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Don’t Expect Regular Cardinals Minor League Telecasts

As the 2016 minor league season wound down, an unusual set of circumstances led to a St. Louis Cardinals game featuring the soon-to-be Appalachian League champions, the Johnson City Cardinals, to be televised.

With the big-league Cardinals having no scheduled game on Monday, August 22, the club’s television rights-holder, FOX Sports Midwest, surprisingly slotted in a Cardinals minor league game that evening instead. It was not just any farm team, either, it was a rookie-level club at least six steps away from the majors.

jc-cap-200The televised Appy League contest pitted Johnson City against the Kingsport Mets, with the Cardinals prevailing by a 5-3 score.

FOX Midwest spokesman Geoff Goldman explained how their involvement came about.

“WMYA-TV was producing the game for the local market, and made it available to us,” Goldman said. “Since the major league Cardinals weren’t playing Monday, we picked up the game to give fans a look at some of the organization’s prospects.”

The key to making this happen was the reality that the area television provider footed the bill for the production costs and sold their advertising locally. Essentially, all FSM really had to do was run the game feed.

Well, that is not entirely correct.

Those who caught at least a glimpse of the game may have noticed familiar graphics. Part of the deal was that FOX Midwest provided that capability, giving the rookie-level game a big-league look.

That level of graphics sophistication is also missing from Minor League Baseball TV (or MiLB.TV) internet game coverage. More often than not, the MiLB.TV feed is a stationary camera with sound taken from the radio broadcast – certainly not regular television quality.

In the big picture, production costs would be far too prohibitive for FSM to initiate its own minor league coverage across multiple venues, not to mention unknown advertising demand and a narrower set of interested viewers compared to Cardinals telecasts. This would never be practical, so while one-off minor league telecasts like we saw this time might happen once in a while, do not expect them with any regularity.

MiLB.TV remains the only game in town if you want to see minor league games over the season. Now if they would only invest in supporting Android devices and external boxes such as Roku – but those are gripes for another day.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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24 Responses to “Don’t Expect Regular Cardinals Minor League Telecasts”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Mike is bungling again tonight.

    Why start Moss against a lefty? Miss can’t hit lefties even when not in a dreadful slump. A competent manager would start Pham against the LHP. Mike does not fully accept matchup baseball and it hurts you in tight games, ones you have to win.

    Why try to have Siegrist go two innings? One is the maximum.

    Mike is so weird. He now routinely uses Oh in the 8th while behind. Mo should be embarrassed. Mike needs to be examined by a neurologist.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Some say there is a fine line between genius and madness. But there is no fine line between mad Mike and dopey tactics.

      Mike is not realistic and does not nurture enough of the roster. He has been handed so much, he takes for granted what he has been given by misusing relievers.

      After five years, it’s unacceptably dopey.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      I need to recant some of my Mathemy meltdown. The Reds pitcher was an RHP, not a southpaw. Moss is in a dreadful slump, but Mike did not have a clearly better choice for LF. The cards probably vet starting lineups, so keep Mike in check for these.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    John Mabry might make a decent manager. Also like the manager they have at AAA.

    The only reason to keep Mike around longer is to have him taking blame. We could fire him next year, if we need a fall guy. As we likely will.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    TLR invented pitchers hit 8th. Mad Mike has invented closers pitch the 8th.

    The cards may have hired Mike for contributing leadership. This partly may be cheerleading and setting a constructive tone emotionally for the players. Emotions are a valuable part of the game.
    But in terms of on field tactics and the use of players, emotions may be counterproductive. Sound tactics are based on very small probabilities. An analytical, unemotional mind may be more suited to in game management.
    Whereas TLR looked to put everyone in a best circumstance to succeed, emotional Mike relies on some to the exclusion of others.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Baseball players are employees. The managers job is to get the most out of every worker. If a player is ineffective, he gets released or demoted. The roster is not a place for some relievers to do little work while the manager abuses the best relievers. Everybody has to earn their paycheck and support one another. If somebody is ineffective, replace him.
      We are not paying Mike to shun select relievers. We are paying him to use all the pitching assets and give every pitcher a chance to earn their salary. Whether Mike happens to trust a pitcher is irrelevant.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Baseball players are employees. The managers job is to get the most out of every worker. If a player is ineffective, he gets released or demoted. The roster is not a place for some relievers to do little work while the manager abuses the best relievers. Everybody has to earn their paycheck and support one another. If somebody is ineffective, replace him.
      We are not paying Mike to shun select relievers. We are paying him to use all the pitching assets and give every pitcher a chance to earn their salary. Whether Mike happens to trust a pitcher is irrelevant.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Bernie had a good column about why is Brandon moss still appearing in the lineup? It’s incredibly stupid for the cards to have stuck with moss this long. Mad Mikes responsibility is to win games, not to play moss no matter how terribly he slumps.

    The cards or Mike do seem to respond to what Bernie writes. If they catch a blast, changes happen. But if Bernie does not get mad, Mike slumbers on.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    This year has not been easy, but sometimes it is fun to fight adversity.
    Lots of good things during 2016.
    Wainwright hit well and overcame adversity to be a winner.
    Carlos martinez rebounded from late last season and led the staff.
    Siegrist survived overuse.
    Oh was a monster
    Diaz was a terrific surprise
    Grichuk and piscotty contributed and gained valuable experience
    Jedd delivered what Wiggington was too old to contribute

  6. blingboy says:

    This day comes each season, when the losers go home for the winter. I am always reminded of those days, early in the year, April and May, when I butt heads with the ‘Its a long season’ crowd. Marathons end too, and the losers go home. That is why a game in April is the same as a game now. A win then means the same as a win now, and so does a loss. Some people never learn, though. They never will, so I don’t worry about it any more. Lets hope for a miracle here and on the west coast. Its too bad it has come down to that.

  7. blingboy says:

    Well, its over in California. Too bad we can’t get another crack at one of those early season give aways.

    Next year we will win it all.

  8. JumboShrimp says:

    It had to end one day, might as well be today

    After years of weak hitting, this let it rip

  9. JumboShrimp says:

    This team let it rip. Was very impressed by hillbilly Jedd. Not easy to swat 30 off the bench. RAre power for an infielder.

  10. blingboy says:

    It was a whole team of utility players, Jumbo. Except for Yadi. One of them had to lead in homers. It would have worked in Tout Wars.

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