SBD/April 1, 2011/MLB Season Preview

MLB Media Notes: FS Midwest Apologizes For Opening Day Mistake

FS Midwest cut away from Cardinals starting-lineup introduction
In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports FS Midwest is "apologizing for a snafu in its coverage of the pregame festivities" before Thursday's Padres-Cardinals season opener. As the players in the starting lineup "were being introduced Thursday, FSM cut to a taped introduction of the game telecast, then went to commentary from the announcers in the broadcast booth" just after Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols -- "who has been the subject of contract haggling that has angered some fans -- received loud cheers from the crowd." Viewers were "left in the dark as the rest of the lineup was introduced." FSM Senior VP & GM Jack Donovan: "It was a mistake for us to cut away during the introduction of the lineup, and we apologize to Cardinals fans" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/1).

SEEKING MORE STREAMERS: MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman said that MLB.tv "will attract between 1.5 and 2 million subscribers during the upcoming season." However, MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds wrote it is a number MLBAM "would clearly like to expand," as Bowman noted it is "only 5% of those who visit" MLB.com. Meanwhile, the Yankees and Padres are currently the only two teams who stream their games locally, and Bowman said that "talks continue with Fox, 'where we might be able to get 13 teams." But Bowman noted Fox Sports Media Group co-President & COO Randy Freer "gets most of his money" from subscriber fees. Bowman: "It's complicated" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 3/30).

BACK IN THE BOOTH: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt notes Brewers radio announcer Bob Uecker during Thursday's Brewers-Reds game "was back in the radio booth for his 56th consecutive opening day as a player and broadcaster." Uecker last year "knew he was headed for heart surgery," and a "decision was made to do it in late April." His recovery "went anything but smoothly," as he "developed a staph infection at the site of the heart valve replacement, causing it to begin leaking again." He had been "preparing to take a postseason trip to Florida when he decided instead to go in for a checkup." Uecker: "Had I not gone for that checkup, I would have died, no doubt." Haudricourt notes Uecker "has gained back most of the 24 pounds he lost after those two surgeries and looks and feels much healthier" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/1).

OPENING DAY JITTERS: In DC, Tracee Hamilton writes Nationals TV broadcaster Bob Carpenter and new analyst F.P. Santangelo, who is replacing Rob Dibble, so far "seem too similar" on the team's broadcasts. Carpenter during Thursday's Braves-Nationals game at times "almost had to interview Santangelo to get him to contribute to the conversation." But Hamilton writes, "A broadcast team is not unlike a married couple: It's going to take them some time to get into a groove. ... What these two need more than anything is time -- time to get to know each other's ebbs and flows on the air, time to get to know each other off the air as well" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/1).

NEW SEASON, NEW ROLE: In Baltimore, Van Valkenburg & Meoli report MASN's Amber Theoharis is "shifting to a new role this year" during Orioles broadcasts. Theoharis, who has served in the on-field role since the net's inception, will now be "focusing on interviews and features" for the net's "Mid-Atlantic Sports Report." The move is due to Theoharis having a baby last October. Theoharis said that the net "offered her the chance to return to her sideline reporting job, but she reluctantly declined" (Baltimore SUN, 4/1).
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