Sometimes MLB Network swings and misses, but I sure give the folks over in New Jersey credit for pumping out original programming — and more often than not, it’s quality work, particularly with their seemingly never-ending countdown series.
The latest work from the network — which turns 4 years old Jan. 1 — premieres at 9 Wednesday, and Tigers fans probably will want to check it out.
During the World Series between the Tigers and Giants in October, MLB Network mic’d up all six umpires, and the result finally is coming out, in an hour-long documentary, “The Third Team: All-Access 2012 World Series.”
The show is an hour long, and will feature their casual conversations with players and coaches, as well as dialogue during some of the series’ most controversial calls — including the play at the plate involving Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder in Game 2 in San Francisco.
You’ll recall, Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a rather-heated conversation with plate umpire Dan Iassogna after the call. Now you’ll get to learn what exactly was said.
“The Third Team” also will feature interviews with the six umps — Iassogna, Fieldin Culbreth, Gerry Davis, Brian Gorman, Brian O’Nora and Joe West (though personally, I could do without the West soundtrack).
One interesting quote comes from O’Nora, who provided a pretty-spot-on job description for being a major league umpire: “This is the only job that you have to be perfect from the first day and get better at it.”
There weren’t many controversial calls in the series, which ended with the Tigers not winning a single game. So the umps certainly didn’t play a starring role in the Fall Classic.
But Wednesday, they get their moment in the spotlight.