We’re heading into the third year of MLB Network’s Clubhouse Edition alternate broadcasts, featuring former players and broadcasters discussing games in real time in a casual setting. The first Clubhouse Edition broadcast of 2023 takes place Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the Los Angeles Angels-New York Yankees game, and it’s part of a wider MLBN showcase of that series this week. On Wednesday, the network will send MLB Tonight co-host Harold Reynolds to Yankee Stadium to co-host the show live from there, ahead of the MLBN Showcase broadcast of game itself (a 7 p.m. ET start with Matt Vasgersian, Tom Verducci and Jon Morosi on the call). But first, there’s this Clubhouse Edition broadcast, featuring Siera Santos, CC Sabathia, and Chris Young:
Angels vs. Yankees on @MLBNetwork:
— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) April 17, 2023
Here’s some of what Sabathia had to say about that, and about broadcasting a game from Yankee Stadium in particular. This is from that linked CBS Sports article, by Matt Snyder:
“The history of the Yankees coincides with the history of baseball,” Sabathia said. “So many things have happened in the Bronx and at that stadium and I think people feel that. If you go in there and have a cool night in Yankee Stadium, you’re name’s gonna be in there with like Lou Gehrig or, for me, it would be like Whitey Ford or Ron Guidry. The stadium just has that star quality. It’s like MSG. When you show up to New York it’s like you show up to Broadway. Everybody wants to put on their best performance here.”
Another thing that Snyder mentions is Sabathia’s role in originating the Clubhouse Edition broadcasts. We covered that back in April 2021, around the first broadcast of this kind (featuring the Yankees against the then-Cleveland Indians):
“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,” said Sabathia. “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.”
Thus far, that concept has been a clear hit for MLBN, and they’re now set to bring it back for a third season. And it’s notable to see them starting with an Angels-Yankees game in the Bronx.
It’s also interesting to see a wider MLBN focus on a particular series, which will include Reynolds (one of the two new permanent hosts for MLB Tonight this season, alongside Adnan Virk) going out to that stadium pregame Wednesday. Reynolds has already done that road hosting gig a couple of times, once from the Mets’ Citi Field and once from the Jackie Robinson Museum in Manhattan, and it seems like a cool way to give MLB Tonight something extra.
And pairing this with the game the network is going to broadcast as a MLBN Showcase adds to it further. But there’s also good logic to MLBN putting a multi-day focus on a specific series, especially when it involves stars like Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout. On that front, senior vice president of MLBN production Marc Caiafa told AA the Ohtani-Judge battles give them something wider to key on for the week:
“It gives us a backbone for the week. Something for all of us to pull together on and get creative with. We like putting in all we have at different events – Opening Day, Trade Deadline, All-Star, Winter Meetings and so on – so to take a week where Ohtani is going up against Judge for a few days, we want to capitalize and get everybody talking about it.”
We’ll see how that turns out for MLBN.
[MLB Network PR on Twitter]