Weekend Plans With MLB Net's Heidi Watney: Off To Minneapolis For All-Star Festivities
The first MLB All-Star Game that HEIDI WATNEY covered as a reporter was the ’07 contest in S.F., when she was working for KMPH-Fox in Fresno, Calif. She has come a long way since then, making stops in San Diego, Boston and L.A. before landing as a studio host at MLB Network in ’12. Watney and her fiancé recently moved from N.Y. to Edgewater, N.J., so she could cut down on her commute to the office. But this weekend, instead of traveling to the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, Watney will be off to Minneapolis for the All-Star Game at Target Field. It will be a hectic few days, and Watney admits it will require more than a couple Starbucks runs to make it through the weekend.
SLEEP ALL DAY: This week, I will work through Friday hosting “QUICK PITCH” and then travel on Saturday to Minnesota for All-Star Weekend. On workdays as soon as I wake up -- which for me is the afternoon -- I check my notes from our team of researchers, who are amazing. They send out a research packet every day that gets here about noon, and I look over that while I drink my coffee in the morning or sometimes I’ll look it over while I’m on the treadmill or on a bike or whatever. But I just had hip surgery five weeks ago, I had a torn labrum, and so right now I wake up and go to physical therapy every day. Then I come back, shower and go to work. I don’t have to go into work until about 7:00pm ET and the show typically comes on at 1:00am.
UP ALL NIGHT: A lot of nights the West Coast games are still going on or aren’t final when we did the show the first time, so we have to do it again because the show airs all morning until 11:00am or 12:00pm the next day. When CLAYTON KERSHAW threw the no-hitter on the West Coast, it was awesome and exciting and a lot of fun to cover that -- but we had to make sure we got all the reaction from his team and the other team, so we were there until probably 3:30am putting together that show. Typically, sometime between 2:30-5:00am I get out of work and I go home and I fall asleep as the sun is coming up.
MIDWESTERN HOSPITALITY: Hopefully I can get together for dinner with some of the beat writers that I haven’t seen in forever because I don’t travel as much. These are the guys I used to see on a day-in, day-out basis when I covered the Red Sox and traveled with the team. I hate going to chain restaurants on the road because I want to try to find something local. If you talk to the beat writers, the clubhouse guys and ask what a good place to go is they usually will give you a nice, quiet Italian place or a good steakhouse. So I like to try and do that, get some ideas from the local folk there about where to go. I love to eat, which is why it’s good that I love to run too.
ALMOST FAMOUS: The Futures Game is on Sunday, and I believe my call time is going to be about 10:00am. We are going to have a few production meetings and then we’ll be out there on the field by noon. ... There’s about four hours of pregame stuff on the field before the game starts. The game will be at 5:00pm and probably last about three hours, and then we’ll do a little postgame stuff. For the Futures Game, I’m going to be doing in-game hits, so I’ll be with a camera probably next to one of the dugouts. ... Sunday night, I should get a little free time and there’s usually a gala, which is always fun to go and see all the beat writers and reporters that I don’t get to see on a daily basis because I’m in studio now.
PLATE APPROACH: For the Gillette Home Run Derby on Monday -- I’m actually really excited about this too -- I get to be on the field with HAROLD REYNOLDS and SEAN CASEY. Those two are going to be running around more and getting the players in the outfield and I’m going to be around the cage somewhere. We’re going to try and do some rapid-fire questions where we get to know the personality of the players a little bit more. That’s going to be during batting practice. Then I’ll probably just watch the derby from the MLB suite; that's what I did last year. Or if I can find some empty seats in the stands I’ll do that too, because I love sitting down in the stands and Target Field is absolutely beautiful.
DRESSED TO IMPRESS: The Red Carpet Show is always a lot of fun because it’s a chance to see the players outside of their uniforms and their hats. These guys actually have a lot of style -- well most of them do. So it’s fun to see ANDREW MCCUTCHEN out there in his three-piece suit with his white pants and ADAM JONES is a perennial All-Star who always comes in with a lot of swag and a lot of style. So it’s fun to see these guys get all dressed up and it’s fun to get dressed up ourselves and go out there and talk to them about things other than baseball.
HEY NOW, YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR: After the Red Carpet, I’ll change out of my fancy little gown into something more appropriate for running around a baseball field and I’ll go straight over and do interviews for “INTENTIONAL TALK” and “MLB TONIGHT” during batting practice. From there, I’m doing postgame interviews with MATT YALLOF -- one of us will be on the American League side, one will be on the National League side. But the postgame for the All-Star Game is really in-game, because the starters come out of the game any time after the second inning. Sometimes, those guys have to catch flights to get back to their teams and they want to be interviewed as soon as they come out of the game so they don’t have to stick around too long after.