NEW YORK -- David Ortiz of the Red Sox and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates have been recognized for their on-field leadership roles in 2013, with the former being named World Series MVP and the latter a finalist for the National League Most Valuable Player Award that will be announced on Thursday.
In 2014, the two popular All-Stars will be leaders in a new off-field venture. They will executive produce a new weekly, 30-episode series on MTV2, part of a broader multi-year, cross-platform programming partnership announced on Monday by Major League Baseball and MTV.
The collaboration is an effort to expand the national pastime's reach to a younger generation and take fans inside the intersection of pop culture and baseball, featuring ballplayers on MTV's platforms. The shows led by Ortiz and McCutchen are scheduled to debut next April and will be shot at the MLB Fan Cave at Fourth Street and Broadway, spotlighting stars' personalities and passions through a series of player interviews and features, in addition to celebrity appearances.
"The MLB Fan Cave has been an enormous success in showcasing the personalities of our star players to young fans and intersecting baseball with pop culture," said MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan. "Being able to partner with MTV on a weekly TV series will give us an opportunity to bring that concept to an even broader audience. We are excited to work with the creative team at MTV to develop content that our fans will enjoy."
"As sports and pop culture increasingly collide, we're thrilled to partner with MLB to cover baseball through a uniquely MTV lens," said MTV president Stephen Friedman. "We will blur the lines between lifestyle and sports entertainment, spotlighting MLB's most exciting players in a way fans have never seen before."
Ortiz led the Red Sox to their third world championship in the last 10 seasons. McCutchen led the Pirates to their first postseason appearance since 1992, and he might win his first NL MVP, with D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina his competition.
Ortiz and McCutchen have been key figures at the Fan Cave, going out on the streets of New York to create viral videos. The Fan Cave will return for its fourth season, with applications now under way to find the next group of Cave Dwellers for Opening Day 2014.
"Music is a passion of mine so when I was asked to be involved in a show that brings baseball to MTV, I jumped at it," McCutchen said. "It is going to be a lot of fun to show a different side of baseball and the players."
"Players want to be musicians and the musicians want to be players," Ortiz said. "So it's going to be pretty easy to get my friends in baseball to have some fun on MTV."
Content from the new partnership will live on-air and online across MTV's channels and platforms -- MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams -- integrating MLB players into existing shows and events, in addition to the development of upcoming specials, weekend programming and more. Details on additional elements of the MLB and MTV partnership will be announced at a later date.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.