“ Normally shown twice weekly, on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Live games from America, hosted by Jonathan Gould and Todd Macklin. „
Note - this review also appears on my ciao page.
When it comes to sports I love, Baseball is pretty high on the the list and this therefore puts me in the minority in this country or categorises me as a weirdo, depending entirely on your own personal view point!
There is very little support or interest in the sport in the UK on the whole which can in part be attributed to its lack of television exposure and the fact that we know it as Rounders and have slightly differing rules.
As a follower of the sport it was a moment of extreme joy when I found out that Channel Five was to start showing Major League Baseball matches! And even some of them would be shown live, even better!
The show itself is currently hosted by Johnny Gould, who briefly presented Brainteaser, and he is an avid supporter of the Atlanta Braves and Chelsea Football Club and certainly does not mind letting everybody know that!
Gould is presently aided and abetted by his assistant analyst Josh Chetwynd, who is a supporter of the Boston Red Sox and West Ham United Football Club. He is from the US and provides plenty of insight into the game of Baseball. He is always extremely knowledgeable in terms of the 'In-game trivia feature' of the show.
What Channel Five effectively do is transmit the live action using ESPN footage and commentary but then during innings and commercial breaks, they take the cameras back to the London studio and Gould and Chetwynd will provide analysis and banter.
Johnny Gould always encourages people to email into the show which is great because he tries to read through as many as possible and give people as much chance to air their views and ask technical questions (bear in mind, a lot of viewers are very new to the sport) where necessary.
They show some highlights of action which will have occured in matches not aired on TV and they also effectively keep you up to date with the results of that particular day/night and show full results tables so people can keep a good track of where their team stands!
So when is the show aired? Well there are generally two weekly shows during the baseball season (providing there are no other US sports with major events running at that time), One on a Sunday and one on a Wednesday - sometimes the matches are shown live, sometimes they are taped.
For anybody new to baseball this show is excellent because the guys in the studio really do try their best to keep things relatively simple even if really complex things have occured out on the field. And even if people are still struggling they can email into the show and will no doubt get a detailed response to any query.
For me it is not really a necessity because I can view matches on the internet (at a cost admittedly) but I still watch the show because it is just great that somebody has made an attempt to bring the sport to UK public attention and to keep us weirdos appeased!
Recommended for anybody that enjoys Baseball, lives in the UK and only has terrestrial tv. If however, you wish to view more than the allocation of matches on Five, you could subscribe to Setanta and get the NASN channel. For UK customers, Setanta costs £9.99 a month.
Alternatively for the hardcore viewer, MLB TV lets you view every match online but the fee is dependent. Check out www.mlb.com for more details.
Long live Five Baseball - hopefully it will become an every night show. That would be great! Not if you don't like the sport of course!
i have been a fan of american football for about 18 years and really enjoy this sport however the one thing that irritates me most about this coverage is the presenters. they seem to me on sky and channel 5 to be quite bland and come across quite wooden even.
About four years ago i happened to stumble upon channel 5 mlb baseball. i had preconceived views about baseball being a bit dull and boring and was very suprised to find myself becoming enthralled by this programme.
The main reason for this was due to both the enthusiasm and entertaining way in which the presenters interacted with each other . firstly they explained and debated most issues with well thought out observations and often led interesting debates in which the viewers could interact. but the most enjoyable aspect for me was the cameraderie and chemistry they had/have on screen.
In particular the real sucess behind the programme for me is presenter johnny gould. he is very enthusiastic and obviously a true fan of the sport. he has a great sense of humour, very dry and witty and helps his co-presenters, of whom he has had a few ,relax and become at home and at ease on the programme. long may he continue to do this programme and who knows maybe someone from sky sports or channel five nfl will hire him to front their shows.
Probably not but lets hope johnny keeps up the good work for many years to come.
I am just happy some channel covers baseball on a regular slot. But it does not mean i cant moan about the shows. First the positives: Great show, with live coverage twice per week. Each team gets just about equal coverage over the season. The presenters are tops! they know their stuff and talk at a level suitable for all audiences. Negative: Time changes of the program. Variations in build up to the game and sometimes no buildup / miss first pitches. Adverts adverts adverts. The constent changing of the 'other' presenter since the moose man left. THE VERY annoying cutoff of games when they went on long into the night. The reason why the original presenter walked out was becasue the channel cutoff a game at the bottom of the 9th becasue they wanted to show some crap program at 4:30am.!! Overall a great show that caters for the exciled yanks and the odd brit that likes a bit of baseball..
Sports shows are everywhere these days. Especially since the advent of Sky anything and everything is covered, and most of it is much the same. However the Baseball coverage on Channel 5 is a welcome difference, especially if you have been growing tired of the lame attempts made to cover American Sport by other more prestigious channels in recent years. Channel 5 has covered baseball since 1997, and the make up has hardly changed in that time. After an initial period in which a lead presenters did not stay around too long Jonathan Gould (not the Celtic goalkeeper) made the position well and truly his, alongside Baseball expert, the Canadian Todd Macklin (loosely known as "The Toddmeister"). The main part of the show is the game, which prior to this season has involved Channel 5 taking the live feed from American channel ESPN on Sunday and Wednesday nights. At the moment they are only showing one game a week (on Sunday nights), but this will change once the NHL playoffs have finished and Channel 5 will have the time available to show two games a week again. Does this mean that us Baseball fans are being shortchanged? Well, it is tough at the moment (although understandable - it is the most important time in the Ice Hockey season) but we will soon get two games a week again, plus the World Series and All-Star Game live. There has been no confirmation of it, but do not be surprised if Channel 5 repeat what they did last year and show yet another game (albeit recorded) on Thursday nights as well. Along with the game but there are also action and news round-ups, neatly incorporated into the rest of the show in extremely impressive fashion. The show keeps you up to date extremely well, using time before, during and after the game to discuss the latest news. I love the way that Gould and Macklin discuss this as experts and do not patronise the viewers (take note whoever is in charge of ITV's coverage of the NBA). Indeed th
e relationship between Gould and Macklin helps to make the show. They appear to be having fun, sharing jokes, pointing out when their respective teams lose (Gould is an Atlanta Braves fan, Macklin a Boston Red Sox fan) and generally appearing as if they really enjoy their job. Furthermore they make time for the fans, welcoming letters, e-mails and postcards into the studio, as well as setting regular competitions with decent (although not overly expensive) prizes. Okay, so I am a baseball fan and the coverage is excellent, but what is it that frequently makes me stay up far too late when I have work the next day? Couldn't I just set the video? Well yes, but the coverage moves along so effortlessly that even if the game is poor the time slips by very quickly. Before you know it you are waiting for the "middle of the seventh" and the traditional "Todd's Teaser", where Todd Macklin will attempt to answer what are becoming ridiculously difficult questions set by viewers. It would not be so bad but for the most part he still gets them right! The content is superb, the presenters superb, the output brilliant and often very entertaining. Even if the game is bad the interaction between the two presenters is worth watching and the amount you learn from Todd Macklin is immense. I am surprised no North American network has tried to snap him up, I really think he is that good. To end with there is one small problem. Because the games are live they are on extremely late, usually starting well after midnight and not finishing until very late (4am seems to be the usual finishing time this year). If you intend to watch either stock up on Pro Plus or video tapes, because you will need them!