Two Under-The-Radar Baseball Headlines

Despite rumors, Joe Morgan is apparently not being taken off ESPN's Sunday Night baseball telecasts. According to this USA Today article, Morgan and Jon Miller are getting a third booth partner -- Steve Phillips.

I fail to see how this improves their broadcast. According to the article:

In baseball, ESPN's MLB deal includes its Baseball Tonight having rights to show highlights from games still in progress — a right MLB has granted to its own channel. After responding to the MLB Network with moves like beefing up its MLB winter-meetings coverage, ESPN is likely to keep shaking up coverage beyond adding Phillips to its Sunday games. One possibility: having MLB studio shows air year-round.

"No question ESPN is taking the MLB Network seriously," Phillips says. "But competition is always good."

So far, they haven't convinced me they're doing anything to really improve their on-air product. It's also interesting that I found this info via USA Today's website; there's nothing at ESPN.com about this at all.

Also via USA Today, we learn that at last week's owners meetings, new procedures for tiebreaker games were instituted:

MLB also adopted the recommendation made by general managers in November that coin tosses no longer determine home-field advantage in a tiebreaker game for a playoff berth. The Chicago White Sox won a flip last year and beat the Minnesota Twins 1-0 for the American League Central.

The tiebreaker now will be decided by performance-based criteria beginning with head-to-head records, intra-division records and records the last half of the season in intra-league games.

The article also says that MLB formalized the proposal made after last year's World Series game 5, that all postseason games will be played in their entirety. Smart moves on both parts. Now if they could only do that best record thing for World Series home field...

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