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Our national pastime goes full-time.

December 29, 2008 - Michael Palmer
Football season is coming to a close, thankfully if you are a Detroit Lions or Cleveland Browns fan.

This leaves a void for those of us who do not like to watch basketball on the tube.

Thankfully this year there is an outlet coming available for the die hard baseball fan that will fill the void between football friday nights and take me out to the ball game. Major League Baseball Network will launch on Comcast Channel 124 & 181 and DirecTV 213 New Year’s Day night at 6. Major League Baseball 24/7 on TV — you gotta love it.

First up will be at 6:00 PM Thursday is Hot Stove Live A Studio Show Dealing Extensively with Off-Season Trades, Free Agent Signings and Player Movement Rumors

Then at 7:00 PM All-Time Games 1956 World Series Game 5 Brooklyn Dodgers @ NY Yankees featuring Don Larsen's Perfect Game with the original call by legendary baseball broadcasters Mel Allen and Vin Scully. Stay tuned following the conclusion of the game for a sit-down interview with batterymates Don Larsen and Yogi Berra

And with a stable of talent that includes broadcasting stars Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter, Matt Vasgersian, Joe Magrane, Barry Larkin, Dan Plesac, Hazel Mae, Trenni Kusnierek and Victor Rojas, you'll be getting baseball 24 hours a day from the experts via live games, original programming, highlights, classic games and coverage of baseball events.

Reynolds was a studio analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight from 1996–2006. He spent the first 10 years of his professional career in the majors with the Seattle Mariners from 1983 to 1992. Reynolds was a career .258 hitter with 21 home runs and 353 RBI in 1374 games.

Baseball fans will remember that Braves baseball became a regular cable tradition in December 1976, when Ted Turner's Atlanta-based WTCG (Turner Communications Group) network was first transmitted via satellite, effectively becoming cable's first "superstation," and Chicago's WGN-TV followed, bringing Cubs and White Sox games to the nation beginning in 1978.

Now we can get our fix of pinetar and resin from across the lower 48 as the MLB Network expects to carry 26 live baseball games on Thursday nights next season.

Other early programming will include portions of the 2009 World Baseball Classic as well as highlights, studio programming, international and developmental league games and archival material.

On Jan. 12, the 2009 Class of the Baseball Hall of Fame will also be announced.

Also in the works is a nightly news and highlight show patterned after ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. “MLB Tonight” will be the signature show of MLB Network.

It will air Monday through Saturday from 6 p.m. until the final out of the last MLB game of the night is over. The show will feature live look-ins, updates, highlights, news and analysis.

So if you get a chance during the college football extravaganza that we know as New Years Day, flip the remote over to MLB and check out the new channel. The two programs will run four times in a loop so if the evening game is too exciting to turn the channel, no pressure.

Have a safe and sober New Year, talk to you in 2009.


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