This Was a Very Bad Look for MLB Network: TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. Many people have come out of this Astros cheating scandal looking terrible. 

The list is long—Alex Cora, Carlos Beltran, A.J. Hinch, Jim Crane, Rob Manfred, all Astros players, etc.—and it keeps growing.

The latest addition is MLB Network. Terrible might be a little strong, but the league's network certainly had a rough day Sunday. Commissioner Rob Manfred held his first press conference regarding Houston's sign-stealing chicanery Sunday afternoon, just a few days after the Astros held a disastrous press conference in which they shrugged off the entire affair.

However, MLB Network passed on airing Manfred's meeting with the media and stuck to its original programming at the time: Bull Durham.

Yes, baseball's own network decided not to air an important and newsworthy press conference held by its own commissioner so instead they could air a movie that has been shown on its network a million times.

MLB Network aired the Astros' controversial press conference on Thursday featuring Crane, Jose Altuve and Bregman, so it's hard to understand why it would ignore Manfred's presser on Sunday.

Granted, Manfred's press conference ended up being a problem itself since he offered a bizarre rationale for taking the Astros off the hook regarding cheating allegations during the 2019 season, but MLB Network did not know it would turn out that way when it decided to give its viewers more Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon.

SI reached out to MLB Network about the decision and here was its statement:

"MLB Network’s 'MLB Tonight' extensively covered Commissioner Manfred’s media availability yesterday at 6pm, including airing portions of it, throughout the program. Robert Flores and John Smoltz provided analysis from Studio 3, plus Ken Rosenthal joined the program from Florida.

"MLB Network’s studio programming, including 'Hot Stove,' 'High Heat,' 'Intentional Talk,' 'MLB Now' and 'MLB Tonight,' will continue to provide coverage throughout today. MLB Network will air live Commissioner Manfred’s press availability at Spring Training media day in Arizona tomorrow as part of 'MLB Tonight.'"

So the presser was covered, but not covered live, which is a mind-boggling decision. There was absolutely no excuse for not showing Manfred live on Sunday. 

2. The most fascinating aspect of the fallout surrounding the Astros' cheating has been watching players—current and former—just openly mock and rip Houston's players, Manfred and MLB. You know about Cody Bellinger and Trevor Bauer, but plenty of other players have used Twitter to send a message about buzzers, cheating, tainted wins, fake apologies and much more.

It's going to be a fun season.

3. J.J. Watt and Kealia Ohai tied the knot this weekend and we need to give props to the Texans star for switching out of an uncomfortable and annoying suit during the reception and going with casual wear on the dance floor.

4. Charles Barkley called Kawhi Leonard a "cyborg" Sunday night and Leonard had no idea what was going on.

5. Yeah, this will definitely go over well with the New York media.

6. The latest SI Media Podcast features interviews with ESPN football analyst Dan Orlovsky and New York Post sports media reporter/columnist Andrew Marchand. Here's a breakdown of topics discussed and their timestamps:

Orlovsky: (2:07) NFL teams reaching out to him about possible coaching jobs. (6:06) Biggest mistake NFL teams are making right now that hurt their quarterback. (9:45) Kyle Shanahan's biggest mistake in the Super Bowl. (16:16) NFL fans being smarter than ever. (20:06) Breaking down a memorable Tom Brady video and having to convince ESPN producers to let him do it. (23:06) Analysts he admires. (24:57) Twitter launching his career. (26:37) *NSYNC vs. Backstreet Boys.

Marchand: (32:05) Flex scheduling possibly coming to Monday Night Football. (39:28) TV driving MLB's proposed postseason changes and selection show. (46:24 ) XFL ratings. (51:21) Update on Tony Romo's contractual situation. (55:33) The Gayle King–Lisa Leslie–Snoop Dogg controversy.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: In honor of President's Day, let's remember one of the most memorable ever, President Jack Tunney.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.