April 21, 2021 – Six-time MLB All-Star CC Sabathia will join former All-Star Carlos Peña, Hall of Famer John Smoltz and host Stephen Nelson when MLB Network produces a new, non-traditional game telecast format for the New York Yankees against the Cleveland Indians this Sunday, April 25 at 1 p.m. ET from Progressive Field. Called MLB Network Showcase: Clubhouse Edition, the goal is to share the organic conversations that take place among a group of former players as if they are watching a game from home. Nelson will help guide the conversation from a casual setup inside MLB Network’s Studio 21. Sunday’s telecast will mark the first time Sabathia contributes to a national baseball broadcast since his retirement in 2019.
“Whenever I watch games with my friends and former teammates, I always say that it would be cool if the cameras were rolling and people could listen to our different conversations,” said Sabathia. “I’m excited to test this vision out for fans on MLB Network, especially with the game involving two organizations I’m incredibly familiar with.”
“When CC and his team brought this idea to us, we were thrilled by the opportunity to work with him as his Hall of Fame resume and knowledge of the game speak for itself,” said MLB Network President Rob McGlarry. “Letting viewers in to listen to the natural conversations among our former players has been a hallmark of our studio shows, and we’re excited to try this concept in a game telecast.”
In addition to its traditional MLB Network Showcase broadcast, MLB Network has produced different game telecast formats over the last several seasons. Since 2015, MLB Network has produced five analytics-focused telecasts incorporating essays and on-screen graphics using advanced metrics. In 2020, MLB Network produced two MLB Network Showcase matchups using unique elements from MLB Tonight. At different points of the night and in trademark MLB Tonightstyle, the telecast included Studio 42 demonstrations, and shifted to a two-box format to whip around to live look-ins of key moments from other games across Major League Baseball. In collaboration with Sabathia and Ron Berkowitz, President of Berk Communications, Sunday will mark the first time MLB Network tests this game telecast format.
As is the case for every live game on MLB Network, Sunday’s telecast will be available for authenticated live streaming via the MLB app and MLBNetwork.com. Sunday’s game will be blacked out in the Yankees’ and Indians’ home television territories.