The problems with the MLB Network are well understood. The ratings are poor and the programming is spotty. Rather than doing more of the above, four and a half minutes of didactic baseball greatness, the programming on MLBN seems to alternate between a braying scab in a Guy Fieri costume GOT HEEMing and lists on lists on lists on lists.

Which is a shame, as this segment with Baseball Prospectus editor Ben Lindbergh is tremendous. I mean, treeeeeeeeeemendous. Ben knows his stuff, host Brian Kenny is engaged and the video accompaniment visually hammers the point — that Jose Molina saves copious runs with his next-level pitch framing — home convincingly and efficiently. The former player segment with long-time pro Dave Valle is an invaluable yin to Ben’s learned baseball nerd* yang.

Kudos, everyone at Clubhouse Confidential and great job to Ben. Stuff like this makes me eagerly await the inevitable disappointment of MLB Network Canada. Not allowing the embedded video to play on Getting Blanked (South Park reference goes here) is a serious buzz kill, however. This is why we can’t have nice things, MLBN!

* – said with love, respect, and no small amount of envy.

Comments (5)

  1. That was a pretty awesome video. Now I see why Montero probably won’t stick behind the plate.

  2. Every time the phrase “pitch framing” is uttered (and it is becoming increasingly mainstream), you would think the Umpires would be incensed. Because it is basically saying “you are easily conned”. At some point, you would think they would actively strive to neutralize this. Moreover, as some are wont to do, some would start over-compensating and be LESS likely to give the borderline calls to the Molinas of the world who are making them look so easily swayed.

  3. I’m sure “Got Heeem” and Intential Talk aren’t for everyone. But I enjoy it as much as I do Clubhouse Confidential. I’m glad I have a place to go where I can see player insight as well as statistical analysis. Too much of one over the other can get boring, in my opinion.

  4. Arg..I find the whole idea of “pitch framing” annoying and a major flaw in the game. Strike zones should not be subjective nor should the manner a catcher receives the ball dictate whether a pitch is ruled a ball or a strike. The only thing more worse then the term “framing a pitch” is when umpires are described as having a custom strike zone, whether it be large, small or some nuance such as calling a lot of inside pitches strikes. The strike zone is the strike zone is the strike zone. It is 2013 and this crap needs to stop. Pitchers should have small devices that along with a their counter, indicate whether or not a pitch is actually a strike or a ball. They should be expected to in game monitor their calls compared to reality and make the appropriate in game adjustments to their calling of balls and strikes. Technology does not need to be used to directly call balls and strikes but should be used to force umpires to adhere to a standard strike zone and prevent catchers like Molina from being able to get all of these terribly outside pitches to be called strikes because he has the hands of a magician. It is as if we are rewarding teams who’s catchers are able to use slight of hand to trick umpires. I don’t like it one bit.

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