It’s been known for weeks now that MLB Network will launch at 6:00pm ET on January 1 with the debut of Hot Stove, but who will viewers see on day one? And, for that matter, on day two?
Thursday’s episode of Hot Stove will be hosted by Victor Rojas and will feature analysts Barry Larkin, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds, along with reporters Trenni Kusnierek and Hazel Mae, baseball insiders Jon Heyman and Tom Verducci and special guest Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies. Friday’s Hot Stove, which begins at its regular time of 7:00pm ET, will feature the same studio team, plus special guest Michael Cuddyer of the Minnesota Twins.
In addition, MLB Network has added new episodes of Hot Stove for this weekend, at 7:00pm ET on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s show will be hosted by Rojas with analysts Joe Magrane, Mitch Williams and Reynolds, along with Heyman as baseball insider and Greg Amsinger on the update desk, and featuring former Major League pitcher Mike Flanagan as special guest. Sunday’s show will mark Amsinger’s debut as host, and he’ll be joined by Magrane, Reynolds, Williams and Heyman.
As noted, Tom Verducci has been added to the MLB Network’s line-up.
The Sports Illustrated Senior Writer will join the studio team as a “Baseball Insider.” Verducci will appear on the debut episode of Hot Stove, at 6:00 p.m. ET on January 1, as well as MLB Tonight, the live, nightly studio show during the baseball season that will be the signature program of the new network, which will launch on January 1, 2009, in approximately 50 million homes as the largest network debut in cable history. Verducci, who will continue to write for Sports Illustrated and SI.com joins SI colleague Jon Heyman, on the MLB Network team.
“Tom’s insight and perspective is very well respected by everyone associated with baseball,” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network. “It’s very important for us to have Tom and Jon on board from day one to establish our credibility, and we feel we got two of best people for the job.”
To recap, here are the dates, times and studio teams for the first four episodes of Hot Stove on MLB Network:
- Thursday, January 1, 6:00pm ET
Victor Rojas (host), Barry Larkin, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds (analysts), Trenni Kusnierek and Hazel Mae (reporters), Jon Heyman and Tom Verducci (baseball insiders), Jimmy Rollins (guest)
- Friday, January 2, 7:00pm ET
Victor Rojas (host), Barry Larkin, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds (analysts), Trenni Kusnierek and Hazel Mae (reporters), Jon Heyman (baseball insider), Michael Cuddyer (guest)
- Saturday, January 3, 7:00pm ET
Victor Rojas (host), Joe Magrane, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams (analysts), Greg Amsinger (reporter), Jon Heyman (baseball insider), Mike Flanagan (guest)
- Sunday, January 4, 7:00pm ET
Greg Amsinger (host), Joe Magrane, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams (analysts), Jon Heyman (baseball insider)
Source: MLB Network
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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