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At the All-Star Game: Dibble Does Insane Cowboy Outfit PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 16:44

Dibble at the All-Star Game

There's not a lot one can say about what Rob Dibble is wearing today at the All-Star Game. Here he is during the AL batting practice... Cowboy Up seems totally inadequate.

(Look for updates from the All-Star Game here on The Biz of Baseball, and on Twitter @BizBallMaury, through Weds.)


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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Brewers Announcer Bob Uecker Released From Hospital PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 06 May 2010 16:17

Bob Uecker

Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker has been released from Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital after undergoing successful heart surgery last Friday.

“I am extremely grateful for the well wishes from Brewers fans, friends and associates, as their support has been a great comfort to me and my family” Uecker said. “I also want to thank the doctors and staff at Froedtert for the extraordinary care that they have provided, and I believe their standard of care for all patients is unmatched. I am encouraged that the recovery process is going very well and I look forward to a return to the broadcast booth later this summer.”

The surgery last week was performed by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiothoracic Surgeon Alfred C. Nicolosi, MD.

The Brewers inform that no interviews are available at this time, but it is expected that Uecker will be made available to the media in a press briefing at Miller Park at some point during his recovery.

Source: Milwaukee Brewers


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Broadcasting Legend Ernie Harwell Dead at 92 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 19:33

Ernie Harwell - 1918-2010

UPDATE #2: Statements from the Detriot Tigers ownership and management

UPDATE: Commissioner Selig releases statement on Harwell's passing.


Ernie Harwell, one of baseball’s more revered and respected broadcasters died, Tuesday evening after a year-long bout with cancer. He was 92.

Harwell, the longtime Tigers broadcaster, died at home. According to the Detroit Free-Press:

He died in his apartment at Fox Run Village, a retirement center in Novi, with Lulu, his wife of 68 years, at his side. His death came eight months to the day after he revealed to his fans, in an interview with the Free Press, that he had a cancerous tumor in the area of his bile duct and that in late July he had been given only a few months to live.

Harwell told MLB Network’s Bob Costas in a November interview, “This will be my last World Series, I think. Back in July, the doctors gave me six months to live, give or take a few months. I’m hoping to reach my birthday on January 25 but I’m pretty sure I won’t make the baseball season. But you never know as the Lord works wonders.”

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig issued the following statement tonight regarding the passing of Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell at age 92:

“All of Major League Baseball is in mourning tonight upon learning of the loss of a giant of our game, Ernie Harwell. This son of Georgia was the voice of the Detroit Tigers and one of the game’s iconic announcers to fans across America , always representing the best of our national pastime to his generations of listeners.

“Without question, Ernie was one of the finest and most distinguished gentlemen I have ever met. On behalf of Major League Baseball , I extend my deepest sympathy to Ernie’s beloved wife Lulu, his four children, his friends and his countless admirers throughout our game.”

The following statement is attributable to Michael Ilitch (Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers and Michael and Marian Ilitch are co-owners of Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment and several other businesses).

"Ernie Harwell was the most popular sports figure in the State of Michigan. He was so genuine in everything that he did – from his legendary broadcasting to the way he treated the fans and everyone around him. He was truly a gentleman in every sense of the word. Ernie has a special place in the hearts of all Detroit Tigers' fans and the memories he created for so many of us will never be forgotten. Baseball lost a legendary voice this evening and we have all lost a dear friend. Marian and I, and our entire organization, extend our deepest sympathies to Ernie's wife, Lulu, and to the Harwell family."

The following statement is attributable to David Dombrowski, president, CEO and General Manager of the Detroit Tigers.

"Ernie was so engaging. He had such a genuine gift of making people feel like he was your friend. Ernie made you feel good about life, and brought a smile to everyone he knew. His passion and wisdom during each broadcast gave you insight to his love for the Tigers, and for the state of Michigan. The entire Detroit Tigers' family extends their heartfelt condolences to his wife, Lulu, and the Harwell family.”

The following statement is attributable to Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc.

“We lost a true legend today – not just in baseball, but in life. Ernie was one-of-a-kind. He was warm, passionate and had an unmatched love for the game of baseball… and he also loved Detroit and entire State of Michigan. We were lucky to have Ernie in our lives; he will surely be missed by baseball fans and anyone who has ever had the privilege to meet him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Lulu and the Harwell family.”

More details as they become available. Our condolances to the Harwell family.

SEE ERNIE HARWELL RECITE HIS HOF SPEECH

SEE VIN SCULLY RECALL HARWELL


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Bob Uecker Has Successful Heart Surgery PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 30 April 2010 15:38

Bob UeckerAccording to the Milwaukee Brewers, radio broadcaster Bob Uecker today underwent successful heart surgery today at Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital. The six-hour surgery was performed by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiothoracic Surgeon Alfred C. Nicolosi, MD.

“As of 2:30 pm, Bob is out of surgery and in the ICU. We are pleased that Mr. Uecker's surgery went smoothly today," said Nicolosi. "We replaced his aortic valve, aortic root and part of his ascending aorta. We also did a coronary bypass on one vessel."

It is expected that Uecker will remain hospitalized at Froedtert for approximately five to seven days, with a full recovery expected to run 10-12 weeks.

“On behalf of the entire Brewers organization, we are relieved to know that Bob’s surgery went as planned, and we look forward to his complete and speedy recovery,” said Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio. “I know Bob appreciates just how eager Brewer fans are to hear his wit, passion, and knowledge of baseball as well as all things Milwaukee—since listening to him is such a big part of our summers. Get well, Bob.”

“Our family is thrilled with the outcome of today’s surgery,” said Bob Uecker, Jr., son of Bob, Sr. “We’re grateful to the staff at Froedtert for their medical and professional care; they have been terrific every step of the way. We also want to thank our extended family, friends and all of the fans who have expressed their concern for my father; we appreciate their thoughtful and kind wishes.”

Periodic updates regarding Uecker’s condition will be announced through the Brewers. The clubs states that at this time, no interviews are being granted.


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Sirius XM's MLB Home Plate to be Rebranded "MLB Network Radio" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 26 March 2010 12:20

MLB NetworkMajor League Baseball and MLB Network announced today that MLB will be rebranding the MLB Home Plate channel on Sirius XM Radio as MLB Network Radio effective April 4, Opening Day of the regular season. The partnership will see a considerable amount of MLB Network television programming aired on Home Plate including MLB Tonight.

Financial terms and contract length were not released.

MLB Network Radio will be heard on the same channels as MLB Home Plate was aired on prior (XM 175/ Sirius 210).

The move is the first vertical growth of MLB Network, which was launched on Jan 1 of 2009.

“We feel fortunate to have a powerful platform on both television and radio that are dedicated to Major League Baseball 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, “ said Chris Tully, Senior VP, Broadcasting, Major League Baseball. “In bringing MLB Network content to MLB Network Radio listeners through our partnership with Sirius XM, we’re maximizing both platforms for the benefit of fans.”

“We are excited to provide our live and feature programming, including our signature studio show, MLB Tonight, to a different audience at MLB Network Radio on XM,” said Tony Pettiti, President and CEO of MLB Network. “When fans are in their cars and can’t watch MLB Network on TV, they can tune in to our programming on satellite radio. It’s important for us to continue to raise awareness about MLB Network’s programming and deep roster of on-air talent as we enter our second regular season on the air.”


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Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Radio Personality Chuck Wilson Returning to ESPN Radio PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 18:05

 

Chuck Wilson

Radio personality Chuck Wilson is headed back to ESPN Radio. His first assignment will be to host Sunday’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Selection show that will air from approximately 5:30 pm ET to 9:00 pm ET (following the Boston Celtics-Cleveland Cavaliers game on ESPN Radio). Wilson will host “Baseball Tonight”, “Football Tonight” and other programs on ESPN Radio.

“I’m excited to re-join my colleagues at ESPN Radio,” Wilson said in a statement. “Our goal every night is to inform, entertain and bring you insight.  We’re in a Twitter world, immediately flooded with sports news, in which anybody can post a story. What’s true and what isn’t?”

Wilson was a host when ESPN Radio launched as a weekend network on January 4th, 1992 and the  the first ESPN Radio host hired in November, 1991. He joined ESPN Radio full-time in 1994 and moved from weekends to weeknights when ESPN Radio premiered "Gamenight" in 1995. Wilson remained on "Gamenight" for the next 10-years, until late July, 2005.

He is a winner of two International awards for interviewing and reporting  as co-host of ESPN Radio “SportsCenter” and ESPN Radio “Viewpoints. Also honored as host of the acclaimed “ESPN Classic Presents the Legends on ESPN Radio”, conducting in-depth, one-on-one interviews with legendary sports figures. Wilson has worked with over 200 different co-hosts at ESPN Radio.

In September, 2005, Wilson joined XM Satellite Radio. He hosted several shows on the baseball channel in his three years there. Also wrote, co-produced and narrated specials for the channel, including “Yankee Stadium Remembered”.

In 2007, Chuck Wilson was named one of the “100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America” by the Institute for International Sport. Wilson was selected from a list of more than 1,500 nominees. The only other broadcaster named was Bob Costas.

In December, 2009, Sports Illustrated named Chuck Wilson runner-up for "Best National Radio Host" of the decade.

Wilson will continue to assist in the creation of content for 4eProductions, a multimedia company, where, as Director of Ethics, he is involved in developing values-rich programs for kids.

Wilson seems excited to rejoin ESPN Radio

“We track down breaking stories, injury reports, line-up changes. You name it. We find out what’s accurate and then provide context. What does it really mean?  Why was the trade made?  How will it affect your team?  It’s what I like to call ‘informed opinion’.  We have the contacts to reach the athletes, agents and decision-makers, an outstanding research department, and a terrific collection of analysts to break it all down.  Hopefully, you come away with a better perspective on the stories you care about.”


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Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Sirius/XM Radio Releases Spring Training Broadcast Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 04 March 2010 08:27

Sirius/XM

SIRIUS XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) will embark on its 2010 Spring Training Tour on Friday, March 5, taking listeners to 30 Major League Baseball Spring Training sites in three weeks. MLB Home Plate, SIRIUS XM's 24-hour baseball talk channel, and Mad Dog Radio, SIRIUS XM's all-sports talk channel, will broadcast live from ballparks in Arizona and Florida, offering baseball fans an in-depth look at every Major League club and one-on-one interviews with managers, players and team executives.

On MLB Home Plate (XM channel 175, SIRIUS channel 210), Cal Ripken Jr., former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, former Rangers and Red Sox manager Kevin Kennedy, and host Casey Stern will cover Arizona's Cactus League, hosting Inside Pitch (1:00–4:00 pm ET/10:00am-1:00pm PT) from 10 ballparks in and around the Phoenix area from March 5–14.  In Florida to cover the Grapefruit League, from March 15-24, will be MLB Home Plate hosts Jim Duquette, the former GM of the Orioles and Mets, former All-Star pitcher Rob Dibble, and host Jody McDonald, who will host Power Alley (10:00am-1:00pm ET/7:00-10:00am PT) from 10 Spring Training sites.

On Mad Dog Radio (SIRIUS channel 123, XM channel 144), Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo will host his daily all-sports talk show, Mad Dog Unleashed, from five Florida Spring Training locations from March 8-12.  From March 22-26, Russo will host the show from five different Arizona sites.  Mad Dog Unleashed airs every weekday (2:00–7:00 pm ET).

Select Read More to see the 2010 SIRIUS XM Radio Spring Training Tour Schedule: (All times ET):

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Red Sox Radio Broadcasts Return to WEEI PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 25 August 2009 15:07

Red SoxEntercom New England announced today that, effective with the team’s game against the Chicago White Sox Wednesday evening, August 26th, all future Boston Red Sox games will be carried on WEEI 850 AM in Boston, the flagship station of the WEEI Sports Radio Network.

From 1995 to 2006, Red Sox games were carried exclusively on WEEI. In 2006, the games were shifted to Entercom sister station WRKO AM 680.

“We have a tremendously close partnership with the Red Sox, and are very excited to bring them back to WEEI,” said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England’s Vice President of AM Programming. “This move will add consistency to our lineup, whereby all of our sports assets will be consolidated in the same place. There’s no better compliment to the Boston Celtics, Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday, Sunday Night and Monday Night NFL football, the Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, than adding Red Sox baseball back to nation’s biggest sports radio station.”

Added Julie Kahn, Entercom New England Market Manager/VP: “We’re delighted to bring the Red Sox back to their original home on WEEI.  The Red Sox and WEEI have a long history together and it’s a partnership that’s a win for all – WEEI, the Sox and the Boston sports fans.”

“Our partnership with Entercom ensures that Red Sox fans know where to go for the best, most compelling sports news and features on radio,” said Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino.  “Today’s announcement marks a return home for us, and now all of Red Sox Nation will know they can turn to WEEI to catch every Red Sox game all season long.”

The WEEI sports radio network includes the following stations:

  • WEEI-850 AM                                      Boston, MA
  • WEII-96.3 FM                                      Cape Cod, MA
  • WEEI-103.7 FM                                    Providence, RI
  • WVEI-105.5 FM                                    Springfield, MA
  • WVEI-1440 AM                                    Worcester, MA
  • WPEI 95.9 FM                                      Portland, ME
  • WEEY-93.5 FM                                     Keene, NH
  • WAEI-AM-910 AM / WAEI 97.1 FM          Bangor, ME

Source: Entercom New England


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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XM Radio Releases 2009 MLB Broadcast Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 03 April 2009 23:31
XM RadioSIRIUS XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) announced Friday that XM Radio will air every game of the 2009 MLB season live nationwide starting with Opening Night, April 5, when the World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies will host the Atlanta Braves at 8:00 pm ET at Citizens Bank Park. Listeners from coast to coast will hear the Phillies radio broadcast for the game, featuring legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas, Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, on XM channel 175.

MLB Home Plate, SIRIUS XM's 24-hour baseball talk channel, will broadcast live on Opening Night from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia prior to the Phillies-Braves game. Scott Graham and former Major League catcher and manager Buck Martinez will host a pre-game special from 5:00-8:00 pm, interviewing players and talking to fans around the country as a lead-in to that night's game and the start of the 2009 season.

The following day, April 6, XM will carry all 13 games from MLB's traditional Opening Day. Through the regular season and post-season, XM will air every game from all 30 Major League teams on XM channels 175 to 189. A schedule of upcoming MLB games on XM can be found at www.xmradio.com/mlb. Listeners can also get Spanish-language broadcasts of games on MLB En Espanol, XM channel 174.

On Monday, April 6, MLB Home Plate host and former Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox manager Kevin Kennedy will report live from Fenway Park in Boston before the Red Sox play the Tampa Bay Rays and from 1:00-4:00 pm ET, Seth Everett and former Mets GM Jim Duquette will host a special edition of their daily MLB Home Plate show, Power Alley, live from Camden Yards in Baltimore before the Orioles face the New York Yankees.

"Once again XM listeners will have access to every Major League Baseball game with no blackouts or exclusions," said Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS XM's President and Chief Content Officer. "So no matter where they live, fans won't miss a game involving their favorite team. Plus, they'll be treated to game calls from some of the game's legendary voices like Vin Scully, Harry Kalas, Bob Uecker and others."

In addition to live play-by-play coverage, SIRIUS XM offers baseball fans 24 hour coverage of the game on MLB Home Plate, the only radio channel dedicated to covering Major League Baseball seven days a week, 365 days a year. Now available to both XM and SIRIUS subscribers (XM channel 175, SIRIUS channel 210 with the "Best of XM" programming package), MLB Home Plate offers the most comprehensive radio coverage of the Major Leagues with a daily lineup of talk shows hosted by baseball experts and insiders like Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Ripken, Rob Dibble, Jim Duquette, Kevin Kennedy, Buck Martinez and others.

"MLB Home Plate offers both XM and SIRIUS listeners a true insider's look at the game," said Greenstein. "Our hosts provide the kind of perspective that can only be learned as a big league player, manager or front office executive. Listeners can hear compelling interviews with players and managers every day and fans can call in to talk about the topics that are on their minds."

Select Read More to see the XM Radio MLB Schedule for 2009

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With Season Approaching, 9 Million Sirius Subs Unable to Listen to MLB PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 09 March 2009 09:26

XM SiriusWith the 2009 MLB season now less just three weeks away, the approx. 9 million Sirius satellite radio subscribers looking forward to hearing MLB games after the satcaster merged with XM, may be unable to listen to games due to negotiations between the league and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

According to a report in today’s edition of the SportsBusiness Journal, the issue centers around the 2004 exclusivity deal that MLB made with XM Satellite Radio before the two satcaster giants merged. The agreement is for 11-years with a total value of $650 million. With the merger between Sirius and XM, any bidding war for broadcast rights between the two have eroded. As reported by the SBJ:

Now, baseball executives want to maintain that platform exclusivity unless a new deal can be worked out. Since the merger of the two platforms passed regulatory hurdles last summer, Sirius XM executives have been pushing for the leagues, like the NFL, NBA, NASCAR and MLB, to give up that exclusivity and make their programming available to all 19 million subscribers under terms of existing deals.

The NFL and NBA originally signed exclusive deals with Sirius, but once the satellite radio companies merged, they allowed their game programming to be broadcast on both for the same rights fee they had been getting, sources said.

But MLB is holding out, unless it can work a better deal, which almost certainly means a higher rights fee.

As the report notes, MLB enjoys the most lucrative satellite radio agreement of any sports league pulling in on average $59 million annually. By comparison, the NFL’s deal with Sirius averages to $31 million a year and NASCAR’s Sirius deal averages $21 million a year. The SBJ reports that NBA’s rights fee is not known.


Maury BrownMaury 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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