best credit cards for 650 credit score british airway chase credit card application canadian credit card with lowest interest rate capital one retail credit cards asia miles credit card philippines small new business credit cards hhonors credit card american express american express travel miles credit card aaa financial services credit card login nab internet credit card payment bmi baby credit card application top ways to pay off credit card debt square credit card printer canadian tire credit cards applications free dating sites no credit card australia debit card vs credit card rewards no foreign transaction fee credit card 2012 can pay my flagstar mortgage credit card which credit cards have the best foreign exchange rates credit card design ideas foreign currency transaction fee credit card india cimb credit card redemption travel credit card reviews average college student debt credit cards get credit card swiping machine india credit card payment processors canada sears credit card bill payment address credit card college student bad credit how to activate wells fargo credit card apply for a lowes business credit card whats the best credit card credit card number generator with cvv online credit card transactions for small business can you pay your gap credit card store show roberto carlos credit card hall credit card reader iphone 4 uk hsbc student credit card hk centon 128gb datastick credit card usb flash drive can pay used car credit card credit card security breach 2011 can you buy florida lottery tickets with a credit card tips paying down credit cards preloaded credit cards walmart compare credit card balance transfer offers calculator aluminum credit card case wholesale reviews on first premier bank credit card best benefits of credit cards stop credit card access checks credit card free flight southwest american express prepaid credit card reviews different types of credit card companies paypal send money using credit card open credit card online how to pay off credit card debt universal american express credit card login new bad credit credit card offers paying federal estimated taxes with credit card best credit card machine requirements for discover student credit card pay auto loan with credit card chase suntrust secured credit card card consolidation credit debt payment versus best student credit card australia suntrust bank credit card login credit cards for people with bad credit ratings repair ips credit card online payment stop united mileage plus credit card offers juniper credit card barclays bank delaware volkswagen credit card login apply imagine credit card furniture credit cards for bad credit spirit airlines credit card application status macys american express credit card sign in close credit card accounts without hurting credit score apply sbi corporate credit card natwest credit card lost pin number regulates credit card companies uk online credit card payments for business average american household debt credit cards bank america cash reward credit card review citi govt credit card payment how do credit cards companies make money guaranteed credit cards with instant approval aa credit card account login tips for getting out of credit card debt 40 000 united miles credit card credit card processing fee owl credit card magnifier cheap car rental johannesburg no credit card ge online services credit card login kohls charge card credit limit best banks with secured credit cards the history of credit cards credit card bailout obama credit card foreign transaction fee bank america mango credit card reviews credit card number length reviews delta airlines credit cards types of american express credit cards tire kingdom credit card customer service the children;s place credit card payment online best credit card points program university credit card payments college student credit card with cosigner how to pay hdfc credit card bill from citibank account negotiating with credit card companies + settlement ways to get cash from credit card case mate iphone 4 credit card holder apply lowe;s credit card get lower apr chase credit card tjx rewards credit card cancel my chase credit card account frequent flyer credit card qantas blue star credit card processing can get money order credit card walmart toys r us credit card number phone number ann taylor loft credit card application status check visa credit card balance what is the credit limit on a black american express card can we transfer money from credit card to credit card pay mortgage with credit card check the avenue credit card services unsecured credit cards for people with low credit fat wallet credit card thread guaranteed approval credit card bad credit smart money best credit cards 2009 what is a cid code on credit card ge credit cards india first credit card company to introduce the multi-application smart card what is the best credit card for a college student with no credit history send money with credit card american express credit cards no balance transfer fee low apr credit card easy payment plan pros cons debt consolidation credit cards can you pay mortgage with credit card bank of america how to pay navy federal credit card hsbc credit card website how to make itunes account without credit card on iphone 4 using credit card advantages and disadvantages balance transfer credit cards for bad credit how to change credit card on itunes from ipad 2 citibank credit card payment centers delhi how to find sort code and account number on credit card bpi credit card application follow up how does credit card info get stolen apply for chase visa credit card new york & co credit card credit card dimensions inches how to get out of credit card debt faster hack rfid enabled credit card steal money cheap hyatt credit card uk can you apply for two credit cards in the same day pay belk credit card online does being denied for a credit card lower your credit score send my wells fargo credit card payments best credit card for foreign transaction fees address gap credit card payments loans for bad credit and no debit card best 0 interest credit card deals how to pay credit card bill online hdfc with other bank how do credit cards work minimum payment 1st premier bank credit card phone number can i pay my bank of america credit card over the phone get all three credit scores free without credit card student credit card instant approval can you ask credit card companies to freeze interest how to get out of a credit card machine lease credit cards rebuilding credit after bankruptcy can create apple id without credit card details wireless credit card machine for android hdfc track your credit card status visa aaa credit card login how to apply for add on credit card in hdfc what is the lowest apr credit card applying walmart credit card online wells fargo bobs furniture credit card payment chase travel plus credit card can college students get credit cards suze orman credit card tips paypal credit card address verification private label credit cards wells fargo pre paid credit card hhgregg ge credit card login american credit card solutions bbb average interest rate credit cards now bad credit history credit card 5 cash back credit card discover best credit cards for miles rewards npc credit card processing company payment credit card debt settlement forum credit card information stolen psn hack american express bank credit card india how do you pay bank of america credit card online wachovia credit card minimum payment free credit card clip art logos halifax credit card online register barclaycard initial credit card application prepaid credit cards help rebuild credit median credit card debt american households zero city bank credit card uk prepaid credit cards that build your credit credit cards for first time users credit cards citibank singapore credit card number generator free software download credit cards does qvc accept my credit card keeps getting declined online best credit card offers balance transfers 2011 customer reviews on chase freedom credit card pay mortgage credit card wells fargo business credit cards with best rewards best credit cards transfer balances 2011 does mn state fair take credit cards best credit cards indian nyco credit card payment ent federal credit union credit card leather credit card wallet uk boa secured credit card status what do you need to apply for a business credit card first credit card no credit history no annual fee citi how many numbers does a credit card have in it zero balance transfer credit card offers prepaid credit card foreign travel state farm credit card rating chase credit card 0 transfer balance how to buy credit card numbers online google search credit card numbers hdfc credit card indiatimes offer small business accepting credit card online capital one custom credit cards old credit card debt in florida costco business credit card benefits aopa credit card benefits credit card scanner for android what are the best cashback credit cards what are the costs and pitfalls of using credit cards and debit cards low credit score credit cards credit cards fixed interest rates 0 credit card balance transfers purchases which credit card is best for balance transfer murphy usa walmart credit card citibank cash back credit card world of warcraft credit card redemption can you get a chase credit card with no credit best buy credit card log page the children;s place credit card application credit card debt forgiveness act 2009 hsbc credit card sign in page pay down high credit cards direct merchant bank credit card login usa credit cards chip pin credit card acquirer issuer should use credit card these checks pay with 2 credit cards best buy bowflex credit card payment how to check visa credit card balance online do prepaid credit cards help build credit freedom first credit card login credit cards 0 balance transfers no transaction fee schwab credit card international fee how many credit cards for good credit score bank of america credit card cover rental car insurance itunes no credit card option sapphire credit card login government citi visa credit card regulation z affects credit card issuers in which of the following ways uob credit card advance cash pay best buy credit card online make paypal without credit card bank account direct merchant credit card processing get cash credit card without pin sample authorization letter to pick up credit card; how to pay your amazon credit card credit cards ratings apply for credit cards with low credit score hsbc credit card services complaints sears credit card discount psn credit card numbers for sale suntrust credit card application lowes ge money bank credit card close citibank credit card account online my citibank credit card statement online walmart visa credit card login canadian credit card with no foreign currency transaction fee hsbc credit card cancellation credit card shopping cart wordpress mac compatible usb credit card reader axis bank titanium credit card offers capital one credit card for no credit history blue sky american express credit card reviews best reward credit cards 2012 travel new credit card laws canada 2011 subprime credit cards capital one best credit cards small business rewards offers federal law credit card refunds axis bank credit card bill payment online maybank credit card promotion malaysia credit cards balance transfer 0 interest no fee paypal charge to pay with credit card how much does quickbooks credit card processing cost chase credit card abuse can you get free credit report without credit card hsbc credit card foreign exchange rate delta skymiles credit card upgrade from gold to platinum uob debit card credit limit can i transfer a credit card balance to another person credit cards without international exchange fees do u need credit card paypal account accept credit cards cell phone paypal car care one credit card phone number target visa credit card payment online best small business credit cards miles credit card to build credit history credit cards with no deposit for bad credit apply for credit card with bad credit uk best credit card processors us toyota credit card services how to apply for a disney visa credit card american express credit card login student credit cards with bad credit/no credit walmart credit card services phone number pay off credit card or pay down mortgage business credit cards uk continental credit cards chase not using a credit card with itunes names different credit card companies credit score do need get visa black card spend get unsecured credit card no credit check citibank credit cards apply phone top cash back credit cards uk how does high credit card balance affect my credit score many credit card transactions per day uk hdfc titanium credit card offers 2012 credit card processing for new small business online access my credit card ann taylor loft fnb credit card travel insurance palais royal credit card login nordstrom credit card application credit card bill payment through debit card npc credit card services bank of america credit card account agreement does pnc bank offer secured credit cards sony credit card login capital one calculator how long to pay off credit card longest credit card 0 purchases credit card imprinter slips best airline miles credit cards 2011 publix employees federal credit union credit card aspire visa credit card application cancel chase credit card online credit card reward programs taxable credit card promotions november 2012 happens my credit card debt if file bankruptcy will a magnetic money clip ruin my credit card how does paypal work with my credit card credit card wallets/holders credit card avs verification valid credit card numbers and cvv numbers best iphone credit card reader chase credit card services contact phone number cabela credit card payment credit card payoff calculator formula get free credit card machine instant reply credit card application address for chase bank credit card payments axis bank credit card online shopping offers leather credit card wallets uk credit card approval criteria fee free credit card transfers store credit card details law ge money bank rooms to go credit card icici credit card online payment icici bank santander credit card login problems student discover card bad credit merrill lynch credit card application status obama credit card relief act www.shell credit card.account on line.com what credit card should i get if i have bad credit commonwealth bank gold credit card awards best credit cards for below average credit staples credit card online bill pay new york and company credit card credit score minimum credit score for credit card best credit cards balance transfers purchases do you need use your credit card build credit can you get student credit card bad credit credit cards in europe problems chase credit card lost or stolen alaska airlines rewards credit card access group credit card processing discover credit card status application lucky credit card redeem rewards points hdfc credit cards apply for a credit card rbs hdfc credit card online payment billdesk credit card default rate statistics how do i cancel my american eagle credit card pros and cons of using credit or debit cards aa miles credit card southwest airlines credit card review credit card online banking bank of america should i pay off credit cards with student loans ba american express credit card review shopping online credit card safety chase change credit card pin household bank credit cards good bank of america online credit card account access legacy visa credit card online what is 3 digit code on back of credit card credit card paper application can you pay with your credit card through paypal credit card american express bangladesh how can i view my citibank credit card statement online average credit card rate how do you cancel a credit card order can you pay bills with credit cards if credit card application denied maybank credit card advance cash pay my credit card bill online bank america credit card processing software pc hsbc best buy credit card online payment united mileage plus credit card account login kotak credit card statement online will wells fargo lower my credit card interest rate discover more card limited credit history citibank credit card default india average american credit card debt 2008 compromised credit card accept card credit internet over delta gold credit card sign up free apple id without credit card paying federal taxes online by credit card using someone else;s credit card without getting caught bad credit cards uk instant approval apply disneyland credit card easy to qualify store credit cards first time credit card uk cancellation of debt credit card tax usair credit card review student credit card applications online small business gas credit card credit cardholders bill of rights wiki chevron texaco credit card payment online diners club credit card sg american express foreign exchange rates credit cards cancel sleepys credit card money order from post office credit card total credit card debt apply online for barclays bank credit card capital one credit card review 2012 program credit card machine card credit bcr best mile credit card offers davids bridal credit card reviews lost credit card citibank india credit card comparison chart 2012 how long will it take to pay off my credit card formula best credit cards cash advance online advantages and disadvantages of using a credit card best credit card for us airways miles hdfc credit card swipe machine buy bitcoins instantly with credit card young money credit card credit card assistance program benefits how long does it take to get a credit card after approval kotak credit card customer care number ahmedabad rbc bank credit card login united credit card chase bank guaranteed credit card approval bad credit unsecured discover student credit card with no credit history ways cut down credit card debt credit card formula excel american express credit card merchant services 76 credit card union 76 phone number to call to stop credit card offers capital one credit card approval process do credit card miles rewards work yamaha motor credit card payment hsbc southwest visa credit card login how to get an apple id without a credit card 1st premier credit card payment address apply for student credit cards with no credit credit card payments via iphone uk barclay initial credit card review compare credit cards balance transfer offers td credit card application iphone asking credit card free app credit cards with no credit limit benefits of accepting credit cards using credit option your debit card what do you call the 3 digit code on the back of a credit card money magazine most rewarding credit cards can i use my bank of america debit card as a credit card how to use a prepaid credit card online purchase credit card machine hdfc visa gold - personal credit card best rate credit cards processing pci compliance credit card transactions unsecured credit card help rebuild credit yamaha credit card american express credit card benefits
Home Biz of Baseball - Interviews An Interview with MLB Network's Victor Rojas

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 939 guests online

Atom RSS

An Interview with MLB Network's Victor Rojas PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 26
PoorBest 
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 02 November 2009 01:16

Victor RojasIf you’re a baseball fan, and haven’t had access to MLB Network, well… it’s not a leap to say you are missing something. Launched on Jan. 1 of 2009, the network reached approx. 50 million households at the time, and as the 2009 season ends, will have reached approx. 3 million more.

The reason MLB Network works has as much to do with the game itself as it does with the distribution deals that MLB made. The game, steeped in history and stats, lends itself exceptionally well to year-round coverage.

But, MLB Network has done more than just been a pedestrian effort for a fledgling launch. Classic games, original programming, and non-stop coverage from the MLB Network studios have allowed given fans a solid platform to watch whether it’s in the middle of the regular season or during baseball’s off-season, if there is such a thing.

Just before MLB Network’s, launch it was announced at the Winter Meetings last year that former Texas Rangers announcer Victor Rojas would be joining the on-air talent as the host of several studio shows, including MLB Tonight. In a sign that his talents extend beyond the mic to in front of the camera, Rojas had never done television prior to being added to MLB Network's talent staff.

Victor, the son of legendary player/manager “Cookie” Rojas not only has been a play-by-play broadcaster, proving analysis, but also a player, both at the collegiate level and in the Angels development system as a catcher and pitcher.

During the 2003 season, Rojas did radio play-by-play and analysis for Arizona Diamondbacks broadcasts. Prior to joining the Diamondbacks, Rojas spent two seasons doing television analysis and radio play-by-play for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League, where he was also hired as the team's Assistant General Manager before becoming General Manager.

For the last two years Rojas served as the English television play-by-play broadcaster for the Caribbean World Series, shown on the YES network in 2006 from Venezuela and SNY network in 2007 from Puerto Rico. His father, Cookie, provided color analysis both occasions.

The following interview covers his earliest childhood memory of baseball; how being a player helps him connect with the former MLB players on the MLB Network staff; background into his being both an Assistant GM, and General Manager of the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League; doing play-by-play for the Caribbean World Series with his father; whether MLB’s postseason schedule is a “travesty”, as some writers have claimed do to the World Series going into November; thoughts on whether big market teams such as the Red Sox and Yankees all year long by national broadcasters is a good thing for fans; and much, much more. – Maury Brown

Select Read More to see the interview with Victor Rojas

Maury Brown for the Business of Sports Network: Your life must be forever tied to baseball, given your dad’s career in baseball, both as a player and manager. What’s your first baseball memory?

Cookie RojasVictor Rojas: I guess the first memory was in the 5th grade and my teacher, Mrs, Sheets. She began reading to the class from this book called Unsung Heroes of the Major Leagues... Anyway, she started reading about my dad, as there was a chapter about him in the book. It was at that time I realized that my dad was something more than just a 'dad'...it's the first time I also realized that my dad playing baseball was a bigger deal than I realized and that word, 'famous', became synonymous with the Cookster. The other for me was when my dad was with the Royals and I was a kid being around the clubhouse and shagging balls during batting practice at Royal Stadium. “Cookie Rojas Day” in 1977 when dad retired is a day that also sticks out to me.

Bizball: Was it a certain thing where dad was taking you to the ballpark quite often to see all the players and the other things surrounding?

Rojas: Yeah. He had four boys. When he was home, most of us went with him to go to the ballpark and we had a routine: as soon as batting practice was over, shower up, get out of the clubhouse and go up to the family room and wait for mom and just hang out. That was kind of our routine as kids, even after he stopped playing he went straight into coaching the following year with the Cubs. That involved Spring Training and doing the Cubs stuff with all those wonderful players like Dave Kingman and Rick Reuschal, Larry Biitner and all those guys. My dad didn’t retire until I was up to the 5th grade. Baseball wise, my memory bank didn’t really kick in until that year he retired.

Bizball: You played college ball as a pitcher and catcher and pitched in the Angels minor league organization in the ‘90s. What were the biggest take aways from that experience?

Rojas: You mean in as in regards to my hosting duties?

Bizball: No, not so much that, but in terms of being a former player. You’re working with the likes of Larkin, Reynolds, Williams… guys that are former MLBers, and you as a former player… a lot of hosts don’t have that background.

Rojas: I think because of that (being a former player) I think I’m a lot closer to analysts than other folks because that’s what I relate to; it’s what I’ve known. Whether it’s lingo or knowing the game, there’s a point where individually you have conversations with these guys and it just clicks because you have a common bond. I would like to believe it goes further than me being the son of a former major leaguer, but that they understand that not only that, but that I did play and I do understand how difficult of a game it is especially to get to the upper levels and I have an appreciation for it and don’t dismiss it as such, as a lot of [analysts] do that. I don’t think they fully realize how hard this game is to play, and they can become dismissive of it.

Bizball: You’re background is steeped in baseball at all levels, one of which being Assistant General Manager before becoming General Manager of the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League. The title “General Manager” has different applications at the minor league and major league levels. What were some of the responsibilities you had during your time there?

Rojas: Being a general manager in independent ball is 10 times different than being a GM in organized ball. In organized baseball – I was with Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in front office with Hank Stickney doing Marketing, merchandising and promotions. As general manager in organized baseball, you’re running a business. You have employees, staffing issues, ticket sales and you are not concerned about on the field part of things, you are worried about the periphery . That’s your business. That’s how the model is built. From an Independent ball standpoint , Rick Cerrone was our owner. When I was brought in, it was as the Assistant GM in charge of putting team together. And, when I was elevated to General Manager, my responsibilities -- early on, and throughout my tenure there – was keeping the team together and keeping it staffed. That remained with me throughout. We had a 24 man roster, budget, players with x amount of years make x amount of dollars, housing, hiring and firing managers and coaches, purchasing uniforms. You know all that stuff. That consumed my time, especially my first year.

As I got into my second year, I landed a gig with with MLB. com – MLB radio –from 9-12 in the morning and then would hope back on train to Newark to do my GM duties if you will for whatever was going on. I still oversaw ticket sales and marketing and all that stuff but Rick was really a hands on owner. And even though it ran through me, he was really the guy that oversaw all of that. My focus was on the playing field and players as well as when the game started the broadcast.

Bizball: I think a lot of people get lost on how difficult it is to keep up with all that. Is it wrong to say you were a many of many hats?

Rojas: Well, yes I was. I went to Newark and I think that gets kind of lost in all of this because I didn’t go to Newark to get a player ops job, I went to Newark to learn how to be a broadcaster. That is what I wanted to do. At that stage of my life I wanted to do something new. I was tired of working front office. I had worked with the Florida Panthers, Arena Football, as well as minor league baseball. I was ready to do something new. My focus when i was hired by Rick was as Assistant GM and also work on the game broadcasts. Well, the GM gets fired and I then assume the GM duties as well. As much as Rick put the emphasis on me to really retain my general manager hat, it was something I had to relinquish in year two, halfway through hte season. It was time for me to move on and I wanted to just focus on broadcasting.  It was important to me and things were going really well with it. I finally decided to step away from the GM thing while still maintaining my connection to broadcasting with the Bears. I still helped put the team together while not being the GM in year #2.

Bizball: You’ve done play-by-play for the Caribbean World Series the past couple of years, having your father as color analyst. How has that experience been?

Rojas: It was great! We got a chance to do the games to together for 3 years, with out first being down in Venezuela My biggest concern early on, for him was mastering the English language...and I mean that from a broadcast standpoint. He obviously speaks English– he has been in the country many years. When it comes to broadcasting, there are guys that come over and English is their 2nd language, there is a limit. When you are doing the Caribbean Series and doing 3.5-4 hours games on a nightly basis for a week straight, you can become stagnant with a limited vocabulary, that became my biggest concern. And that was coupled with what to call him on the air, “Dad” or “Cookie” on the air? So I went with Cookie and we had fun with it. It worked out great because the guy obviously has an unbelievable amount of knowledge of the game of baseball, history having played and managed in Caribbean Series. Having played and managed in winter ball. It was fantastic to hear the stories in-game and to break things down. It was fun, it was a blast.

Bizball: So during the Caribbean World Series, were there any players that impressed you?

Rojas: Nobody really stood out. I mean, the guys that stand out are the big leaguers. For me it was really about… like when we were in Venezuela, you're looking forward to the key matchup, Venezuela and Dominican Republic. Those are usually the “stacked” teams, if you well. In Puerto Rico, the following season, it was Puerto Rico vs the Dominican Republic and so on because of how heated, showmanship wise, those games can become. You enjoy those type of games and the camaraderie that comes with it. I don’t know what it is about the World Baseball Classic, but I think it becomes a little watered down. And I say that cautiously because I think I like the WBC but I think it needs to be tweaked. But it’s tough to replicate the Caribbean World Series. Number 1, because of the atmosphere and location the nature of which fans are emotionally attached to every single pitch down there. It’s tough to generate that here hosting all those games in the States. You saw it a little bit when games were played in Mexico or Japan. Here is the States its more like fans just sit on their hands, kind of just chill, it’s just a baseball game. Where in other parts of the world it’s raucous from first pitch to last pitch. I know I'm getting off the point a bit but you have to take it in context. That being said is there is any one particular player that stood out to me? No, not really. The best game I ever saw in my life was in Venezuela – it was the Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela – like the play-in game (AL Central tiebreaker) between the Twin and Tigers, it was a similar type of atmosphere, a see-saw battle but with the long ball. Jose Offerman would hit a HR in top of inning and Alex Gonzalez would come in the bottom of inning to tie it again. It was that way until Gonzalez hit a walk-off winner in bottom of 9th inning to win the game. It was phenomenal. Those were the things you take away, as opposed to individual performances. Alex Cabrera, not sure if you remember him –big dude; a first baseman. He went to Japan. I barely remember much of him here but seeing guys like that was cool being able to play for the host country and contribute the way they did, and thinking, “God, why isn’t he playing here in the states?” And wondering those type of things.

Bizball: There was a column done out of the Chicago Sun-Times (see Maury Brown's column on the topic) talking about how it’s a travesty that games are being played in November, that it’s about greed. But, ratings are up for the postseason, we have broken a record for 1-run games, speaking to the competitiveness of the postseason matchups, and yet there’s been this talk about how the schedule running into November is ruining the game. Is the scheduling wrong, and are fans in some senses soft about it?

Rojas: I haven’t really thought about it, the way you laid it out. The problem I have is the way the schedules are laid out; if the two LCS series get completed almost a week early why are we waiting until Wednesday to start the World Series? Those are the things I wonder about.

Bizball: I often wonder if it’s due to competing against the NFL.

Rojas: But, you’re competing against the NFL, regardless. It is a 24-hour machine all week long especially with fantasy football and betting standpoint. You are constantly getting football information all week. You are competing against the Thursday night game and you’re obviously going to compete with them on Sunday (during the regular season and occasionally in post-season) . If you are a football fan of a team playing on Sunday, you are going be keyed into that game. If you’re talking about one day of the week, the odds are you are going to run into a Sunday. I suppose you could try to paint around it with scheduling and such. Looking at the schedule, you’re going to wind up bumping into Sunday and Mondays and those are football days. That’s why Commissioner Selig is at the level he is at (chuckles), because he makes those decisions. I’m sure FOX and TBS has a huge impact on decision making process with scheduling.

But as far as fans being “soft” I think it’s a different fan base. I think our country has become football first then baseball. When you are talking about Japan, a proud country that loves baseball or the Islands, the Caribbean it’s their national sport. It’s what they love and can’t get enough of it. Here in the States we are distracted by other things. We are losing kids to football and basketball. Our youth programs aren’t what they used to be, when I was growing up. They are playing football and basketball year round. They do it in baseball, too but its lost quite a few fans, or future fans, who have become passive...the fence-sitters or the casual fan. The "hard core" fan loves the game and will always follow the game. But, the ones that have gotten a taste of it; they think they like it, but they’re not fully enamored yet… Those are the ones saying, “Uh, it’s a 3 hour game. Do I want to commit to it.” That is the biggest difference between baseball here vs the islands because if you are down there, all those people love the game and they’re getting after it.

Bizball: So, we touched on this; the ratings being up. I don’t blame FOX, TBS, or ESPN for this, but we have a steady diet of Yankees and Red Sox games each year, and whether you think it’s bad for the fans to see only those teams so often, they’re going to go with what brings in ratings. So, here we are with several big market, storied franchises in the postseason, and they are doing well on television… Do you think it’s because of marquee matchups or because the games have been competitive?

Rojas: I think it’s a combination, to be honest with you. I don’t blame television, now that I’m part of that medium, for watching for its interest. The bottom line is, they’re making an investment in the game. I mean, there are dollars being spent in order to have the rights to broadcast these games, and in order to recoup those dollars, you’re going to have to base that on advertising. And so, where’s your biggest bang for your buck? Well, it’s going to be Red Sox and Yankees, maybe the Angels or the Cubs are involved; it’s logic. It makes sense. So, I can understand where they like those type of match-ups. I think the rest of the country becomes disinterested in it, but if you’re FOX and Rupert Murdoch, all you care about is recouping your rights fees, if not making a couple of bucks. But, all in all, I think if there are good match-ups and compelling storylines, I think people tend to tune in. Sometimes it takes a bit longer for them to tune in, but I keep coming back to that Twins/Tigers game, and I said it that night via Twitter, that if this game doesn’t get you excited for the postseason, you have no heart beat. You really don’t. If you weren’t excited, then you really couldn’t care a less about baseball. And that was just for the right to get into the postseason. And, I think that kind of sets the table. The Cardinals had two CY Young candidates and cruised along in the regular season and the Dodgers who stumbled to the finish, end up sweeping the Cardinals. The interest in LA will perked up. Angels are a story line with the sentimental story of the Nick Adenhart, the job that Mike Scioscia has done; Yankees are always a story line; there is always something with them. And I think that’s the beauty of our game and our industry, and that is where our Network is at an advantage, when you compare it to the NFL Network or the NHL and NBA’s efforts because baseball is a year-round sport. Let’s say that the World Series didn’t go into November, we would still have free agent filings, non-tender deadline, 6 year minor league free agents, you’ve got the baseball Winter Meetings, free agent signings, arbitration cases and 15 days to pitchers and catchers report and all the sudden, you’re into Spring Training, and it starts all over again. That’s why I don’t think you have to expand baseball on the field, for as long as possible on the calendar so that we keep it in the social consciousness...I think with the Network we do that really well. Granted, there’s only so many things you can talk about on Hot Stove. There’s only so many rumors you can talk about. There’s only so many things you can dissect, that’s just the nature of the business. But, if we don’t dissect it, Rotoworld is dissecting it. The fantasy people are dissecting it; the sabermatericans are dissecting it… and that’s just one part of the beauty of our game. There are so many numbers, so many rumors, so many things going on, that it really takes 12 months out of the year to get through it all.

Bizball: How do you view the 2009 postseason?

Rojas: I think it's been a great postseason. Each of the teams that got to the big dance, all deserved to be there. I think at the end of the day, fans want to watch the best baseball available and I think it has come through...and I mean that in the sense of the teams "earning" the right to be there and not necessarily all the poor fundamental play that showed it's ugly head in the early rounds. but at the end of the day, the two best teams got to the world series and that, to me, is a win for baseball and it's fans. One thing I haven't cared for is the fact that there have been so many off-days in the post-season. I think in the future, they should try to tighten that issue up a bit as well as add a day game or two in the World Series... I know it may be a pipe-dream but it would be pretty cool.

Bizball: There have been several bad calls by the umpires this postseason. What are your thoughts on the use of instant replay?

Rojas: I’m still torn on the instant replay issue. i like the fact the game has been played this way for several generations and there's something to be said about that. But the flip-side to that argument is the fact that technology has advanced to the point where maybe Major League Baseball should look at trying to "assist" the men in blue in order to get the right call. At the end of the day, that's all we want...the right call made, especially in crucial situations. but how do you go about it? the only thing i can think of is limiting the amount of times a manager can use the replay in a game and instead of the umpires vacating the field, that there's some sort of live communication system whereas an auxiliary umpire can immediately make the call in order to keep the game moving forward. Logistically, that umpire could be situated in park for each game being played or they have the system where things are handled all from "master control". Whatever they decide to do, it will be scrutinized. In today's day and age, everyone has an opinion and that particular opinion always seems to be the right answer.

Bizball: Twitter is an amazing thing. Are we seeing a point where media goes directly to the fan or vice versus? Has there been any edict from MLB Network, such as we’ve seen with ESPN?

Rojas: I think it is unbelievable. I’ve only been on it since end of May. And as we sit here now, I think I may have jumped on it at the right time. Either that or I’m just more cognoscente Twitter and of the social media aspect of things. Reading about it, and seeing it covered on CNN, Fox News… all those things, it’s become a huge phenomenon. Not that it wasn’t before, it just seems like it keeps getting bigger and bigger. For me, it was a tool for me. The information I got from beat writers instantaneously was just phenomenal. Something like a key homerun being hit in the World Series, and 30 seconds later there is a note from one of the beat writers about that home run. That being said, you brought up that wild, wild, west mentality. There was the Zack Grenkie rumors with the Milwaukie Brewers. That being said, we are cognoscente of what is true versus what isn’t true. Fans are able to weed that out very quickly. And I think that’s the amazing thing. That people care so much… I think everyone wants to reach market mass as quickly as possible but they want it accurate. They want it to be true. I think Balloon Boy would have been found out to not be true a lot faster than CNN.


  • Interview conducted by Maury Brown on 10/29/09, and 11/01/09
  • Special thanks goes to Jon Neff, James Olson, and Jana Kimmel for assistance in the transcription process

OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

It was great! We got a chance to do the games to together for 3 years, with out first being down in Venezuela  My biggest concern early on, for him was mastering the English language...and I mean that from a broadcast standpoint. He obviously speaks English– he has been in the country many years. When it comes to broadcasting, there are guys that come over and English is their 2nd language, there is a limit. When you are doing the Caribbean Series and doing 3.5-4 hours games on a nightly basis for a week straight, you can become stagnant with a limited vocabulary, that became my biggest concern. And that was coupled with what to call him on the air, “Dad” or “Cookie” on the air? So I went with Cookie and we had fun with it. It worked out great because the guy obviously has an unbelievable amount of knowledge of the game of baseball, history having played and managed in Caribbean Series. Having played and managed in winter ball. It was fantastic to hear the stories in-game and to break things down. It was fun, it was a blast.
 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?