MLB Net Exec Dishes On Production Pivot Following Betts Trade
MLB Network Senior VP/Production Dave Patterson got an "all quiet" on the Mookie Betts front from Ken Rosenthal on Tuesday night around 8:00pm ET. But by the time Patterson was pulling into his driveway 30 minutes later, he knew he had to head back to the studio in Secaucus, N.J. as the Red Sox-Dodgers trade began to come into focus. Rosenthal let Patterson know that talks between the teams were escalating around 8:30pm, or as Patterson puts it, "something was shaking." MLB Net remote coordinating producer Marc Caiafa soon after called Patterson to confirm the trade had been agreed upon. Patterson: "Once that happened, I knew I had to get back in. You just have to get in there and start helping out. It's a credit to our production staff and talent that they pulled it together."
TOUCHING BASE: Patterson made two immediate calls from his car to coordinating producer Mitch Green and analyst Harold Reynolds as the net prepared to go with live coverage. "Usually as soon as my name comes up on Harold's phone he knows something's up. He picked up and said, 'I'm on my way in.'" Had Reynolds been unable to come into the studio, Patterson said his next call would have been to either Dan Plesac or Ron Darling.
DEVIL IN THE DETAILS: As news of the trade circulated online in the 9:00pm hour, Patterson's team moved quickly to go live with "MLB Tonight" at 10:00pm following a showing of "The Sandlot." Patterson: "At that point you're just trying to get on the air and make sure you have all the right information. ... It's hard in this age with social media when everybody's out there reporting. You have to be really careful to sift through and make sure you're giving the right information to the viewer as it's developing. That's the tough part."
BRINGING IT HOME: Host Matt Yalloff, who was on-site when the trade broke, anchored live coverage by himself for a brief period before he was joined by Reynolds. "MLB Tonight" then stayed live for two hours with reactions to the trade that ended up also including the Twins. Rosenthal, the N.Y. Post's Joel Sherman, Boston Sports Journal's Sean McAdam and Dodgers reporter David Vassegh joined via FaceTime interviews. Per MLB Net, viewership grew 89% in the hour after the trade news began to come out.
FLUID SITUATION: For Patterson, it was a night to showcase his team's flexibility as one of MLB's biggest stars changed jerseys. "It's one of those nights you get excited about. We knew it was going to go down, it was just a matter of when. Of course it couldn't happen at 3 in the afternoon when we have everyone (on location). But we had plans in place and we were able to execute."