Back in April, MLB Network debuted the MLB Network Showcase: Clubhouse Edition format for a New York Yankees-Cleveland Indians game, with a goal of being a broadcast to “share the organic conversations that take place among a group of former players as if they are watching a game from home.” That broadcast was hosted by MLBN’s Stephen Nelson and featured former players Carlos Pena, John Smoltz, and CC Sabathia, with it marking Sabathia’s first national broadcast since his retirement and with him described as a driving force behind it. Well, that approach is coming back next Tuesday for a Los Angeles Angels-San Francisco Giants broadcast, and so is Sabathia. Here’s more from a MLB Network release:
MLB Network Showcase: Clubhouse Edition – a new, non-traditional game telecast format MLB Network debuted this past April – will return when the Los Angeles Angels visit the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, June 1 at 9:30 p.m. ET. In a format designed to spotlight the organic conversations that take place among a group of former players when they watch a game, All-Stars Sean Casey, CC Sabathia and new MLB Network analyst Chris Young will join host Stephen Nelson to call the action from a casual setup inside MLB Network’s Studio 21.
Here are some highlights from the first broadcast in this format in April:
And here’s what Sabathia said about that broadcast format in a release ahead of April’s game:
“Whenever I watch games with my friends and former teammates, I always say that it would be cool if the cameras were rolling and people could listen to our different conversations. I’m excited to test this vision out for fans on MLB Network, especially with the game involving two organizations I’m incredibly familiar with.”
This time around, it won’t be organizations Sabathia is so closely connected to. But that’s an important part of testing this out as an overall concept, and testing him out as a national analyst. And it’s notable that while there’s some crossover between this cast and the first one with Sabathia and Nelson, the other two analysts featured here will be different. So this will also be an opportunity to see how Young (who just joined MLBN) and Casey do in this format.
As MLBN’s release goes on to note, this is one of four different formats MLB Network has used for games this year. In addition to their regular MLB Network Showcase approach, they’ve also done MLB Network Statcast and MLB Network Showcase – MLB Tonight style. It’s interesting to see them playing around with their game presentation ideas, and it’s definitely notable that they’re returning to the “Clubhouse Edition” idea. We’ll see if it’s used more regularly going forward.
[Screengrab from MLB Network on YouTube]