Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Bob Ojeda, Chris Carlin are SNY's new Mets studio duo

The main element of my Friday newspaper column is a look at SNY's new Mets studio team of Bob Ojeda and Chris Carlin.

You can read about that here if you are interested.

Due to a technical glitch, the other elements of my page in the preview section do not appear on the Web site, so I can't link to them.

Click below for the original, unedited versions preserved in my laptop of items about Steve Phillips joining the ESPN Sunday night booth, John Sterling's seniority among MLB announcers and the MLB Network's studio show plans.Best’s bets:

Phillips joins ESPN booth

ESPN has been making a big deal about its 20th season televising MLB – just check my inbox – in part out of pride but surely also as a reminder it has been around much longer than the MLB Network, its new sort-of competitor.

While MLB Network has an edge over ESPN in the hours it can devote to its studio shows on baseball, ESPN still has the far bigger inventory of live games, notably its Sunday night centerpiece.

The big news there this season is the first change in the game booth in the two decades since Jon Miller and Joe Morgan were paired.

Joining them will be Steve Phillips, who to this point primarily has been a studio presence but also has analyzed Monday night games.

Miller said Phillips’ perspective as a former executive would complement Morgan’s as a Hall of Fame player.

Was there any resentment about adding a new voice to an old team after all these years?

Miller suggested the comfort with Phillips helped avoid that. “We might not have been as excited,’’ he said, “if it were someone else they were talking about moving in.’’

Strange but true:

Baseball voices are evergreen

It might seem as if John Sterling has been calling Yankees forever, but in fact he is a relative newcomer on the list of longest streaks of consecutive seasons as an announcer for one baseball team.

Sterling’s 20 years ranks only 14th overall and seventh in the American League.

The leader, of course, is Vin Scully, entering his 60th season with the Dodgers.

Others far ahead of Sterling include Denny Matthews of the Royals (40 seasons), Bob Uecker of the Brewers and Harry Kalas of the Philles (38) and Mike Shannon of the Cardinals (37).



Yrs. Announcer, team Started

40 Denny Matthews, Kansas City Royals 1969

32 Dave Niehaus, Seattle Mariners 1977

30 Eric Nadel, Texas Rangers 1979

27 Jerry Howarth, Toronto Blue Jays 1982

26 Joe Castiglione, Boston Red Sox 1983

22 John Gordon, Minnesota Twins 1987

20 John Sterling, Yankees 1989


59 Vin Scully, Los Angeles Dodgers 1950

38 Bob Uecker, Milwaukee Brewers 1971

38 Harry Kalas, Philadelphia Phillies 1971

37 Mike Shannon, St. Louis Cardinals 1972

*36 Jerry Coleman, San Diego Padres 1972

35 Marty Brennaman, Cincinnati Reds 1974

24 Milo Hamilton, Houston Astros 1985

*spent 1980 as manager, returned to booth in 1981

Just wondering:

MLB Network will take peeks

The three-month-old MLB Network is off to a promising start, but the true test begins next week.

That is when the real games begin, and thus the channel’s ambitious plans for a nightly studio show that could run for seven or eight hours, through the last pitch on the West Coast.

(The show will be preempted for live Thursday night games.)

Features will include highlights, analysis and interviews from dedicated cameras in every ballpark. But one of the most intriguing elements will be the use of live cut-ins to games in progress.

Regional sports networks want their rights to games protected, so there will be elaborate rules covering how much MLB Network can show – rules that still were being discussed at press time.

“Our goal is to establish somewhat of a live baseball experience without cannibalizing live broadcasts,’’ spokesman Matt Bourne said. “It’s kind of a drop in and see what’s going on."

The network would be happy to have fans bounce back and forth between their team’s game and the studio show.

“If we can be the second choice for baseball fans on a given night,’’ president Tony Petitti said, “that would be pretty good.’’

Tags: sny , mets

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