Crisp, pinpoint, smooth, fast -- an almost effortless study in motion.
First baseman tags first, fires to shortstop, who fires to second, who fires to third, who fires to catcher. Or some variation depending on the coach. It is a traditional ritual, a constant push for fundamental perfection. "Whip it around" is just part of the game, and still prominently displayed after strikeouts with the bases empty.
"MLB.com Whiparound" is modeled after that, and the first time you watch it, you will understand what we mean. It is a blockbuster addition to the live BaseballChannel.TV programming menu for this regular season, scheduled to air from 6-7 p.m. ET each weekday and at noon ET on this coming Monday and Thursday.
This unique show will feature live, on-the-scene pregame reports from MLB.com reporters on location. No other baseball media can claim to have 30 traveling MLB beat writers, and these are among the best writers in the business, constantly talking to baseball personnel and keeping you in the know. "MLB.com Whiparound" will check in with every team daily, with coverage anchored from our studios in New York.
Want another new look on BaseballChannel.TV? How about Hal Bodley? His byline and his baseball commentary have been known to millions of fans everywhere for a long time now, in recent years with USA Today. Now he has joined the MLB.com team, so be on the lookout for his on-camera analysis this season. Being able to interact with Bodley right here will be one of the treats for a modern fan in 2008.
Familiar faces are back as well. "Leading Off" will air at 9 a.m. each weekday, again featuring Vinnie Micucci. It's a great way to start your baseball day. Is there any other kind of day?
The always-popular "Fantasy 411" show airs this Monday at 11 a.m., then look for it every weekday from 2-3 p.m. ET. Host Casey Stern will mediate and keep a safe distance between our friends Mike Siano and Cory Schwartz, who actually really do know a lot about fantasy baseball. Remember to comment on their blog, too. There is a good chance they will mention you on the air, possibly in a favorable light.
"News Desk Live" updates will start on the channel each day at 11 a.m. ET and will be at the top of each hour through the end of the last game each night. These will come from the anchor desk and will be available on the site, on-demand. There will be no News Desk Live on weekends. Hey, you're probably at a movie or something then. Or, more likely, you are busy at that time commenting on the "Fantasy 411" blog.
The "Daily Rewind" game recaps will appear on MLB.com about an hour after a game ends, hosted by a revolving cast of anchors. Game preview caps will appear on the Gameday mode of the game preview. Leading Off also will preview some games each day. Then consider the "MLB.com Whiparound" show, and it is easy to see why the average fan can be more prepared than ever heading into every first pitch and then inundated with postgame analysis. It is going to be information city.
This is the first year that game highlight reels (recaps) are free, so enjoy all the action. At the end of the night, all of these will be aggregated and played as a show on BaseballChannel.TV overnight. So they exist both individually and aggregated -- a snack and a meal for those looking for a choice.
The "Channel" -- as it is called in MLB.com parlance -- is the only place on the Internet that offers all baseball, around the clock, 24/7/365. Harold Reynolds will be back as a regular studio expert this season, giving you the kind of baseball analysis and conversation that a generation of fans grew up with watching him on ESPN. Look for special programming, including those classic moments from innings past.
There is something for everyone at BaseballChannel.TV, and you can interact with our talent through emails, IMs, calls, blog comments -- even the occasional snail-mail. It's a new season, with new shows, cutting-edge technology and some good, old-fashioned baseball tradition. Like that new show where they "whip it around." Good chance you said that phrase only about 250 million times when you were a kid.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.