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Baseball Media Pays Tribute To Tom Seaver

“He made his MLB debut for the Mets in 1967 and quickly became the cornerstone of the franchise, leading New York and the “Miracle Mets” to a World Series Title in 1969.”

Jacob Conley

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When it was announced Wednesday night at 8 P.M. that former New York Met and Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver had passed away at the age of 75, reaction and tributes came pouring in across the baseball world.

The MLB Network broke into its live coverage of Wednesday Night Baseball to announce the news  and quickly developed a tribute video to commemorate “Tom Terrific”, which debuted on Quick Pitch and it was replayed many times through the overnight hours. 

“He was the marquee name of that generation,” another Mets’ legend David Wright said.

Seaver did indeed define a generation. He made his MLB debut for the Mets in 1967 and quickly became the cornerstone of the franchise, leading New York and the “Miracle Mets” to a World Series Title in 1969. That was only the beginning for Seaver, however, as throughout his 20 year career, he won 311 games, three Cy Young awards and recorded over 3,000 strikeouts. He was a near unanimous Hall-of-Fame selection in 1992.

“I can remember thinking at 15 (when I saw Seaver pitch) that now we have our Mays our Mantle, our DiMaggio,” Mets broadcaster Howie Rose said in the tribute video. He also paid tribute on Twitter.

Rose was far from the only local New York media member to react to the news.

“It (Seaver’s death) affected me more than I thought it would,” WFAN’s Bob Heussler  said over the airways. “The Mets were the lovable laughing stock of baseball from 1962 through 1967 when Tom Seaver came on board. He was the personification of what the Mets represented from lovable laughingstock to Word Series champion in 1969.” 

In addition to print and online publications, The New York Post also released a special edition of the Amazin’ but True podcast, commemorating Seaver on Thursday morning featuring Rose and serval of Seaver’s Mets’ teammates, including Ed Kranepool and Art Shamsky. All three guests shared stories of Seaver both on and off the field.

During the podcast, Shamsky describes Seaver being an icon in New York sports history, the memories of their visit in 2017,  how talented a pitcher Seaver was, what it was like fielding behind him and then facing him as an opposing hitter. Kranepool focused more on Seaver the person instead of the player, saying he was a class act. 

Many nationally prominent media figures shared their thoughts on Seaver as well, including, Bob Costas.

“I was blessed to not only interview Tom but to share a broadcast booth with him as well,” Costas said on the MLB Network. “He was so well spoken and able to express the particulars of his craft. I remember Vin Scully came down with laryngitis in the 1989 NLCS between the Giants and Cubs and I got to do a game with Tom. As for interviews, we shared a memorable one in Cooperstown a few years ago. There are people who are great at what they do but not great at explaining it. Tom was both. Jerry Seinfeld can talk about a joke, deconstructing it to the syllable. Tom Seaver could do the same thing with pitches.”

Fox Sports radio’s Jason Smith grew up idolizing Seaver and became so emotional he could not adequately talk about Seaver on his show, so he took to Twitter instead.

Smith later shares a personal story on the social media platform.

ESPN’s Buster Olney, who is best known for breaking down and analyzing stats, honored Seaver by detailing the impressive numbers Seaver garnered throughout his Hall-of Fame career.

https://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/1301450101953527808

More tributes to Seaver across multiple platforms are expected over the coming days.

Sports TV News

NHL Ratings on ESPN, TNT Down in 2nd Year

So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season.

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Viewership totals from ESPN and TNT show NHL ratings have declined heading into the All-Star break, but there are some extenuating circumstances for the nearly 22% drop.

So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season. However, both channels have increased their linear television schedule, doubling from 27 games to 54.

ESPN has aired 18 games with an average of 402,000 viewers. In the same time period last year, the worldwide leader had only aired seven contests, but garnered 622,000 per game. None of ESPN’s games last season had aired on weekends, while the network has broadcast six games on Sunday this year alone. The 12 games ESPN has aired that weren’t on Sunday have averaged 491,000 viewers.

The 2023 NHL All-Star Game will air on ABC Saturday, and the network is hoping for a lift from last season. In 2022, ratings fell 38% from the previous All-Star Game on NBC, and hit the lowest total since 2009. The NHL Skills challenge saw its largest audience in a decade after airing on ESPN in primetime on a Friday evening. Nearly 1.1 million watched the skills challenge, a 30% increase compared to 2020.

At this time last season, TNT had aired 20 games. Through 36 games this season, the network has seen an average of 359,000 viewers. The network is helped by the 2023 Winter Classic, which took place at Fenway Park on Monday, January 2nd. The afternoon contest saw an audience of 1.78 million, up 31% compared to the previous year.

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AFC Championship Game Delivers New Viewership High For CBS

53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI.

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The AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals drew a massive audience for CBS.

53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs’ controversial victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI. Additionally, the event is the most-watched NFL Conference Championship Game since 2017.

CBS claims the game peaked with 59.3 million viewers and was also the most-streamed live sporting event in the history of Paramount+.

With an audience of 53.1 million, CBS concludes its NFL playoff coverage averaging 40.798 million viewers for each game. That leads all networks thus far. The 2022 NFL season was the most-watched regular season on CBS in the past seven seasons.

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Michael Cole to Pat McAfee: I Didn’t Know If We’d See You In WWE Again

“If you noticed I haven’t said much to anyone publicly about when you were coming because no one knew.”

Jordan Bondurant

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WWE over the weekend held its annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view show, and in typical Rumble fashion the event didn’t go off without its fair share of surprise returns.

Among those returns was that of Pat McAfee to commentary. McAfee had last been seen on WWE television back in the summer. He took a leave of absence from his SmackDown responsibilities on Friday nights to go be an analyst on College GameDay.

McAfee’s SmackDown broadcast partner Michael Cole appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Monday and said he honestly didn’t think Pat would go back to WWE.

“I legit did not know if you were ever gonna be back,” Cole said, alluding to the fact that McAfee is now a father-to-be as a couple of big changes in his life. “And if you noticed I haven’t said much to anyone publicly about when you were coming because no one knew.”

Cole said he had prepared to call the Royal Rumble alongside broadcast partner Corey Graves, and it wasn’t until McAfee’s name flashed on the screen in the Alamodome that Cole realized what was happening.

“Paul Levesque was in my ear and he said, ‘Are you gonna sell it?’ And I mouthed to him in the spy cam, ‘Sell what?'” Cole said. “Then I looked up and saw your video board and I’m like oh my God you’re ribbing me.”

“I didn’t even know what to say and then when I saw you were in your blazer I was legit like so excited,” he added.

Cole said even his wife, who doesn’t typically watch WWE programming, tuned in and was excited to watch Pat make his return.

“She thought I was texting her to tell her that you were coming back. I knew nothing about it,” Cole said. “She texted me and said, ‘PAT!’ right in the middle of your entrance. It was craziness dude.”

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