We just don’t — it’s all just — it’s such a mess. MASN did not have a good day on Monday. It started with an announcement that they will (finally?) launch a sports media app so that for the, “... first time ever, fans throughout MASN’s seven-state broadcast territory will have the opportunity to live stream the network’s entire programming lineup – including all Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games – by using the new MASN app and authenticating via TV provider log-in.” Don’t go cutting your cords just yet, reread that last bit. Or read below. It was all downhill from there, with staff cuts, including people we all know, some who we here at FBB consider friends. It’s just a mess, which given the history, should be nothing at all close to a surprise.
Follow along and get caught up through the tweets below, and then go read your links...
January 25, 2021
Whoa: MASN announces it will stream Nationals and Orioles broadcast for the first time. More than 300 of them. Welcome to the 21st century! Now maybe I can cut the cord.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) January 25, 2021
Ugh. I didn't read the whole release. https://t.co/m1zaUv0cDo— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) January 25, 2021
Look like you still will need a cable subscription/TV log-in of some sort to access this MASN app which is promoting "in market streaming."— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) January 25, 2021
If you don’t want to click through to read the whole statement referenced below on Twitter, here’s a transcription that WaPost writer Jesse Dougherty posted on his account:
The Nationals pull zero punches in their statement about these MASN decisions. Coming here in a long thread ...— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) January 25, 2021
“MASN has notified us that they are parting ways with Dan Kolko, Bo Porter and Alex Chappell. In addition, MASN has cut Nats Xtra to just 15 minutes pre- and post-game. To say that we are incredibly disappointed and upset by MASN’s decisions would be a gross understatement ...”
“To be clear - these decisions were made by MASN and against our wishes. As we have expressed to both MASN and Major League Baseball, we are very concerned about the negative impact these decisions could have on our fans ...”
“ ... especially now when content shared via broadcast and digital channels is vital for them to stay connected with our team. We want to thank Dan, Bo and Alex for their professionalism and for being good stewards of our team’s story over the years ...”
“They are part of the Washington Nationals family and we wish them all the best.”
Statement from Dan Kolko on his status hosting Nats pre and post-game shows: "The situation is fluid right now so I can't really comment, but I love covering the Nats and being a part of the broadcast team."— Ben Strauss (@benjstrauss) January 25, 2021
Incredible few years covering the @Nationals for MASN. 2019 was filled with so many special moments & memories Thankful for my time & most thankful for the people. #Nats fans are the best fans! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/N0ODi7VIbS— Alex Chappell (@AlexChappell) January 25, 2021
Friday Jan. 22 was my last day writing for MASN. Thank you to all for reading my work the last 12 years. Thank you to #Nats for being so gracious with their time. I loved unearthing the intricacies of baseball and it’s personalities. I am looking forward to the next adventure!— Byron Kerr (@ByronKerr) January 25, 2021
MASN cuts Nationals programming - (Washington Times)
"Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which broadcasts Nationals and Orioles games, has made significant changes to Washington’s pre- and postgame programming while cutting three on-air personalities: Dan Kolko, Alex Chappell and Bo Porter."
MASN announces changes to Nationals broadcasts - (WaPost)
“The feud between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles over the regional sports network that broadcasts their games has spread to a new front.”
Other Baseballier Stuff:
Brad Hand addition nearly completes Nationals 2021 roster - (Washington Times)
"But in recent weeks general manager Mike Rizzo has, one-by-one, checked almost all those boxes."
Nats reportedly add Brad Hand - (MLB.com)
"Jon Heyman joins Hot Stove to discuss Brad Hand reportedly agreeing to a one-year deal with the Nationals."
In the latest edition of the Daily Bases video series, the latest on Ryan Zimmerman, Cade Cavalli and Starlin Castro. #Nationals pic.twitter.com/AEyiufuI69— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) January 25, 2021
Zimmerman returns for 2021 - (MLB.com)
"Nationals reporter Jessica Camerato discusses the return of Ryan Zimmerman, Cade Cavalli's two-way status and Starlin Castro's health."
With four late-inning arms, Nats have plenty of relief options - (MASN)
"A few national baseball writers referred to Brad Hand as the Nationals’ 'new closer' upon reporting his contract agreement Sunday night. Don’t be so sure about that."
When the world returns to normal, and it will, MASN/Nats will have hard time finding a trio as good as Dan Kolko, Bo Porter & Alex Chappell for pre-and-post-game shows & interviews. I learn from Bo, who's clubhouse connected, Alex is good and somebody smart will grab Kolko FAST.— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) January 26, 2021
How Nationals’ reported signing of Brad Hand affects Sean Doolittle’s future - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals filled the southpaw-sized hole in their bullpen Sunday when they reportedly signed closer Brad Hand to a one-year, $10.5 million deal."
5 standout moments at Nationals Park - (MLB.com)
"Take a look at five memorable moments that have taken place at Nats Park."
I’ve been texting with my good friend and former #MLB MGR Davey Johnson who is battling Covid-19 and needs our prayers PLEASE say a prayer for him. #Reds #Nationals #Mets #Orioles #Braves #Phillies #Cubs— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 26, 2021
The Nationals’ 2021 rotation is built for 2017 - (Beyond the Box Score)
"A few years ago a rotation consisting of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Jon Lester would get any fan giddy, but heading into 2021, this rotation should be concerning to Washington Nationals fans."
Washington Nationals Hope Brad Hand Will Boost Bullpen, Send Club Back To Playoffs - (Forbes)
"After dropping from World Champions one year to cellar-dwellers the next, the Washington Nationals are not only determined to bounce back but doing something about it."
Nationals Add Brad, Land Hand - (FanGraphs)
"Hand got incredible results last season by both ERA and FIP, but that decreased velocity and those platoon splits are slight causes for worry."
Sources - Brad Hand, Washington Nationals agree to 1-year, $10.5M deal - (ESPN)
"The 30-year-old left-hander is poised to become Washington's closer in his 11th major league season, joining the back end of the bullpen that already includes Will Harris, Daniel Hudson and Tanner Rainey."
MASN Slashes Staff For Orioles, Nationals Coverage - (Barrett Sports Media)
"The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network is making significant programming and personnel changes to Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals broadcasts ahead of the 2021 MLB season, according to The Athletic."
Alex did a great job. So did @masnKolko and @Boporter16Bo MASN’s cost-saving call to cut 3 pros and their coverage of a terrific team is very disappointing. https://t.co/StGubc8pBf— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 26, 2021
NL EAST UPDATES:
Top 10 moments in Citizens Bank Park history - (MLB.com)
"1. Game 5 of 2008 World Series - 'The 0-2 pitch. Swing and a miss! Struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 world champions of baseball!'"
MLB free agency: Mets miss out on reliever Brad Hand - (NY Post)
"The Mets missed out on a chance to fortify their bullpen Sunday, when lefty reliever Brad Hand signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the Nationals."
Marlins Reel In Anthony Bass - (FanGraphs)
"The 33-year-old has taken the journeyman moniker to it’s extreme but finally found a school to call home in Miami."
Braves re-sign Pablo Sandoval - (AJC.com)
"The Braves re-signed infielder Pablo Sandoval to a one-year, minor-league deal Sunday. The contract is worth $1 million, if he makes the major-league roster."