Last week, MLB Network went a little overboard.
Listen, it’s a great network and I think, 90% of the time, they do a great job. But over the weekend, they launched 64 straight hours of content devoted to former Yankees shortstop, Hall of Famer and struggling Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter, including games, interviews and other nuggets/snippets from Jeter’s time in the big leagues.
That’s a lot of coverage for one man, especially a man who never won an MVP award, although for Yankees fans, it was almost certainly heaven. But during these trying times in which we live, perhaps every fanbase should be given 64 hours to devote to one person, especially as the player’s union and MLB owners continue to be at an impasse on starting the 2020 regular season.
If MLB Network was to go down that road, which Phillie should they choose? There are certainly a number of fantastic contenders.
Chase Utley would almost certainly be at the top of everyone’s list. From his grand slam in his second career game to his 2007 walk-off hit against the New York Mets, to his postseason exploits in Philadelphia, especially his defensive gem in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series and five home runs in the 2009 Fall Classic, there would certainly be a lot of great Utley moments in Phils pinstripes. There would also undoubtedly be a number of games/moments of Utley wearing Dodgers blue.
There’s Jimmy Rollins or Ryan Howard. Both were integral members of the 2007-11 run and both had numerous exploits on the field that should be remembered. How about going back a few years and doing 64 hours on Mike Schmidt? The guy was the greatest third baseman to ever play the game, had a ton of meaningful regular season games (23-22 and the 4 HR games at Wrigley, Game 161 against Montreal in 1980), and postseason accomplishments that could last for a couple days. How about Steve Carlton? Or Jim Thome? Or Cole Hamels?
On the latest edition of Hittin’ Season, my co-host Justin Klugh came up with the best name as we discussed this topic — Larry Bowa.
Think about it. Bowa was a part of the glory years from 1976-81, was the third base coach for the 1993 NL pennant-winners, managed the team from 2001-04, and has been a member of the coaching staff since 2014.
Unfortunately, that means none of the games during the Phils’ window from 2007-11 would be a part of this 64 hours of MLB Network coverage, but perhaps that’s OK. After all, so many of those games are on YouTube or have been replayed ad nauseam by NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Doing 64 hours of Bowa would take you through four separate iterations of the ballclub, and provide us with the wit, wisdom, and volcanic anger of our beloved Larry Bowa. Seriously, make it happen, MLB Network.