguing.
The MLB Network launched with access to 50 million homes, the largest network launch in cable TV history. It's already got a bigger reach than the NFL Network, and if there was any network that seemed made for instant success, it was the NFL Network.
I'm really looking forward to see what they will do once spring training starts and the season gets going, though I like what they're promising. And right now, my only complaint is the non Hot Stove programming. They supposedly have this huge archive of baseball games on file, but besides the Don Larsen perfect game, they're primarily showing the 2008 playoffs and World Series. That's nice, but how replaying some of the other great games and playoffs. Like the 1980 and 1986 NLCS's -- sure the Astros lost in both, but those were some fantastic series. Or how about the 1975 World Series between the Reds and Red Sox -- that's what turned me into a baseball fan at 10 years old.
But hey, here's to Bud. He finally topped the NFL at something.