Traditionally, the Arizona Fall League is reserved for the top Double-A and Triple-A prospects in each organization. We’ve previously seen with players like David Wright and Mike Piazza having played in the Arizona Fall League. We see it again this season with top prospects like Kyle Tucker (Astros), Ronald Acuna (Braves), and Francisco Mejia (Indians).
The list of players in the Arizona Fall League this year also includes 29 year old Mickey Jannis.
Typically speaking, when a prospect passes a certain age, they are no longer considered a prospect. Depending on which standard you apply, that age is a moving date, but everyone will agree that 29 years old is too old to be considered a prospect.
Jannis is different than your typical prospect because he is a knuckleball pitcher, and for a number of reasons knuckleball pitchers have a tendency to develop later in their careers than most prospects.
There are few pitching coaches out there who are actually adept at teaching the pitch, and it is a difficult pitch to throw. However, the main reason is probably due to it being seen as gimmick which pitchers do not seek to learn until their careers are almost at a premature end. Jim Bouton described this process best in Ball Four:
After a couple of year in the minors, however, I started to get bigger and stronger and started to overpower people with my fastball. So I phased the knuckleball out.
I never really used it again until 1967. My arm was very sore and I was getting my head beat in. [Ralph Houk] put me into a game against Baltimore and I didn’t have a thing except pain. I got two out and then with my arm still hurting like hell, I threw four knuckeballs to Frank Robinson and struck him out. The next day I get sent to Syracuse. Even so, it wasn’t until the last part of the next season that I began throwing it again. The idea that you’ve lost your regular stuff is very slow in coming.
That experience is typical to most knuckleballers. In R.A. Dickey‘s own book, Wherever I Wind Up, he stated his process of learning the knuckleball began when the Rangers front office suggested it was his best chance of being able to have a Major League career. That is an experience shared by Jannis:
It’s just a decision I made after I got released by the Rays after my second year in pro ball. I went into independent baseball and just made the transition. It’s been a long process. I’m still learning to throw it, learning to throw it for strikes. It’s just every day learning something new with the pitch.
(William Boor, MLB.com)
In many ways, Jannis is still learning how to control the pitch, and as a result, he has had middling results. He would go from a 3.55 ERA and 1.354 WHIP in 2015 to a 5.69 ERA and 1.564 WHIP in 2016. This made his age 29 season an important one to improve his status as a prospect. Based upon recent knuckleball pitchers age 29 season, there wasn’t much reason for hope:
- Tim Wakefield (1996) 14-13, 5.14 ERA, 1.550 WHIP
- Dickey (2004) 6-7, 5.61 ERA, 1.620 WHIP
Albeit in Double-A, Jannis had a much better age 29 season going 8-7 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.251 WHIP. During the season, he’s come closer to taming the knuckleball leading to better success, a rejuvenation of his status as a prospect, and his assignment to the Arizona Fall League.
Jannis has taken full advantage of the opportunity by pitching great. In his six starts, he was 1-3 with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.037 WHIP. Overall, he’s showing he control his knuckeball, and he can get baseball’s top prospects out. If he continues learning how to harness his knuckleball, he may very well get the chance to prove he can use it to get Major League batters out.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first published on MMO
Now that Carlos Beltran has officially retired, the Hall of Fame discussions can now begin. In the case of Beltran, one of the Top 10 centerfielders of all-time and the best Puerto Rican baseball player not named Roberto Clemente, the discussion for him is not whether he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Rather, the discussion is what cap he will wear when he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame.
As we learned from Gary Carter, Beltran is not going to be able to just pick whatever hat he wants. This means no Astros, despite him winning the World Series there, and no Cardinals, where he cemented his place in Cooperstown. Unless the Hall of Fame invokes the Reggie Jackson, you can go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee regardless of tenure with them, Beltran is going to have three choices: (1) Royals; (2) Mets; or (3) Blank.
Under normal circumstances, the case for the Mets should be quite easy with him playing more games in a Mets uniform than with any other team. Beltran had his best years in Queens posting 31.3 of his 69.8 career WAR with the team. He won all of his Gold Gloves with the Mets, and five of his nine All Star appearances came as a member of the Mets. Some of his greatest highlights (and lowlights) came with the Mets. In many ways, his entire career is defined by what he did with the Mets.
With this being the Mets, this isn’t normal circumstances. There are indications this was and continues to be a very strained relationship.
The biggest indication of this was the fight over Beltran’s 2010 knee surgery. It created a he said – she said situation where Boras insisted the Mets were informed, and the Mets acted as if they were blindsided. For younger fans, the perfect analogy to this was the hysteria surrounding Matt Harvey and his innings limits during the 2015 season.
Beltran had knee problems for two seasons, and when push came to shove, he had the surgery upon the recommendation of a world class knee surgeon. The Mets position was Beltran needed to clear medical decisions through them. As the New York Post reported, “the Mets are claiming this was done without clearance and that the Mets are threatening to take some form of action.”
Action never came, but the bad feelings persisted. Much of that can be directly attributed to Fred Wilpon’s interview with the New Yorker:
At one point, I mentioned to Wilpon the theory that the Mets might be cursed. He gave a sort of half laugh, and said, “You mean”—and then pantomimed a checked swing of the bat.
When Carlos Beltran came up, I mentioned his prodigious post-season with the Astros in 2004, when he hit eight home runs, just before he went to the Mets as a free agent. Wilpon laughed, not happily. “We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series,” he said, referring to himself. In the course of playing out his seven-year, $119-million contract with the Mets, Beltran, too, has been hobbled by injuries. “He’s sixty-five to seventy per cent of what he was.”
Wilpon reportedly apologized, and Beltran being the man he was accepted said apology.
After that, the Mets did give him the perfunctory video montage his first game back at Citi Field. However, that was about it from the team.
Immediately after being traded from the Mets, Beltran’s number 15 was immediately assigned to Val Pascucci, and it has been assigned to Fred Lewis, Travis d’Arnaud, Bob Geren, and Matt Reynolds. This was not done with Mike Piazza‘s 31 or Tom Seaver‘s 41. In sum, the Mets not taking the number out of circulation indicates the team had no intentions of retiring the number. That’s odd considering Beltran’s Hall of Fame resume and tenure with the Mets.
It’s also odd how long it took the Mets to acknowledge Beltran’s retirement and to provide well wishes to one of the best players in their history:
Beltran Announcement: 11:32
Congratulatory responses as follows
Yankees – 11:50
Royals – 12:13
Astros – 12:17
Rangers – 12:25
Cardinals – 1:00
Mets – 3:08
— Mets Daddy (@MetsDaddy2013) November 14, 2017
In that time frame, the Mets wished Hasdrubal Cabrera a Happy Birthday, corrected the tweet to say Asdrubal Cabrera, and tweeted the April 15 glove promotion. The silence on Beltran was almost deafening.
It seems to be symbolic on a frost between both sides as evidenced in Beltran’s Players’ Tribune piece. Beltran talked about getting called up and breaking into the majors with the Royals. He waxed poetic about tips he received from Reggie Jackson during his time with the Yankees. He spoke about the championship run with the Astros. As for the Mets, he mentioned getting traded in 2011. Overall, there wasn’t any quip about something positive that happened to him during his time in Flushing.
There could be many reasons for that, but given the history between the two sides, it doesn’t seem accidental.
Overall, there seems to be some chasm between the Mets and Beltran. It’s a real shame too because Beltran’s Hall of Fame case was built during his time with the Mets. For the Mets, they have not had many players as great as Beltran in their history. Beltran is definitively their best center fielder, and quite possibly, the best outfielder in their history.
Five years from now, when Beltran is inducted into the Hall of Fame, he should be talking about wearing a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, and the Mets should be planning a number retirement ceremony. Based upon what we’ve seen over the past few years, that doesn’t seem as much of a certainty as it should.
The good news is that there’s still time for the Mets to sell Beltran on wearing a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. That starts with the easiest decision imaginable with the team inducting him into their own Hall of Fame. It would also behoove them to take 15 out of circulation. This is just a step, but an important one – one the Mets need to do if they want to add a third Hall of Famer to the legacy of the New York Mets organization.
With the Houston Astros winning the World Series yesterday, future Hall of Famer, Carlos Beltran finally won his World Series ring. It could not have happened to a better player and a better individual.
While many Mets fans may have been tangentially aware of the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year, everyone knew who he was went he had an incredible 2004 postseason for the Houston Astros. During that postseason run for the Astros, Beltran hit .435/.536/1.022 with a record eight homers in a single postseason.
On that postseason stage, we saw not just a five tool player, but a great player who had that rare ability to raise his game on the bigger stage. Those are the types of players who typically thrive in New York, and Mets fans were thrilled when Omar Minaya made the bold move and made him the Mets first ever $100 million player.
If we’re all honest, things did not go as well for Beltran with the Mets as we all would have hoped. His first season was marred by struggles and his head-first collision with Mike Cameron in right center field at Petco Park that left Beltran with facial fractures and a concussion. That collision was so bad he was the one that got lucky.
Still, during that first season with the Mets, he helped create a culture that led to one of the better runs in Mets history. Early on in the 2005 Spring Training, Beltran took David Wright and Jose Reyes under his wing, and he showed them what it took not just to be Major League players, but great players.
This sparked the incredible 2006 season that ended in heartbreak. Because baseball is a cruel sport, that season and perhaps Beltran’s entire career with the Mets will forever be remembered for Beltran’s strikeout with the bases loaded at the end of Game 7 of the NLCS. However, Beltran’s season was much, much more than that.
Beltran would hit .275/.388/.594 with 38 doubles, a triple, 41 homers, 116 RBI, and 18 stolen bases. By WAR, it was the greatest single season performance ANY Mets position player has ever had. He was predominantly in the Top 5 to 10 in all single season Mets categories setting the marks for runs scored and tying the record for homers and extra base hits. In addition to that, Beltran joined Tommie Agee as the only Mets outfielder to win a Gold Glove. When Beltran would win in the following season, he became the only Mets outfielder to win multiple Gold Gloves.
Essentially, Beltran became the Mets version of Keith Hernandez and Mike Piazza. He was the seminal figure that taught the young players how to play, and he was the player who led the charge by being the superstar.
By the way, for all the talk about the Adam Wainwright moment, Beltran hit .278/.422/.556 with three homers in that postseason. The Mets don’t even get to that Game 7 without him. He should have been revered for that season.
If only he was treated as such. Though not his fault, from that 2006 NLCS on his Mets career became one of what if to hand wringing instead of celebration. The disappointment of the 2006 NLCS carried forward into collapses in 2007 and 2008. Although, he did all he could do to try to stop it.
In 2007, he hit eight homer and 27 RBI in September marking his highs for any month that season. In 2008, he had an impossibly great month hitting .344/.440/.645 with six homers and 19 RBI. This includes a game tying two run home run at the final game at Shea Stadium. To that end, Beltran provided the Mets with the team’s final highlight at the beloved Shea.
From there, Beltran would have some injuries and run-ins with the front office. Rightfully and despite the Mets objections, he had a knee procedure which probably extended his career. Always, the good teammate and doing what was best for the team, he willingly moved from center to right in 2011 before he was traded away for Zack Wheeler.
Since Beltran has left, Mets fans have seemed to have warmed much more to him remembering him more for the great player he was than the strikeout. When he was introduced at the 2013 All Star Game, he received the standing ovation he so rightfully deserved.
That’s what you do for a player that is the greatest center fielder in team history, and is arguably the best outfielder in team history. More than that, that’s what you do for a player who built his Hall of Fame career during his seven year career with the Mets.
All Mets fans should now be congratulating one of the best players in team history for getting that elusive World Series ring which we all know meant so much to him. He didn’t get it with the Mets. Ironically, he got it with that Astros team with whom he built his postseason reputation that inspired Minaya to go out and get him.
This won’t be the final day of celebration for Beltran. One day in the not too distant future, the Hall of Fame will come calling. The hope is he wears a Mets cap, and he returns to Citi Field to watch his number 15 get retired and hang forever next to his fellow Mets greats.
If you ask a New York Giants fan about the postseason, they will reminisce about Super Bowl XLII and XLVI. You will hear about the Helmet Catch and Eli hitting Manningham down the sideline for 38 yards. You know what you don’t hear about? Fassell having the Giants ill prepared for Super Bowl XXXV or Trey Junkin.
The reason is simple when you win, you remember it forever. However, when you lose, and you lose and lose, that memory festers and worsens year to year.
For years and even until this day, you will occasionally hear Howie Rose bemoan Yogi Berra‘s decision to go with Tom Seaver on short rest over George Stone in Game 6 of the 1973 World Series. One of the reasons that memory lingers is the Mets where irrelevant from 1974 until 1984.
After 1986, Mets fans were in their glory, and to this day many fans who got to live through 1986 talk about it as fondly today as they probably did when they got to work on October 28, 1986.
Behind them is a group of Mets fans who never really got to live through the 1986 World Series. As a result, they just know Madoff Scandals and hauting postseason failures:
- Davey Johnson botched that series including leaving in Dwight Gooden too long in Game Four. Doc would allow a game tying home run in the top of the ninth to Mike Scioscia.
- It was the last hurrah for Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez who struggled over the final few games of the series, and respectively faced poor and injury plagued 1989 seasons before finding new homes in 1989.
- First and foremost, the one thing that should stick out was how those Braves teams just tortured the Mets, and the Mets could never get past them.
- Both John Franco and Armando Benitez blew leads in Game 6 preventing the Mets from sending the series to a seventh game and letting the Mets be the team to do what the Red Sox did to the Yankees five years later.
- Kenny Rogers walked Andruw Jones with the bases loaded to end the series.
2000 World Series
- Timo Perez should have run out that fly ball off the bat of Todd Zeile
- Roger Clemens should have been ejected for throwing a bat at Mike Piazza
- Piazza’s ball goes out if it was just a few degrees warmer
- Guillermo Mota shook off Paul Lo Duca
- Billy Wagner cannot give up a home run to So Taguchi
- Yadier Molina
- Cliff Floyd just missed his pitch, the Jose Reyes liner didn’t fall, and Carlos Beltran struck out looking on an Adam Wainwright curveball
- The subsequent two seasons followed with epic collapses with Tom Glavine not being devastated and an inept Jerry Manuel going to Scott Schoeneweis who gave up the homer that closed Shea for good.
2015 World Series
- Terry Collins making terrible decision after terrible decision.
- Yoenis Cespedes a no-show from the very first defensive play of the World Series.
- Jeurys Familia blowing three saves even if they weren’t all his fault.
- Daniel Murphy overrunning a ball.
- Lucas Duda‘s throw home.
- Matt Harvey for too long in Game 5.
2016 Wild Card Game
- Connor Gillaspie
The list for the aforementioned series really goes on and on, but those were just some of the highlights. After tonight’s game, that is what Astros and Dodgers fans will be doing. They’ll be asking if Dave Roberts was too aggressive with his pitching changes while A.J. Hinch was not aggressive enough. Why didn’t Chris Taylor try to score, or why could Josh Reddick just put the ball in play. Really, the list goes on and on.
For one fan base, they will focus on the things that went wrong. Considering the Dodgers haven’t won in 29 years and the Astros have never won, the pain of this loss is going to hurt all the more. For the fanbase that gets to win this one, they will have memories to cherish for a lifetime, and they will never again be bothered by the what ifs that could have plagued their team in this epic World Series.
With the attacks of the 9/11, all Major League Baseball games were cancelled. They would be cancelled until September 17th. Back then, we all knew and agreed no one should be playing then. It was too soon. If the country wasn’t ready, we knew New York wasn’t ready.
There was work to be done with a city left to mourn. Players went about and did all they could do. They visited different fire stations. Shea Stadium was used as a staging ground for supplies for the rescue efforts that were occurring around the clock. Even when baseball wasn’t being played, baseball was present and part of the healing process.
It was again part of the healing process when baseball games resumed. There were questions whether it was time to return on September 17th. For most, it was time to get back to something that seemed normal. It was time for the healing to begin. Healing did not mean we forget. That was the refrain, “Never Forget.”
Perhaps, there was no more beautiful reminder of that when the Mets took the field in Pittsburgh wearing First Responder caps. It was a beautiful and poignant moment when Brooklyn native, John Franco, who just like the rest of us lost loved one on 9/11, earned a win the Mets first game back while wearing a FDNY cap. With that the healing began.
The healing would continue with the Mets being the first New York team to play a game back in New York. There was a strange aura around that game, one that could never be repeated at a baseball game. There was a mixture of nervousness, pain, hope, and, yes, some curiosity. It all came out as euphoric release as Mike Piazza hit a home run that still resonates to this day:
That moment was important for not just Mets fans, but all of New York. It was safe to go to a baseball game. It was alright to take joy in something as seemingly unimportant as baseball.
Between the relief efforts and that home run, the Mets played a small but important part in the grieving and healing process after 9/11.
Gone might be the 9/11 inscriptions on the sleeves of the jersey. The First Responder caps are certainly gone. Shea Stadium is an ever distant memory. Still, the images of 9/11 and everything that happened in the aftermath life forever.
Sixteen years ago, we knew the Mets shouldn’t be playing on 9/11. However, it feels different now. It seems like the Mets should be playing. At least from a baseball perspective, the Mets were important. Using Shea Stadium as a staging ground was necessary. The players helping at Shea and visiting fire houses mattered. The First Responder caps meant something to people and still do today. That Piazza home run still resonates.
The pain of 9/11 still resonates for many. There are many more important concerns in the world. To that end, it’s not the worst thing in the world the Mets have the day off. It’s far from a travesty. Still, for all of baseball and all of New York, the Mets should be on the field today wearing those First Responder caps.
With the solar eclipse happening, now is as good as any to create a Mets All-Time Solar Eclipse Team. These are players who are included due to their names and not because of their exploits. For example, the will be no Mike Piazza for his moon shots, or Luis Castillo for his losing a ball in the moon.
SP – Tim Redding
He is the great nephew of Joyce Randoph of Honeymooners fame where Ralph threatened to send Alice right to the moon,.
C – Chris Cannizzaro
Cannizzaro is the name of a lunar crater
1B – Lucas Duda
Lucas means light giving
2B –Neil Walker
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon
3B – Ray Knight
Pretty self explanatory, first sun rays, and then night.
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera
Asdrubal means helped by Baal. Baal is a moon god
OF – Kevin Mitchell
Mitchell was one of the 12 men to walk on the moon
OF – Don Hahn
Hahn means rooster, which is an animal that crows at sunrise.
OF – Victor Diaz
His first and last name combined translate to day conqueror, which is effectively what the eclipse does.
During the June 24th game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Hudson Valley Renegades, I was on the field as my father and son threw out the first pitch. During that time, I had the opportunity to meet Cyclones left-handed pitcher Kurt Horne.
The British Columbia native was the Mets 2014 31st round draft pick. The tall left-hander eschewed an opportunity to pitch in college. Instead, at the age of 17, Horne decided to not only sign with the Mets, but to move to the complete opposite end of the continent to fulfill his dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player. Horne agreed to do an interview with me to discuss his path to the Mets organization and his development in the minor leagues.
The natural question to start for someone from Canada is why baseball and not hockey?
Ha ha! Of course, I grew up in a baseball family, I followed after my brother, doing everything he did.I also used to play in the backyard with my grandpa hitting Wiffle balls everyday after school when I was younger, so baseballs in my blood.
So at 6’5″ you were the little brother?
Well, my brother is 6 years older then me, so it took a while to catch up.
I take it your brother was a good baseball player in his own right.
After a sweep of the Giants in San Francisco, fans could allow themselves hope for the 2017 season again. Yes, the Giants are a dreadful team, but there was a lot to like about the Mets in that series. If you dig deeper, there is still things to like about this Mets team.
Jacob deGrom is in a stretch where he has gone at least eight innings in three consecutive starts. This could be the best stretch of his career, which is certainly saying something.
Rafael Montero has now had three consecutive strong outings allowing just two earned runs over his last 14.1 inning pitched. In this stretch, he not only finally looks like a major league pitcher, he looks like a good major league pitcher.
Curtis Granderson has been the best hitting National League outfielder in the month of June (204 wRC+), and he’s been hitting .297/.408/.595 with 13 doubles, two triples, nine homers, and 23 RBI since May 1st.
Jay Bruce has been resurgent hitting .315/.358/.629 with four doubles, eight homers, and 17 RBI. He’s on pace for his first 40 home run season and just his second 100 RBI season.
While acting unprofessional about the switch to second base in the clubhouse, Asdrubal Cabrera has been nothing but professional on the field going 7-14 in the series and playing a very good second base.
Lucas Duda is flat out raking hitting .375/.474/.813 over the past week, and as we know when Duda gets hot like this, he can carry the team for a long stretch. Just ask the 2015 Nationals.
Lost in all of that is Yoenis Cespedes being Cespedes, Addison Reed being a dominant closer, and Seth Lugo stabilizing the rotation. There is even the specter of David Wright returning to the lineup. When you combine that with the Mets schedule, this team is primed to reel off nine straight wins.
If the Mets were to win nine straight, they would be just one game under .500. At that point, the Mets will be red hot heading to another big series in Washington. Last time the teams played there, the Mets took two of three. After that is a bad Cardinals team before the All Star Break.
Combine this hypothetical Mets run with a Rockies team losing six straight, and the Mets are right back in the mix with a bunch of teams hovering around .500 for a shot at the postseason. Last year, the Mets were under .500 as late as August 19th, and they still made the postseason. Throw in a potential Amed Rosario call up, and you really have things cooking. Why not this year’s team?
Well, that’s easy. The bullpen is a mess. You have no idea when Noah Syndergaard and Neil Walker can return if they can return at all. Jose Reyes is playing everyday. The route to the postseason partially relies upon Montero being a good major league pitcher, and the Mets calling up Rosario. At this point, those are two things no one should rely.
As a fan? We should all enjoy the ride for as long as it will carry us. As Mets fans, we have seen miracles. We saw this team win in 1969. We saw a team dead in the water in 1973 go all the way to game seven of the World Series. We watched a Mookie Wilson grounder pass through Bill Buckner‘s legs. We saw Mike Piazza homer in the first game in New York after 9/11.
As fans, we can hold out hope for the impossible. We can dream. Sandy doesn’t have that luxury. He needs to look at the reality of the Mets situation and make the best moves he possibly can. That includes trading Bruce, Duda, Granderson, and any other veteran who can get him a good return on the trade market.
The Mets have added a whole other draft class and with them comes hope they will become great players that will lead the team to another World Series. They were close with Michael Conforto in 2015, and hopefully, they will be close again.
Overall, many will tell you the draft is a crap shoot. Sometimes the best player you draft is towards the end of the draft. The Dodgers can tell you about that with Mike Piazza. Other times, you draft the incredible talent, but you are unable to sign him to a deal. He re-enters the draft, and you see him go and succeed elsewhere. Worse yet, you do sign him, and you trade him before he figures it out.
In any event, the New York Mets have been drafting since 1965. Can you name the 10 best players the Mets have ever drafted? Good luck!
As part of the unfortunate layoffs at ESPN this past week, their baseball coverage was gutted. One of the top baseball reporters there is, Jayson Stark, was let go. In addition, Baseball Tonight contributors Doug Glanville, Dallas Braden, and Raul Ibanez were also let go. In fact, Baseball Tonight is essentially no more. What was once one of the top shows covering baseball is now a once a week pre-game show for ESPN’s Sunday Night Game.
While you can certainly argue Baseball Tonight is not what is used to be, it still provided quality coverage. Yes, Baseball Tonight was harmed by the MLB Network both in terms of the depth of coverage and the quality of analysts. Still, Baseball Tonight mattered and had really good nights. That’s no more.
In place of Baseball Tonight, ESPN has opted to go with Intentional Talk as its daily baseball coverage. Both ESPN and MLB Network will air the show. For a network that values First Take and Pardon the Interruption over good reporting, this should be no surprise.
Intentional Talk is as bad as it gets. It’s just Charlie Rose and Kevin Millar with forced humor. As usual, forced humor isn’t funny. It’s what made the 2013 All Star and Legends Celebrity Softball game almost unbearable.
It should have been a lot of fun. You had Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, John Franco, and Mike Piazza on the same field. There was also former Met Rickey Henderson playing. Comedian Kevin James stole the show by taking the game way too seriously. Over all of this was Rose and Millar doing play-by-play. It was awful, not funny, and the worst thing there was at Citi Field that year during a season where Matt Harvey had a season ending injury.
The addition of Intentional Talk to ESPN is a reminder they do not care about good coverage or baseball for that matter. They mostly care about personalities, and Millar was a memorable one from his playing days. It doesn’t matter that the show isn’t good or watchable. The only thing that matters is it isn’t Baseball Tonight.
Overall, the biggest loss we might have seen from the ESPN layoffs was them essentially announcing they are ceasing their high quality baseball coverage. That’s a shame.