'MASN-plus' to be added; will HD be subtracted?

The Baltimore Sun

Sure, we're not even in the NFL playoffs yet, but some of you might need to start planning your baseball watching. With the Orioles moving to Mid-Atlantic Sports Network in 2007, here's what we know so far (according to a MASN spokesman):

With MASN also televising the Washington Nationals, each cable system or satellite carrier will have MASN and "MASN-plus" channels for when both teams are on the regional cable channel simultaneously. The plus channel is supposed to remain the same all the time.

Orioles (and Nationals) telecasts will be accompanied by half-hour pre- and post-game shows.

High-definition? That hasn't been decided. The spokesman said, however, the technology is in place so that a switch to HD would be possible at any time. (As opposed to at my house, where a switch to HDTV is possible only by an infusion of cash.)

Comcast SportsNet televised all of its Orioles home games and some of its road games in HD during 2006.

Talk talk

So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star ... That's what the Byrds sang so many years ago that I shouldn't even admit I know the song. Over at WNST (1570 AM), they're singing something similar: So you want to be a sports talk host ...

The station opened up competition for an evening host during baseball season. Owner Nestor Aparicio asked listeners for resumes and tapes (OK, probably CDs, as I continue to show my age).

The only radio experience most of the current hosts brought to WNST was as callers, so the station is going that route once again. The field will be whittled down to 12 finalists, who will go on the air for an hour each between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 27-29 and Jan. 3-5. The final four will try it again for two hours each Jan. 9-12. Aparicio announces the winner Jan. 17.

This time of year, WNST's signal doesn't carry far at that time of day, but when the new host starts his or her 6-to-8 show in April, the signal will be stronger as daylight lasts longer. Of course, some people don't even listen to the radio on a radio, but that's just another concept to make me feel old.

Taking it to the house

Baltimore, you'd rather watch 300-pound linemen than Eva Longoria.

Through the first 10 weeks when ABC's hit series Desperate Housewives has gone up against NBC's Sunday Night Football, the NFL has won the ratings matchup eight times during the 9-to-10 hour.

Baltimore is one of 13 markets in which football has beaten Longoria, Teri Hatcher and Co. seven or more times. Only in Denver has the Sunday night game won 10 of 10.

No style points

When old-school sports fans complain about the ESPN-ification of their games, here's another thing to cite: How many times do we see a SportsCenter top play highlight of a spectacular dunk, only to be told, oh, by the way, the dunker's team lost the game? Michael Jordan used to star in plenty of highlights, but, oh, by the way, his team usually won.

Not a pink one?

Meanwhile, over at ESPN's Wednesday night NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, play-by-play man Mark Jones was a fount of knowledge. He let us know that Kobe Bryant refers to himself as "Mamba," as in the snake. And Jones said Bryant's Lakers teammate, Luke Walton, didn't want to talk about his contract situation, instead preferring to focus on his 1970 "drop-top" Cadillac, which is "candy-apple red."

Coming next: Jones tells us about the guy whose car has a diamond in the back, sunroof top and he's diggin' the scene with the gangsta lean. And if you recall that lyric from the original song, you might be feeling old, too.


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