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Don Mattingly Featured in Next ‘MLB Network Presents’ Documentary

‘Donnie Baseball’ premieres Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

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Don Mattingly retired as an active Major League Baseball player after the 1995 season. So it’s been 27 years since he’s taken the field with a glove or bat.

A generation of baseball fans only know Mattingly as a manager, leading the Los Angeles for five years and going into his seventh season as the Miami Marlins’ skipper. But an upcoming MLB Network documentary can remind longtime fans and inform younger viewers on what a great player he was, No. 23 for the New York Yankees.

MLB Network Presents: Donnie Baseball premieres Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Just before Opening Day on April 7, the documentary can provide an appetizer for the upcoming 2022 season and a dose of nostalgia for those who enjoyed watching Mattingly play.

Check out the trailer below:

As New York Post baseball columnist Joel Sherman notes in the trailer, Mattingly was the face of MLB — certainly the face of the Yankees — during the 1980s. For a four- to five-year span, he was one of the best hitters in baseball. In 1985, he won the American League Most Valuable Player award, batting .324 with a .939 OPS, 35 home runs, 48 doubles, and 145 RBI.

If only Mattingly played in a different decade, or his back allowed him to play longer, he might be even more highly regarded. His career unfortunately ended as the Yankees regained their standing as one of the top teams in baseball. They won the World Series in 1996, the year after Mattingly retired, and went on to win another four championships in the next 11 seasons.

Donnie Baseball also chronicles Mattingly’s battles with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who threatened to trade him. Mattingly played in an era when Steinbrenner was one of the most infamous figures in baseball, constantly firing managers, alienating star players, and interfering with how the roster was put together.

In addition to Mattingly being interviewed, former players, reporters, and broadcasters appearing in the documentary include George Brett, Wade Boggs, Mike Pagliarulo, Bernie Williams, Buck Showalter, Joe Torre, Michael Kay, and Suzyn Waldman.

MLB Network Presents: Donnie Baseball premieres Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m ET.

Sports TV News

Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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