The Globe's Bill Houston reports today that Rogers is well on its way to bringing Hazel Mae's oiled up gams to a TV near you.
Rogers is looking to package some requisite CanCon together with content from the recently launched (and much desired, in these parts) MLB Network to form Baseball TV. (Although we'd put money down that the name becomes MLB Network Canada by the time the channel launches.)
Before anyone starts bitching and moaning about the fact that we're not getting the original purely American feed, we'd note that the lattitude that Rogers has in their licence may actually make the Canadian version a better choice. Baseball TV is currently licenced to air 10% live baseball games, which would work out to about five live games per week. (MLB Network currently offers live look ins, like the Score's old Diamond Surfing feature.)
The Canadian content on the channel may actually be a boon to Jays (and Expos) fans if they include classic games from the Canadian franchises. Classic baseball is rarely seen on CTVglobemedia's ESPN Classic Canada (apparently, they can't squeeze it in between Classic Darts and Classic Pub Night).
We firmly believe that there is an appetite for more classic Jays games beyond the handful that we've seen repeatedly (World Series clinchers and what not.) For instance, we'd love to see the Jays' 1991 ALCS games versus the Twins again.
Houston concludes by repeating the speculation that the channel could launch in Canada in the spring, in time for the start of the season. While we would love to see some baseball over the winter to warm our hearts as we shovel out and trudge through snowbanks, it's probably better late than never.
UPDATE: If you want a sense of what the MLB Network has to offer, check out the panel discussion on the Jays homepage featuring Joe Magrane, Harold Reynolds and Al (Blisters on my Blisters!) Leiter. We don't even care if we don't agree with them...it's just nice to hear guys talking baseball.
The Yankees have big bags of money, the Red Sox have big brains
We begrudgingly tip our cap to the Red Sox brain trust, who appear to be close to signing Rocco Baldelli (sorry GROF boys) and John Smoltz. There are all sorts of health risks with both of those players, but if they are healthy, they fit perfectly into the Sox 25-man roster.
To be honest, those signings (if they come to pass) would worry us more than the Yankees' spree and the Rays' signing of Pat Burrell.