Who is the toughest pitcher in the league to hit right now? The most intimidating hitter? Which outfielder has the strongest arm? How about the most over-used baseball cliché?
For the first time ever, answers to questions like these will come straight from the players themselves, as part of MLB Player Poll, a new series created by Major League Baseball Productions that will air on FOX each Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET during the 2012 regular season, beginning April 7 (except for April 14 & 28, and May 12 & 19, when it will air at noon ET). Hosted by MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger and presented by Pepsi, each 30 minute episode will answer one of these questions using an entertaining and educational countdown format that features interviews with current players. The results of each week’s poll will be culled from surveys taken by hundreds of current players this season.
This new show will have multiple social media components, including considerable integration with the MLB Fan Cave, baseball’s social media hub in New York City where nine “Cave Dwellers” are attempting to watch all 2,430 MLB games this season while chronicling their experiences via social media. Each week, the MLB Fan Cave will post the upcoming poll question to Facebook and Twitter, giving fans all over the world a chance to make their own voices heard on that week's topic. With MLB, FOX and Pepsi also sending the question through their social media channels, millions of fans will be reached each week. After the online vote is tallied by the MLB Fan Cave, the results will be revealed on the show and compared to the player poll results, with select responses from individual fans appearing on air as well. A segment of the show each week will originate from the MLB Fan Cave, with some of the Cave Dwellers commenting on that week’s poll question, giving an update on recent activity at the MLB Fan Cave and previewing that day’s MLB games on FOX and MLB Network. MLB Player Poll will re-air on MLB Network each Sunday.
“Across everything we do, our fans have told us two things loud and clear: they want more access to their favorite players than ever before and they want their voice to be heard, and this new show accomplishes both of those goals,” said Tim Brosnan, MLB Executive Vice President, Business. “MLB Player Poll will serve as an entertaining appetizer before FOX Saturday Baseball, featuring a captivating countdown format that brings fans inside the game while letting them have their say via social media. We also thank our partners at Pepsi for their support in making this new show possible.”
Earlier this month, MLB Productions collected an all-time high of five Sports Emmy nominations, including honors for its critically acclaimed work on The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants on Showtime and Derek Jeter 3K on HBO. The Franchise earned three nominations, including Outstanding Edited Sports Series /Anthology, while Derek Jeter 3K was nominated for Outstanding Edited Sports Special.