Apparently, we’re at the portion of the offseason where MLB Network has chosen to run authoritarian programming in between repeat showings of “Baseball’s Seasons: 1995”.
In case there was any doubt about how much sway the league holds over the network that carries its name, agitated baseball fans were given a stark reality check on Monday afternoon when venerated reporter Ken Rosenthal was relieved of his duties, ending a 12-plus-year on-air relationship. The reason? Recent critical comments of Commissioner Rob Manfred. No more, no less.
Baseball fans will still have plenty of opportunities to see Rosenthal’s work; he remains active with The Athletic and on FOX Sports.
His role with MLB Network was axed, though, out of sheer spite and pettiness, per those reports, and broadcasters/personalities/notables from around the league are rising up in support of journalistic credibility — including one recently-retired Yankees legend.
After word of the dismissal leaked, Rosenthal announced his departure himself, setting off a mid-lockout baseball firestorm.
He took the high road, though most of his defenders did not.
Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton defended Ken Rosenthal.
Of all the well-wishes, Chris Rose’s stuck out to us. After all, he found himself without a job at MLB Network in 2021, too, though his untimely dismissal came due to budget cuts and not criticism of Herr Manfred.
Still, the sun rose for Rose; he ended up with the Jomboy Media family, a hungry upstart version of the baseball-obsessed network he’d just left.
Rosenthal’s career in baseball is far from over; he’ll still have exposure to share inside stories of the game, unencumbered by the iron throne. But that hasn’t stopped prominent members of the media from putting MLB on blast for their short-sighted decision.
Beloved Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton, who opted to retire following the 2021 season, made his thoughts very clear about the overreach here.
This won’t shock you, but the Yankees have long been considered “the establishment” in MLB, an organization that is theoretically far more likely to shame criticism than to speak out for the voiceless and disrespected.
Did Singleton’s retirement make him more willing and able to be honest here? Probably. But we’re still proud of him for telling the truth in front of brazen hypocrisy from a network that just removed all guise of objectivity.
Unfortunately, this column will likely get me barred from MLB Network — and, frankly, my new cable package glitches out when I try to subscribe, so perhaps that’s already happened. Regardless, any journalist, media personality, or fan of the game should be proud to side with Rosenthal, Rose and Singleton over State Media here, no matter the consequences.