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February 7, 2013 4:59 am

BP Unfiltered: BP on TV


Ben Lindbergh

Two recent TV spots by Ben.

Often you read what we write, and sometimes you listen to what we say, but only relatively rarely do you get to (or have to) see what we look like. But some days we smile for the camera and show up on a screen of some sort, and then you can watch us form words in unforgiving high definition. I did that a couple times on TV last week, and both appearances are online for the benefit of anyone who wants to watch them.

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Jay Jaffe is slated to debut on MLB Network's sabermetrically-savvy new show.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I'll be debuting on MLB Network's Clubhouse Confidential on Tuesday at 5:30 PM Eastern. For the uninitiated, Clubhouse Confidential is a cutting-edge attempt to put advanced statistics in the television spotlight, using them not only to analyze the day's big news but to explore some of the perennial controversies which often pit statheads against the mainstream. The show debuted earlier this month — Derek Carty gave an early review — and from the point of its inception, those of us at Baseball Prospectus had reason to hope we'd get into the mix, particularly since host Brian Kenny regularly featured BP alums Joe Sheehan and Keith Law during his days at ESPN; Sheehan has already become a regular guest on the new show. A couple of weeks ago, their producers reached out, and I auditioned last week. Maybe the tie was the key.

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With a week's worth of shows in the can, has MLB Network's "Clubhouse Confidential" been the coming-out party sabermetricians have been hoping for?

Last Monday in this space, I interviewed Brian Kenny, host of MLB Network’s newest show, “Clubhouse Confidential,”in advance of the show’s premiere. If you haven’t heard of it yet, “Clubhouse Confidential” is a first-of-its-kind show that puts advanced statistics in the spotlight. Gone are the days of analyzing players using batting average and ERA, at least in MLBN’s 5:30 p.m. EST timeslot. With a week of shows in the books, I thought I’d take today to talk about what the show offers, what it lacks, and whether it’s worth your time to watch.

As I’m sure many people were, I was a little skeptical about how advanced analytics would translate from writing to television. While certainly possible, it needs to be done right in order to hold an audience’s attention—especially since on television, much of that audience is going to be unfamiliar with many of the stats and concepts. Kenny seems to be aware of this, since he makes sure to point out that “this isn’t math class” at the start of each show. Like he said in our interview, we’re still dealing with baseball, and it’s supposed to be fun. Intentions and reality are often two different things, but in this case, Kenny manages to it pull off, keeping the show light and fun while still engaging in intelligent analysis.

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With MLB Network's debut of "Clubhouse Confidential" scheduled for tonight, the show's host discusses what to expect and the use of stats on the program.

This weekend, I had a great chat with Brian Kenny, former “SportsCenter” anchor and the soon-to-be-host of the MLB Network’s latest show, “Clubhouse Confidential,” television’s first sabermetrically-slanted baseball program. “Clubhouse Confidential” debuts tonight at 5:30 EST, and I had the chance to talk with Brian ahead of the premiere about his background with sabermetrics, what we should expect from the show, and some other topics. You can check out the press release announcing the show here to get some additional background.


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