Important Show News

Hey everyone,

 

I won’t be able to make the show today due to All-Star stuff but you are going to hear an announcement that may come as a surprise and since I won’t be there to explain here I am.

 

With every decision there are always reasons but I will give you the good news since when all is said and done there is no “bad” news.

 

Starting Monday July 21st the show will air live at 11am ET and be a half hour long. I know everyone wants to have a 2 hour show 7 days a week but its just not going to happen right now (who knows what the future holds with the new MLB Network , I have no intel btw).

 

Why 30 minutes?

You have been beyond tremendous with the downloading of our video podcast each day. How long is the video podcast? About 20-30 minutes so we’ve decided to make our show more like the video podcast since the demand is so high.

 

Why 11am?

It allows us to get you east coasters around lunch and you west coasters while you are sitting down at your computer with your morning coffee according to our research. We will still be doing Pitch or Ditch for the following day for our Yahoo friends and actually everyone’s benefit to get a jump on your competition. This will also get us to you before any day games start which is a big plus as well.

 

How do we make up the 30 minutes?

 

You’re looking at it. We will become even better on the Blog with breaking news and interaction. Before each show we will do a post and we encourage you to start lighting up the message board. After the show, Cory, Sterno and I will head back to our desks and start chatting with you so bring up trades and POD questions and usual fun stuff and we’ll hang with you.

 

Thanks for your patience through all these years. We are closing in on our 900th show and couldn’t have done it without you.

 

Hitters Hit

 

-Siano 

HERE”S THE 411 SCHEDULE FOR NEXT WEEK

Saturday, 7/12 – 3:30 pm-4pm
Live at Fanfest – no mlb.tv, 30 minute podcast only

 

Sunday, 7/13 – No
show

 

Monday, 7/14 – 1pm-2pm 
Fanfest in NY

 

Tuesday, 7/15 – 12:30-1:45 pm -
Fanfest in NY

 

Wednesday, 7/16 – No
show

 

Thursday, 7/17 – 2-3pm -
McCarthy/Schwartz

 

Friday, 7/18 – 2-3pm -
McCarthy/Sheehan

-Zach

73 Comments

Hey guys,

I have to say I’m disappointed the show is going down to 30 minutes. I’ve enjoyed having you as my lunch break this year. However, I look forward to more interaction on the blog…

Bill in Chicago

Boooo..on the 30min decision….personally the Video Highlights are just that…trimmed from a more enjoyable 60 min show. I love to listen to the POD cast even more than watching the trimmed down version. I love watching the full replay too.

Blogs are fun and all, but 60 min content and interraction cannot be replaced with online text IMVHO.

Take what we can get, I quess.

-BDH in DC

This is absolute horse *#*&#*#!!

The full 60 minute show is great. On the days when I am too busy to watch it, I NEVER log on to the trimmed version! I always watch the full 60 minute edition. Why is MLB messing with such a good thing??? Sure the more updated blog is nice but I would much rather have what we have now. I guess no matter what you do I will tune in to watch b/c you guys do a tremendous job, but I can’t say that I am not utterly disappointed in this seemingly pointless change in format.

-“Pissed off” Dom in South Jersey

Change sucks. If anyone feels that 30 minutes a day isn’t enough, I recommend clicking on the Fantasy Baseball Mafia link on the right and checking out one of their podcasts. They’re broadcasting daily and the content is pretty good. They aren’t as witty as Schwartz or as pretty as Siano, but who is really?

That blows! I just got an ipod touch and I finally have an opportunity to view the show instead of listen to the podcasts (had a mini). The hour show was perfect for my train ride. Now I will have to fill the time with some other fantasy baseball podcast along with this 1/2 hour show.
Still, Mike and Cory are the best and I won’t stop downloading even if it is only 30 mins.

I appreciate Cory being so candid about the changes. While we obviously all want more of a good thing, I think we can all safely say that the 411 has been very good to us and we have to just roll with and trust whatever direction it takes. As a listener, I’m much more concerned with the quality of the “info-tainment” I get than the quantity, and if there will be more blog activity it’s all good to me.
I’d also like to parrot the statement of a previous poster and highly recommend the Fantasy Baseball Mafia for anyone in search of more fantasy podcasts.

-Dan in LA

My prediction for the changes……pain

I love the hr long show, but 30min of the 411 is better than anything else.

I can’t keep quiet anymore. The show has taken a tremendous downturn this year. It used to be a must listen and I rarely if ever missed a show. Cory and Mike have helped me win and stay competitive in all my leagues for the last three years. With the focus being video and having a scripted format, we don’t get those useful “nuggets” of info we used to get when Mike and Cory banter. Winging it was so much better than having Casey constantly keeping everyone on track and having Spoda talking in everyone’s earpiece. I understand the decision to go to a more polished look but the content has taken a HUGE hit! I think you’ll find that listeners will look elsewhere and remember, just because a show is being downloaded doesn’t mean that it is being listened to. I would encourage Cory and Mike to put out their own podcast even if it was once a week. Or set up some sort of roundtable show once a week and do it from Foley’s. Listening to you guys plus Will, Joe, and Jeffrey would be amazing!

We haven’t been good about downloading the video. It’s been forced on us by being inserted into the feed. I drive all day, so I listen instead of watch, so the faster I can delete the video that clogs up my harddrive, the better. An hour seemed short enough, but this is I guess better than going off the air. It’s unfortunate. You should do a podcast. I love me some Sterno, but the truth is the show was a classic when it was less organized. Now it’s just good. Next week, I guess it will be short and good. Is there still going to be advertising for the performance-enhancing drugs?

I agree that the video is being forced on us by being inserted into the feed. I much prefer listening to the podcast, rather than watching the video. The last couple of years I always listened to the podcasts, and looked forward to them every day. This year I still subscribe/download daily, but more and more I find myself not listening. I really liked the spontaneity of the show last year and two years ago; taking calls almost ensures spontaneity, as you can’t be sure what the callers will say. On a positive note (sort of), perhaps with a shorter show there will be less temptation by the three hosts to analyze each player. I would rather hear a snappy analysis by one guy, possibly two guys, than the common scene of each guy spending one minute discussing each player. Do we really need three minutes discussing someone such as Hanley Ramirez (just an example) at the top of a show? I would rather hear a quick analysis of Hanley, and listen to you spend another couple of minutes on 2-3 other lesser known players. Last couple of gripes … please no more “video only” highlights/”funny moments”. I really believe the vast majority of your fans are still – and will be for the foreseeable future – audio podcast fans. Finally, I personally miss the weekly calls with Jeffrey Ma.

No question the trimmed down version of the show is disappointing, but the change seems like more of a reflection on the interest in Fantasy Baseball than the guys. The truth is the group of serious Fantasy players is a small one. From listening to the show, it’s really evident how much these guys love talking Fantasy, and if they could they’d do it for as long as MLB.com would let them. So as a fan of the show, the the most you can do is spread the word of how tremendous this show is, so hopefully the ratings will move up and the 411 will get more airtime. I’d bet that nobody’s more disappointed with the recent news than Cory, Mike, and Casey. Keep up the great work guys, I know you’ll make the new format work just like you have for years.

Very disappointing news. I, too, want to echo those who point out that they have no interest in the video highlight package, but get it with the podcast feed. I, too, delete the video package even while it’s downloading. Often, I have to go back and manually request the audio. Guys, I really think you need to do some kind of poll on audio vs. video, because I think you are fooling yourselves if you think that the video is doing better than audio. I won’t be surprised to see the next announcement be the elimination of the audio podcast, at which point you’ve lost me, and I bet a lot of others.

i think MLB.com is making a big mistake here in their strategy.
honestly, if you have a job, who can watch a live show during week day mornings?
no one.
i haven’t listened to the podcast, but i don’t quite understand the logic behind what MLB.com is doing.
i think the casual fans who want fantasy info will stumble across the espn, cbs sportline podcasts. i feel like the changes to the 411 are being made to make it more “generic” like those other productions. these are o.k., but the passion of the hosts, their analysis, the fan/host interaction are not comparable to what the fantasy 411 has offered.
the fantasy 411 had developed a niche as the most indepth, intelligent podcast on the market.
that is being compromised – for what?
cory and mike are handsome and all, but the video production adds nothing.
i agree with all the comments about the video feed being forced on us. everyday, i have to stop all the video feeds and then manually download the podcast
i guess all good things must come to an end or “jump the shark” – just sorry to see it happen to my favorite podcast

here’s an analogy cory might appreciate:
it’s like when your favorite punk band starts trying to go mainstream – would you rather them stay together and go mainstream or just break up in a blaze of glory at their peak?

maybe too melodramatic, but we all just love mike and cory and the fantasy 411….

bob in oregon

I’d like to echo these key points from above:
1) I NEVER watch the video feed. It’s forced on us.
2) I LOVE the analysis and banter. This comes across just fine on audio.
3) I would be happy to have 1 hour of analysis, but if you have to go to 30 minutes, please just be sure to keep it to what makes this the best fantasy podcast – your knowledge, insight, & humor about BASEBALL.
You guys rock. Please keep doing so.

I’m disappointed the show is cutting down to 30 min. but I think I may be one of the few who is happy with the time change. Being an east-coaster I’m usually in full-work mode & didn’t hardly ever get a chance to listen live and would always be catching up on podcasts when the show was on at 2pm our time…now having it just before (or during depending when I get hungry) lunch is perfect.

Jason in MI

since everyone else is putting in their 2cents, I’ll do so as well. 1st off, I watch the video. I like the video, it’s not forced upon me & just b/c someone is not able to watch the show live doesn’t mean that they’ll DL the podcast. I make it a point to watch the entire show when I get home from work in the evenings. It’s my unwind show & the only one I don’t miss. For now at least. I think it sucks that the show’s getting cut by half & I hope you guys relay the extreme displeasure of your fans to whomever made this terrible decision.

I missed an entire season of the F411 last year because I was boycotting your show & now that I feel I can come back you guys are making me upset again. Just remember, “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

shannon in ky

Compounding another mistake. The show took a big hit this year going to video. Too scripted and not enough good content/nuggets. Besides, phone calls are down and each caller entitled to a token question and about 1 minute before being cut. I download daily, only listen, delete the video, and listen occasionally.

I can’t believe favorite show for the past three years is now an occasional listen if nothing else is new on the pod.

MLB.com seems to be ruining the audio/visual. Disappointing.

Like some others, I suggest you check out Fantasy Baseball Mafia or other great fantasy baseball shows on blogtalkradio.com.

Like the others

Oops, I should’ve said “I appreciate Mike being so candid about the changes” in my post. My bad.

I really think that the change to the show length is bad, i think they should revisit the discussions and reverse the decision taken.

Forgive me guys after the recent news i couldn’t hold my tongue any longer and i have done a complete rant on the changes to the baseball channel on my blog. Means i dont have retype it here.

You can read it for yourself here http://theyankeesscottishprincess.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/07/baseballchanneltv.html

Jan in Glasgow.

I’m with the rest of the gang…. No need for the video. We want 1 full hour!

After getting over the initial shock and reflecting for a day, I’ve come to realize that the ones who are most impacted and in whom I am most sympathetic for are Mike and Cory. They love this show- they’ve loved doing it for a while now. They don’t need it- they’ve got “day jobs” and while they may get a bump in pay for this, the 411 isn’t their primary job. But they genuinely care about this show, this community, and the sport of fantasy baseball.

But let’s pull our head out of the sand here- MLB announced a while ago that there would be a MLB cable channel in 2009. Things were going to change and we knew it years ago. The baseballchannel.tv isn’t going to be the same in 12 months, and it would be foolish to think it will even exist in 36 months. With the move to MLB cable, you’re going to have to have more polished content, a slicker production, more scripted and less improvisational content. Your going to have the show in a real studio. Your not going to have hosts rushing from the fifth floor 15 minutes before show time. Your even going to have (GASP!!) hosts wearing MAKE-UP. Egads!! …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

So I guess my message to the hardcore fans is that change has been heading our way for years and we can’t be surprised by any of this. Personally, I’m looking forward to MLB cable. Do I think there will be a show in which Repo Man comes up in any conversation? No. Will it be different? Yes. Will it be better? In some ways, maybe. But in other ways, no. You can’t go back to high school, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, and you can never relive the past. But you can’t stop change. There is a huge community out there where you can get fantasy baseball podcast content- I recommend the Fantasy Baseball Mafia (linked in the sidebar on the right). They have hour long, daily podcasts including live shows, shows for novices, a show about just trades, and a show by women. They cover all your fantasy baseball podcast needs……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

But for Mike and Cory, who have poured their energy and love into this show and I suspect are heartbroken by the news and the fans reaction, I say thank yo u and I say keep doing the show in any form that you can for as long as it’s fun. If it’s not fun, if the crap gets piled too high and it becomes a job, find an exit ramp and head on off. But if it’s still fun, if you still care, then keep on keeping on in any way you can. The audience may gripe, and some may leave, but the core will continue to listen and enjoy as long as MLB will let you do it. And in case you missed it- Thank you again.

I just read Jan in Glasgow’s rant (linked above) and it brought to mind up one key component that seems to be missing. The baseballchannel is nothing without baseball. We need to keep the business end in mind when looking at these changes. There many days where games are being played while the 411 is on. If I’m the one paying the bills (MLB) and I have content that I am charging for (MLB.TV), why would I be putting free content with it’s own loyal audience up against my pay content? Shouldn’t that audience be… watching baseball? Jan had excellent points about the changes to baseballchannel this year, but it appears that these changes are such that the content complements the games instead of competing with the games.
Don’t think of the 411 (or baseballchannel.tv) as revenue generating content, because from MLB’s perspective it isn’t. It’s entertaining and informative, and the loyal audience is appreciated. And sure, they have sponsors and that help pay a couple bills, but it is all a promotional tool for baseball. MLB would much rather have us watching a game, listening to the radio, or even clicking through Gameday instead of listening to the show. That’s where the money is made, and this is a business. Instead of hearing Cory mentioning the day game at Wrigley, we should be watching the day game at Wrigley. That’s where the money is.
If we can find a way that listeners can put money into the MLB coffers, I guarantee this show will be two hours a day.

Just to clarify and support the comments regarding the video version being forced on us:

It seems that the default version that iTunes is set to download for subscribers is the video highlights. So, anybody who’s a subscriber to the podcast is getting the video version downloaded automatically whenever they open iTunes (assuming they have podcasts set to update automatically). To get the audio version, you have to enter your lists of podcasts and choose to start that download. So, I imagine that explains why you’re seeing much larger numbers for the video download of the program. I bet the numbers would look substantially different if subscribers could choose either the audio or the video as their default.

Personally, I manually stop the video download and go with the audio every time. I like the new video format when I get the chance to watch live, but when I listen to the podcast, I’m not interested in just seeing part of the program and clogging up my ipod with a big video file.

I hope you guys will look into the possibility that the iTunes set up is accounting for the numbers differential if that really is the motivating factor behind the switch. I think it’s probably a misleading statistic.

Very disappointed to have the show halved. But have faith that the guys will still make a great show, I think the strength of feeling shown here reflects how good a job the whole 411 team does at the moment and we shouldn’t forget that they may be disappointed too – and we should thank them for the story so far. Agree that the video highlights have never done it for me and I never download them – audio podcast is where it’s at. What will mlb.tv be showing at 1400 (ET) for an hour??, can’t imagine it’ll be better than a full hour of the 411.

Keep going guys, we’ll be with ya.

there isnt really anything to complain about and i feel like a spoilt child writing this but.. i too preferred the old, less scripted format(when the hosts were both in attendance), and actually found the non-baseball content entertaining when it was more or less spontaneous. i still like the show(if less) and am bummed at its forthcoming contraction. i do however accept commercial realities and that noone ever got rich with me as their target market.

I hate to pile on, but I agree with the near-unanimous criticism above. Especially the failure to give an option to maintain an audio only podcast subscription, leading me to be among the many cursing the video feed tying up iTunes every time I updated podcasts. And especially mlbradio misinterpreting this stay to mean the video (which downloads first on the feed) is wildly popular. Someone needs to help MLB understand its own stats. Since the inception of the podcast I had listened to every show. During some seasons I was listening to schwartz more than to my wife. Still , between the changes to the show and the active irritation at the video podcast feed, I finally deleted my subscription in June. I will download next week (audio) and listen to the comments on these changes, but I agree the 411 has really not served its core audience. Corey and mike, I love you guys, and I’m sorry to be so negative, but that’s where things have gone.

I must agree with many comments here that I strongly prefer the one hour format. I’ve been listening for the past 4 seasons (on the podcast, which has always served me well on my commute – I don’t need the video or have the time to watch it), and it’s become a part of my weekday routine that I will truly miss. I’ve always felt the 411 was head and shoulders above most fantasy baseball podcasts thanks to Mike and Cory’s insight, and that the loose, improvisational feel made the show that much better.

Nothing against Casey at all, who I always liked in his own right on shows like the Bottom Line, but sometimes 3 voices is just too many. The banter and flow of the show just plain works better with 2 hosts. Triangles are weird dynamics in all respects – there’s a reason that 3 is a prime number.

If anything, I think MLB should be modeling its shows and programming after ESPN’s PodCenter interface. I own an iPhone (I believe it also works with other mobile devices) and can stream any ESPN podcast any time I want, and it’s pretty much the only reason I listen to any of their shows on occasion. MLB certainly has the resources and the know-how to implement something like that, and rather than going for some watered-down cable network show, I’d rather see them bring back the podcasts (the Baseball Channel Daily is the one I REALLY miss, because I don’t get to hear the beat reporters as much any more), expand their lineup of shows again and find new and improved ways to make them accessible to listeners from wherever they are, on a variety of devices, with the Fantasy 411 as the flagship show. Perhaps this could be done by expanding advertising a bit, rather than playing the same weird clips and old-timey music as “ads” that we hear on the podcasts now – there’s a lot of potential waiting to be unlocked.

I understand where MLB is coming from and that change is on the way, but as a fan it makes me a little sad. I’m hoping for the best. I know that Mike, Cory and Sterno have jobs outside the show and do it for the love, so I’m just glad that they’ll be continuing the show, in whatever form it takes.

I miss the way the show used to. I miss when Coco Ma was the only sceduled event for the week. The 411 used to offer unique insights on a whim, now the guys have to wait unitl that scheduled segment is up. I miss the old open’s for the show! I used to know what Jack Bauer’s kill count was and I had never seen a single episode of 24! Even though I have never called in or emailed the show in the 3+ years I have been listening, I always fealt like I was part of the show and part of the community. Now the show has a generic feeling to it. It sounds like it belongs on ESPN for the casual fan. This show used to be the meat and potatoes of fantasy but now it’s Gerber food.

I hope with the new 30 minute format things can get back to what they used to be. Take some phone calls, answer some emails and have fun with it. I would rather have 30 minutes of Cory and Mike being Cory and Mike than an hour of Fav 5 Dr. Seuss books!

I also agree with the people who recomended Fantasy Baseball Mafia, alot of the “host” for those shows are people you have heard on the 411 before. Pete in Jordon calls in there too!

It is a bummer that it has to be reduced to 1/2 hour, and I believe g-men is probably closer to reality in the revenue aspect of the 411 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. As Mike briefly noted earlier in the season, if Viagra had not sponsored the show, it would have been canceled. My guess is Mike is keeping the show alive through his pull in his position, and we should be happy with what we get ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
The powers that guide the advanced media are looking for the future, and fantasy baseball needs to be a part of it. How, we shall see, hopefully a well done show, maybe the 411. Since the 411 appeared to be the most popular (downloaded) show on MLBradio/BaseballChannel.TV, it also appears to be the only show left. As Mike noted, the show is closing in on its 900th episode, long live the king!

My guess is that all the comments here, no matter how negative, will be taken as the “vocal minority” and the 30 minute show will go ahead.

That is unfortunate given that I would prefer the show go longer or at least stay the full hour. What is most disappointing, without question, is that something like the Fav 5 will be done during a 30 minute show once a week and eat up 5, 10 or maybe 15 minutes. This is content being sacrificed for ratings which I am always against. It’s tolerable when it’s 10 or 15 minutes out of a 1 hour show and only once per week but in a 30 minute show?

I was hoping that MLB would take the Fantasy 411 as a “loss leader” (if it does lose money) because it brings people to MLB.com, promotes their fantasy products and promotes baseball in general.

Overall very disappointing and the proof will be that the show will be rushed. I would bet that we will hear the hosts say many times that we can’t get to “X” or Y” because there isn’t enough time. Of course they will say go to the blog but it’s easier to listen to a podcast than to read the blog while driving.

Marty

I’ve posted too much here already, but I’m wondering if the recent Supreme Court ruling is factoring in this decision. For the unaware, MLBAM has been trying to maintain rights (and thus revenue) to all fantasy content (players names, stats, etc.). The Court ruled against MLBAM and as a result they do not have ownership of the results and outcomes of the games. Is MLBAM postioning itself to walk away from all fantasy baseball content since it no longer controls the data and is not in a position to make money off of it?
I hope not, because the fans playing fantasy baseball are the same ones watching the games on tv, buying tickets in the stadium, and spending money on merchandise. I hope MLB realizes the fantasy community still contributes revenue and ratings to the bottom line, and content such as the 411 only enhance our interest, participation, and expendetures in the game.

Mike and Corey, though my initial reactions mirror what many others have already said, I just want to thank you guys for making me care enough to post about this in the first place.

Sounds to me like your video statistics are way off base, since I and others whom I’ve talked to listen to, not watch, your show. You have people to do the research and the focusing and if you’ll get more listeners and more revenue this way, then of course this is the right move. But I hope you’ve entertained the possibility that not only have you cultivated a rather large, widespread, geographically diverse and demographically coveted audience, that audience is large and has been growing not thanks to the bells and whistles, but due to word of mouth that there was no place where more undiluted quality could be found than at the 411, where mike and corey would unleash tight, fast, unscripted knowledge bombs on all of us. Far be it from me to know more than your colleagues in market research, but you might recommend them to go the extra mile to see if maybe the thing you had was working, and you’re going to end up subtracting what people showed up for and adding nothing. Car Talk might be a helpful model. Somehow that show is successful despite a limited amount of structure and being very caller-centric.

I have to agree with the majority of posters here as well. I enjoyed the 411 much more in years past. I think I am also one of the people who have the video podcast automatically downloaded on iTunes and I haven’t watched (or listened) to an episode since the first week or two of the season. So, the downloads stats can definitely be misleading.

I still check the blogs for interesting tidbits, so if the shortened format increases the blog content, than that is fine by me. I think the strength of the show is really the pre-draft episodes, so hopefully you will consider going to an hour long format again when the real baseball season is over.

Good luck with everything.

You should run a show with Mike, Cory, Casey, and Pete in Jordan. Have Jeffrey Ma call in every week, and that oughta be a ratings bonanza. What else are they going to air for 24 hours every day?

Hey guys – I just wanted to let you know that I am also disappointed in the decision to go to 30 minutes. The podcast is the first thing I listen to while mindlessly filling in another spreadsheet at work. Your show has been something that I have looked forward to daily for the last four years or so. I even enjoy the offseason podcasts. I am guessing that they will be reduced, as well. While the show may have been a bit looser in the past, the show is still a must listen. I do miss the Jeffrey Ma interviews, although I do like it when Joe and Will drop in. Like Mike said, who knows what is in store next year when MLBTV takes over? I just hope that MLB won’t forget about the 411. Thanks for everything, guys, and hopefully your bosses will realize the error of their ways.

Brian (Chicago)

I really do not like this news. Like all others here it seems, my day starts with downloading the podcast to listen to at work. I never download the video cast. I think the thing that sets 411 apart from alternatives on ESPN etc is the length, which allows for phone calls and emails and longer rants on subjects we want to hear about. It is the best around and also the most enjoyable listen. I feel that the change to 30 mins will just turn it into another cold, cut, clinical podcast like all the others.
I do feel for Mike and Cory though who put everything into this and I am wondering if the change is caused by their lack of time, or is this purely because they are not getting the download figures? Either way it clearly can not be for the good of the show or the fans.
the time is rubbish for me, but that is a small point.
However I will believe that you will make it work, so we will work with you and try to stay positive. Worst news I had all week though I have to say that.
Kevin in England

As many have said in previous posts this show for the last few years was a first listen everyday out of the 5-8 other podcasts I download. This year has gone down hill from day one. The addition of Casey Stern and his role as a whole was the first thing to bring the show down. This is not meant to be personal towards Casey because it is not his fault that a boss tells him to reign in Cory and Mike, its the role that he is there to perform that was bad for the show. There is almost once a show were Casey has to pull Mike and Corey back to “the script” right when they were about to go into a great discussion about “x”, this was the first sign the 411 was in trouble and that someone at a corporate level somewhere had there hand in the cookie jar. This season I have had to force myself to listen some days, in the past it was auto listen this year I have skipped many shows because of the changes so far this year.

To upper level management:

The unscripted nature of years past is what made this show a success, I can go 100 other places to DL a canned podcast about fantasy baseball. This was one of the most informative and entertaining podcasts out there for a long time this is no longer the case. The amount of time that previous went to callers and e-mailers is now no existent and rushed. What happened to all the regular callers, and people like Jeffery Ma, Will and Joe are great but Jeffery Ma was one of the best guests of all time.

Video:

If you think the video casts are popular you are fooling yourself. This video is automatically DL’d with the audio and as most of people have a said I either immediately stop the DL or delete it as soon as it finishes. As you guys know more then anybody else numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Mike & Cory,

I really feel for you guys the most, you have so much passion for this show and it now feels like someone higher up has taken all your fun away.

R.I.P.

To the show we all used to love….

Welcome

To the new format that will now drop to the bottom of my list in terms of things I listen to.

I have to echo a lot of the comments above. For the past couple of years, I used to listen to every episode all the way through. This year? Not so much… The new format has really taken away a lot of the show’s charm (banter, callers, etc) and I’m down to listening to the podcast once or twice a week.

Now, going 30 minutes AND keeping the new, tighter format in place could make this show as useless to the experienced fantasy baseball player as the show that’s on ESPN News Sunday mornings. If I want highlights and stats, I’ll watch Sportscenter/Baseball tonight and check my live scoring/email services I subscribe to. The whole reason I began listening to the 411 was for the commentary and conversation. I’m guessing any remnants of that will be the first thing to go in the new, trimmed-down version… too bad…

Just a few more thoughts if the problem with the show is economy driven in terms of not bringing in enough cash there are some easy ways to fix that.

1: 2 Man show 1 less person = lower costs

2: Old format please = Don’t waste time and money on flashy stuff and high end video sets. Give them 2 folding chairs some headphones and a clip board and it would be 100x better then what we are getting now.

All good things must come to and end they say I guess that’s even true for the 411.

I download the audio podcast everyday. I too have to stop the video download and request the audio podcast. They really should be on two separate feeds. If you had two feeds and ran them through feedburner, you could get accurate metrics. I will bet cash that the audio podcast would lap the video podcast in downloads.

No blame on the hosts, all 3 do an awesome job, but it is still sad to see another creative, excellent source of entertainment wrecked by the corporate suits.

I’m also one of those who never watches the video. I load the show everyday after work and listen while I’m checking my teams and various baseball reference sites such as BA, BP, Hardball Times etc. I don’t want to be one of those overly critical listeners, but I also felt that the show took a bit of a dive when it became more heavily scripted. I miss the days like that legendary episode where Cory ranted on Dusty Baker the entire show. That was the apex of the 411….and maybe I missed a show announcement at some point but when/why did Jeffrey Ma stop being a Thursday staple?

The statement by Mike: “Why 30 minutes? You have been beyond tremendous with the downloading of our video podcast each day. How long is the video podcast? About 20-30 minutes so we’ve decided to make our show more like the video podcast since the demand is so high.”
……………….This is a total fallacy of logic. Obviously there was no other option to download and of course the 1 option of video download would be the most popular being the only video option. This would be a logical conclusion only if you had another option, like the 1 hour version of the video, or you could seriously say the audio podcast was not downloaded as much (doubtful).
……………………………………………………My guess is this is a back fill reason to hide that MLBam is not interested in this show, but those involved compromised on a half hour version to keep it on the air… Keep up the good work guys!

This is another one of those stupid moves that goes hand-in-hand with when MLB removed their podcasts from iTunes directory. Yeah, I’d hate to have more people find and discover my shows at the place where everyone is going to look for podcasts.

Hey folks, Cory here… for what it’s worth, I too am disappointed at the decision to cut the show to 30 minutes, much as I was not thrilled at the original change in format at the start of this year. But I got used to that and ultimately I think it’s worked out pretty well. Sure, we don’t go off the cuff as much as we used to, but I think (hope?) we still keep it fun and informal and entertaining, and I’m certain we still get plenty of information in there. So hopefully we’ll all get used to this change and make the most of the 30 minutes we have. Plus, as Mike noted, we’ll make sure to keep the blog active to keep the level of interaction as full as possible. The crazy 411 fans have made the show what it is so we will always keep in touch!

That said, I hope everyone will give this a shot. I don’t know how it will work out, but as a few posts noted above, we do this show because we love it and it’s fun for us too, so stick with us and see where it goes. Sound fair?

Thanks again everyone, I really do appreciate the support.

–CS

Looking at the Podcast feed from yesterday and their is no audio podcast. Has the audio been completely scrapped? Or will we have the option of downloading the 30 minute audio podcast if we don’t want the video?

HINT: Please say it’s the latter ;)

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys!

Have to echo the majority sentiment: (1) I never watch the video highlights; and (2) I would much, much, MUCH prefer an hour-long episode. That said, I suspect that Mike and Cory are not the ones responsible for the move to the new 30-minute format; it’s likely something that’s being (very foolishly) imposed from above. If that’s true — if the powers that be are behind this move — then shame on you, The Man.

This show has a cult following. If there was a Fantasy 411 shop I bet T-shirts and coffee mugs would be selling out. They wouldn’t need Viagra as a sponsor! My wife has already made me my own I heart Cory Schwartz T-shirt for good luck on draft day! Open a 411 store online and I am sure the “suits” will take notice of this shows popularity! Because I listen to more radio than I watch TV, I really miss the old format. If Cory is say’s he is going to make the most of the new format then I suppose I am going to do the same.

To the guy who said that he really only listens to the pre-season shows for draft purposes, You are missing out! I have every show from 2007 to current on my iPod and they are just as good now as they were that day. The names of players may change but the strategy and philosophy’s used are still great!

Obviously the overwhelming sentiment is to go back to the 60 minute/audio/old format podcast. I am willing to try this new incarnation but I hope that the “decision makers” are reading this and will act accordingly when it flops!

I find myself agreeing with many of the negative comments on here about the current state of the show. I have been a faithful podcast follower for past few years and have not enjoyed the change to video whatsoever. In my personal opinion, your overlooking the fact that your listenership are baseball fanatics who are not looking to watch the highlights from yesterday that they have already caught on Sportcenter probably multiple times.

Take these for what their worth, these are a few points that hooked me to the show:

1) Honest, shoot from the hip advice. If Cory and Mike think your an idiot for considering a deal – they’ll let you know it….but in a nice way…For the most part….Sometimes….If Cory is in a good mood.

2) The friendly banter. I enjoyed the rambling. It was like I was sitting at the table with two of my buddies talking about foremost baseball….but if the conversation went somewhere else – so be it. The current scripted show feels at times like an intructional video and not the “shoot the crap” session that I loved. I want to now about how Siano gets his hair so perfect and his excuses for why he is never there. I also want to hear the disgust in Cory’s voice when one of his DTM boys produce and it gets brought up. Movies, Bands, Television were all fair game IF the conversation went there…not if they were told to go there.

If the “Fav 5″ was an attempt to bring some type of non baseball element to the show – it is not working. It in not the impromptu humor & conversation, but rather a scheduled event that has been promoted for almost an entire week.

3) Tips and suggestions. Can I get to a player before someone else, is there a lingering injury, who’s getting hot? That type of stuff. Not a video package.

4) It felt like a call in show dictated by the fans instead of a production that is dominated by a script. A call from a listener could change the entire focus of the show and if they had to fly through pitch or ditch at the end, it would be done in 20 seconds. Same amount of information on who to start, but with less flash surrounding it.

5) Mike & Cory – Flatout great chemistry. I hate to say it but the addition of Casey has hindered this sooo much. Also, the fact that I have to see them in MLB shirts instead about hearing about how tremendous each other’s Hawaiian Shirt is via podcast has somehow also hindered my experience. Can’t explain that one.

In closing, I hate to have to write this (and I doubt my comments will amount to much) but please don’t lose sight on what made you have such a dedicated fanbase. Bottom line, the more professional & produced the show becomes, the less like a fantasy baseball environment it feels like.

Another senseless decision by those in charge at MLB. I’ll echo the earlier sentiments about A) never really caring for the video highlights and usually deleting them, and B) the show taking a bit of a hit when it went to a more scripted format.
What made the show AWESOME the past few years was that it was just two guys sitting around talking fantasy. You had one guy, Cory, who was the stat head, and the other guy who was more the “regular guy” in Mike, and the interplay between the two was tremendous. Taking calls and reading emails made the show very spontaneous and real. You got real, honest advice to your questions.

The highlights and the background audio never really added much to all that. In fact sometime it takes away from it. They really dont add much to a podcast. Podcasts are good based on content not on production values. And Casey, while a semmingly nice guy, has been shoe-horned in there to real the two other hosts in and keep the show progressing along in some pre-packaged awards show format.

Set the guys free for an hour each weekday and you’ll have a much happier audience.

devastating news.

i NEVER watch the video and always download the audio as i have done for years.

a 1 hr show is not long enough. the show should be longer, not shorter. we all want more baseball talk, not less.

i hope mlb realizes that us fantasy listeners are the ones who support this fabulous game and mlb by buying tickets, and purchasing products like gameday audio, mlb tv, team merchandise and everything else.

the 411 was the best baseball show out there. i will come back every day to share my baseball love with cory and mike and the 411 community, but i’m sure glad i saved all of the old podcasts i have downloaded over the years.

btw, what happened to the book, cory??

1. Lose Casey… I just like the show more without him. I agree with some of the above comments that the Mike and Corey combo is best. Plus Casey just flat out cuts off the callers when they have more to say.
2. The video podcast is interesting, but useless. You don’t have a show that requires video to make your point. It helps, but only a little.
3. 30 min? Are you trying to lose listeners because this is a good way to do so. Why not just take 1 to 2 calls and no IMs and a couple of emails… oh wait, that’s already the show.
4. The Fav 5 is worthless, I don’t care about what foods you guys like or what your favorite cartoons are, or what chick flicks you like. More fantasy baseball talk from Mike and Corey and less of everything else is a great formula.
5. Mike + Corey + fantasy baseball = a great show

Casey has been a great addition to the show. I’ve been watching and listening for two years now, and Mike and Cory are obvioulsy great, but Casey has improved the show. He’s smooth (gotta love those unnecesssary segues!) he’s knowledgeable and he really cares about baseball. I loved Mike as the host too, but the new show is great and I just wanted to pipe up and say that Casey has been a great addition since some people are questionning his place on the 411.

Another disappointed, but not surprised listener. In fact, I freshly registered an account just to pile on.

The biggest value that the 411 has had was the very high level of discourse found within. This was exemplified by the choice in guests, as much as anything. Leaning on the big brains at Baseball Prospectus for backup, for example. Unfortunately, when dealing with such a niche topic as fantasy baseball, and doing a show largely aimed at veteran fantasy players, I would imagine it would be difficult to get the attention of advertisers. Hence the decisions at the beginning of this season.

That so many people are dissapointed is indicitive of just how much the fantasy community has been spoiled by the quality of the product that’s been offered – and offered for free. Having Mike and Cory doing the show steals time away from their day jobs, which costs money. Having a production crew costs money. The bandwidth to deliver the content costs money. So, in an effort to monetize their product, they broaden the appeal, and ramp up the production values. Graphics are improved. A new host is brought in (and for the record, while Mike has a radio background, Casey is far superior in his delivery and segues.) More commercials are inserted. Etcetera.

I have a couple of theories. One – this is all a ramp-down in advance of the debut of the network next season, and an attempt to wean the 411 fans off the product they’ve grown accustomed to, while providing on-the-job-training for the production staff before they ‘go live’ to a national television audience. Two – the 411 is still a money loser, in spite of the addition of the Viagra endorsements, and cuts needed to be made. Perhaps it’s both of these, and maybe it’s neither
I’ll echo the sentiment that using the video download numbers to justify the cut is a weak, and intellectually dishonest move. I don’t think it’s outrageous to speculate that the video feed was conjoined to the audio feed for the express purpose of inflating the numbers in an effort to misrepresent the audience to some third party. (management? advertisers? cable companies?)
The biggest loss is that we’ll be getting less Cory. I simply can’t imagine another person on earth that is in a better position than he to interpret the many numbers of baseball. Not only is he an obsessive fantasy player, but it just so happens to be the man in charge of stats at the very league that runs the entire sport. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also as erudite as he is knowledgable.
Listening to the 411 turned me into a fantasy player (I listened for a full year before I had my first team.) Unfortunately, the diminishing content and increasing wheat-to-chaff ratio indicates that there will be fewer and fewer people that are going to be able to claim the same thing. Perhaps it’ll all work out in the end, but I’m not very optimistic. Hopefully MLBam can loosen the reigns enough, and Cory and Mike (and others?) can find time enough to do something like a weekly, long form, expert-level, audio-only podcast. For the record, I would happily pay a small sum for such a thing, however much that matters. Until such an product were to appear, if I want to satiate my thirst for knowledge, I guess I’m going to be forced to suck it up, and pay for things like Rotowire and BPro.

This show used to be the first fantasy baseball podcast I would listen to…last year. While it still downloads automatically to my computer, I listen only if I have run out of all the other podcasts I download. There are so many other more informative podcasts out there now that rather than listen to Stern’s attempt at comedy I prefer listening to Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz, who now give just as much info in their 30 minute podcast. As far as the video goes, I’ve never watched it. The point of a podcast is to listen while I’m doing something else. If the point was to build a bigger audience it seems from the comments above that all it has done is piss off the core audience you had. Siano and Schwartz are quality fantasy analysts and need to be heard from more and in the old format. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Now it’s broke and I don’t see it getting fixed.

I just wanted to make a comment about the video feed being so downloaded so often. When I fire-up iTunes in the morning to grab the latest podcasts, the one that starts auto-downloading is always the video – which I then have to delete and manually grab the full audio.

Half an hour is better than nothing, but I’d prefer the full show. You guys are great to listen to, and always offer great advice. I think the hour is perfect because it gives you a chance to read quite a bit of our questions, which is typically very helpful in making moves.

Either way, I’ll still listen. Just wish I could listen longer.
Keep up the great work!

How about someone posts the managers e-mail address that made this poor decision so we can flood his in-box.

When I met Cory and Mike at the 2007 Fantasy Baseball Summit, I told them that The Fantasy 411 has had a positive impact on me for a very specific reason. I have a pretty long commute to work each day. Having the 411 to listen to makes the drive much more bearable – especially in the winters where Cleveland’s lovely storms can turn an hour long commute into a disgusting three hour experience. I, too, am extremely disappointed to see the show get shortened, just as I was to see the format changes this year, but, as with most things in life, change unfortunately happens. For me, Cory’s post (from the 16th) says it all. Regardless of who has made this decision, and regardless of our dissatisfaction with all of this year’s changes, let’s all keep in mind that they do the 411 because they love baseball, love fantasy baseball, and want to provide us with entertainment and advice. Let’s continue giving them our support. Give the new format a chance. Without being overly dramatic, Cory, Mike and The Fantasy 411 have changed the face of fantasy baseball for a lot of us. The Fantasy 411, and the other MLB.com shows we used to know and enjoy, gave birth to MLBRadioFans. FantasyBaseballMafia.com rose out of that same listenership. Shameless plug or not, if you’re looking for a way to fill some of the void created by the shorter version of The 411, come and give the written content and podcasts at FantasyBaseballMafia.com a try. Like Cory and Mike, people like GP (Going Postal), Pete in Jordan, Tony in Hitchin, and countless others, are building a tremendous fantasy baseball community. Join us!

I second an earlier suggestion to start hawking 411 merchandise. I’d buy it. I’ve even searched for it several times (to no avail).

Also, I second the general sentiments of most people posting. I was fanatical about listening the last three seasons, particularly this offseason. But this season I’m lucky if I catch more than one show every three weeks. It’s just not the same. I understand wanting to open it up to a bigger audience, but what you had was a PHENOMENAL product that catered to your CORE AUDIENCE — the die hards. We may not make you any money off the show, but we’re the ones spending a lot on MLB.tv, merchandise, tickets, etc. We’re your bread and butter customers. Why not just have a show (or more) catered to general MLB fans, then tailor this show to the die-hard audience? The market of casual-fan MLB shows/experiences/entertainment is heavily saturated. You guys had something different — something that catered to us.

Re: Casey.

I don’t think our favorite Sterno is getting a fair shake here. I’m sure some 411 fans just don’t like his style, but I’m betting that a lot of you guys feel like me and are upset at the changes that came along WITH Casey. The structure, the overproducing, the fluff, the forced pop culture references. Casey, when he’s just talking about baseball or making segues, I think, is as entertaining and smooth as they come. He is a fantastic radio personality.

But people just don’t like the rigidity, the lack of spontaneity. Last week there was a show where Corey was about to talk about Arizona’s lineup BUT HE COULDN’T, because that was scheduled for later. He was actually stopped from doing that. I just don’t understand what purpose this serves. If you have to have a structure, fine, but be like our friend Von Moltke, make your battle plan and once you come in contact with the enemy… adjust, improvise, go with the flow. Stop shutting information down because this isn’t how you planned it.

I still love the show, it’s gone from an A+ to an A-, and Casey, my issue isn’t Casey being Casey, it’s Casey being the police.

Other people have said many other things here that I agree with, but I just want to stress that it is not unheard of for a loose, caller-centric show driven by its infotaining hosts to be a commercial success. See the 31-year running NPR show called Car Talk. I think those guys have day jobs as well. I truly believe you guys could approach that level of success if you can find a producer who sees it that way.

I dont think that any of these problems are to do with Casey, its not his fault that the show has changed. I believe that the changes to the show are the bosses at MLBAM. Cory and Mike have a say in what is going on in the show i believe and if they didnt like what Casey was doing or the show was doing they would say so. The show changed when the bosses at MLBAM decided to go away from the radio type format of the shows. I still believe this is to do with the upcoming Baseball Channel (Mlb Network) and testing out some formats on us the loyal fans of the BaseballChannel.tv. In my opinon the show did change, i didnt like it at the start but then gave it time and liked it all over again. I hope that this doesnt mean the end of the 411 and the bosses read the posts here about the changes then they might reverse the decision.

I dont think that its Caseys fault about the callers being “hung up on” as that is a producing decision taken in the studio gallery. Also, the scripted format of the show is not some peoples cuppa tea but we have to live with it. Also the fact that when someone goes off topic or strays into a topic that is being talked about later i dont think its Casey reeling them back in its the producer through their IFBs.

I am not a Sterno apologist and it is not his fault in the changes. We have to deal with changes every day and we have to deal with changes to the 411.

Jan in Glasgow.
http://theyankeesscottishprincess.mlblogs.com

First of all I have to re-post this part that someone left because it is so fitting:

“To upper level management:

The unscripted nature of years past is what made this show a success, I can go 100 other places to DL a canned podcast about fantasy baseball. This was one of the most informative and entertaining podcasts out there for a long time this is no longer the case. The amount of time that previous went to callers and e-mailers is now no existent and rushed. What happened to all the regular callers, and people like Jeffery Ma, Will and Joe are great but Jeffery Ma was one of the best guests of all time.”

This is so true, I have missed all the callers and emails that used to happen, but now it has been script and not near as good as previous years. I have been a loyal AUDIO podcaster of the show for four years, have gotten many friends into it as well, and my man crush for Cory will forever live on. But seriously, going to 30 minutes is just ridiculous. All I can see happening is some sort of watered down version of what the 411 used to be. I can only imagine how fast Casey will cut off callers now on a 30 minute show. Actually callers, good luck even getting in your entire question, he will probably cut you off before you even finish due to time constraints.

Mike and Cory I love you guys and always will and thank you for taking the time and effort to make the 411 “AWESOME!!!” but unfortunately it seems those corporate Yankee ******** are doing what they always do best and thats screwing the fans.

Peace

Arthur in Dallas

Okay, my thoughts. Some of you may know me, other newer lsteners may not, but I am a proud member of the Fantasy 411 HOF and have been a devoted fan of the 411 as whole — including the producers and everyone else behind the scenes — for several years.

Finding the 411 was a surreal experience for me, I couldn’t believe I actually found a fantasy show that featured hosts who were entertaining, but also obviously very passionate about fantasy baseball.

I worked hard to participate in the show; sending in emails, calling and looking for a way to contribute. I went from John in Texas to Johnny Archive after I began spending countless hours listening to archived shows.

Why did I listen to archived shows? Simply put, after listening to the live 1 hour show, I wanted more. In the process I began taking notes on things they said about players and predictions they made. Most of the time, their advice panned out, but other times they were totally wrong.

So, I would call and remind them of what they said on previous shows. Plus, I would compile classic one-liners or funny stories — the infamous Dusty Baker rant was one episode I brought back up on it’s anniversary and has become legendary.

Anyway, I knew at the time I was lucky to have found the 411 when I did, but after seeing all the changes this year, I really cherish those good ol’ days. I can’t imagine how a new listener could actually standout with the new format.

As I wrote on my blog recently, Mike and Cory are pros and have a ton of talent in their real jobs as well their fun one — hosting a fantasy show.

We can only hope this is simply an off year for the show, just like when a real MLB player messes with his swing and his stats go in the wrong direction. And not the beginning of the end.

The 411 community is filled with tremendous fans of baseball and, of course, fantasy baseball. We all tried to give Casey an opportunity, but he is obviously not a good fit on the 411. I’m not sure anyone would be, to be honest — though I think Pete McCarthy is great and Vinny Micucci is extemely versitale.

Anyway, I wanted to add my name to the long list of frustrated listeners, though no matter what happens I will always be a fan of Mike Siano and Cory Schwartz. They were, after all, the inspiration for me to do my own fantasy baseball podcast.

-JA

I have been a dedicated listener since the shows inception and figured I would throw my 2 cents in.

I agree with one of the previous posts that said they have nothing against Casey the person but more so what he represents. Actually I warmed up to Casey right away. I really liked the chemistry between everyone. That being said here are some of the things I used to love about the old show.

1. Jeffrey Ma’s weekly appearance. This was a great segment. I loved the banter between him and Corey and I enjoyed hearing about his Vegas shenanigans just as much as his baseball insight. This year he was on occasionally in the beginning of the season and now he is never on.

2. Corey and Mike going off on tangents. I am a big pop culture fan like Corey so I enjoyed him dropping references left and right. It felt like listening to a family guy themed baseball show. I am also a big punk/hardcore fan as well and share Corey’s love of the Supersuckers. I miss seeing them at Coney Island High (RIP).

3. I miss some of the old hall of famers who used to call in way more then they do now. Whether it was Pete in Jordan and his random musings or Fred in Cali’s trash talking or Johnny Archive’s coolness. The flipside to this is that I don’t have to listen to Jean (Sic?) in Hollywood. Not that I ever listened to her phone calls anyway lol. That was an automatic fast forward on the Ipod.

Things I like about the new show

1. The Fav 5. I know I am probably in the minority but since I am a slave to pop culture I actually enjoy this and its only once a week for about 5 to 10 minutes.

2. More appearances by the BP think tank guys.

I think the Fantasy Feud brings nothing to the show. I never listen to the couple of minutes when you talk about this everyday. Or when you show video highlights or the performer of the day. Useless. Even though you take less phone calls I could do with a better filtering of them. 9 out of 10 people are in first place of a 10 team yahoo public league who wonder if they should deal Endy Chavez for Albert Pujols.

I like the new pitch or ditch format. Is that Social D that plays during it?

Hey at least Vinny doesn’t fill in anymore. As soon as my itunes would show that he was filling in for the day I automatically deleted it. Worst host ever

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE 411?

This was the greatest fantasy show out there. All shows were measured by this show. Baseball is enjoying high attendance figures because of fantasy, the more people that know the players, the more they want to watch the game.

Now almost every move this year seems to be based on ruining the best show/podcast out there.

First – Casey Stern — I have to ask – why? Sure Mike could not host all the time, but at least get a real fantasy fan to host. Casey does not like fantasy, hell other than the Mets I do not know if he likes baseball. He should be hosting Wipeout, that is the type of thing it seems like he is suited for, all he’s capable of doing, really.

Enough with the I am not a fantasy fan, Casey. If you are not – why are you on this show? Your stick is old.

Then the hour gets a few ads, boom there goes 5 minutes. Okay on its own not a big deal; Hosts get a break over an hour, get refreshed and come back harder than ever. But as we now know, that was just the beginning.

Someone continued to whittle away the time (Casey???). Still too much fantasy on the fantasy show, show, we have the fave five – come on more useless goo. This was not the spontaneous Charles Bronson jokes or 24 recaps, that were interesting to hear because the guys speaking about it were really into it. What we got instead were these long drawn out reviews of things the hosts themselves seemed disinterested in(BTW – This is the spot on the show where I hit the FF button usually). If they didn’t care about this, why would I be interested.

Then we started to lose the regular callers because there was not enough time for fantasy questions. No Pete from Jordan, and his Israel league update. I don’t know the last time Johnny Archive called in – I mean this guy came back from the dead, now he seems to be banned from the show because he called out Casey for what- not maintaining his team in the Ron Cey league. Mind you, this is something the pisses off the guy sitting right next to him! So which one belongs on this show really?

Now this – 30 minute show – well really 15-20 minutes when you get down to the real fantasy content. No fan fare, just a short announcement, “. . . and the new format starts Monday.” Friday, the last HOFer that can still call in, Jeanne from Hollywood, called on last time. As the new time and half hour would make it impossible to call in, so she made one last call to the show.

That kind of signaled the end of the greatest Fantasy show ever. Mike’s tone in the post above is foreboding, almost screaming out that this is a dying show.

All great things have to end, but it is sad to see here. With all the pretentious shows out there, this was the one that was real, the two hosts – Mike & Corey – really care about baseball and fantasy sports. They knew all the tricks, knew what was important to know, They still do and this can be saved, but I am not sure this is what MLB wants.

Monday was a sad day for me. . . .

Carl In the Bay State

Hey folks
I’m a Long time LISTENER of the show, and whilst I must admit that like mst of the others I have been distressed to the point of really not caring whether I listen to the show or not anymore as a result of the format changes this year, I have to say how much I have enjoyed the show over the 4+ years that Ive listened to it. Without question its made me into a much better fantasy player in baseball (and actually ironically even better again in other sports), and I owe much of that to the honesty and accuracy that we as listeners had come to be used to from Cory and Mike, or for that matter the guest hosts who came in at various points. I’m also a big fan of Casey’s as I first became a mlb radio fan with his hosting of Under the Lights, which indirectly was a major reason in me owning an ipod in the first place, but I feel that Casey’s talents and style would have been far more useful on another show, than the 411. Sadly with the video format being so huge a file that it eats huge chunks of my very low data download limit (internet companies in Australia charge huge amounts for very little data content) and for that matter my hard drive, its been very difficult to justify downloading the audio podcast, because the video will download by itself. But to me this podcast is still worth catching when I can (I’m currently 2+ weeks behind on my ipod) for three main reasons: 1) my and I assume many of the other fans of the show attachment to the style and chemistry of Mike and Cory, 2) my intense dislike for the formats/hosts and overall feel of many of the compeditors to this show- especially ESPN (nothing against the mafia, who I know are awesome, but i have no time to download or listen to their shows) and 3) because I’m an international follower of baseball and felt like mlb radio understood the needs of me and my fellow international baseball fans, in that you made it easy for us to find your shows, enjoy them and perhaps most importantly participate in them. Point number 3 is the reason i buy the radio subscription the mlb games every year, in spite of not listening to many games after early April or before the playoffs. I must admit that i really do not understand how decimating the on air lineup on the baseballchannel.tv is actually a good idea when you are trying to make the argument to cable and satellite providers in US that your new cable channel is actually going to be worth putting on their roster.
I hope that whoever ends up making the decisions for the new American cable channel realises what a great thing they have in the 411, and that international fans of the show like myself, will not be completely left in the lurch, when the cable station comes to be. I myself would happily pay a small amount (~$10 per season) for the privilige of a audio only podcast in future season, but certainly would not if i were expected to pay for whatever else comes on the new channel.

Once again in cased you missed- PLEASE Dont forget the international fans when you guys move to your plush new cable tv channel.

Scott in Australia

This is incredible. The 411 clearly has a rabid fan base and yet the show suffers through countless changes that make it worse. If the problem is money, then let’s go to the audience to solve it. Start a virtual tip jar. Ask people to donate whatever they feel is fair.

If the 411 helps you win your league, why not toss the guys 10% in appreciation? The trouble is: with all the changes, I no longer feel like it’s my 411.

Were there a way to go back in time to the end of last season and Mike and Cory had asked listeners to donate in order to keep the old show alive, then I think people would have thrown money in like crazy.

As has been written above, it seems that MLBAM is trying to destroy the show quietly by drips and drabs. That way, once the hardcore 411 fans are alienated, they can cancel the show without a hint of protest from the few who will remain. Then, everybody can shake their heads and comment that the show was good while it lasted, but never really commanded much of an audience.

BULLSH*T. This show commanded one hell of an audience before somebody decided to betray what it was essentially about.

At this point, I must say that my listening too has waned. The video podcast combines suck and pointlessness. The show format has left little time for actual fantasy baseball discussion. Casey is a waste of space and a spaz. And 1/2 hour episodes cap it all off.

To really blow the whole thing to hell, they should just have Cory do a series of puff-piece interviews with different clueless managers and “analysts” around the league so we can all hear how much “heart”, “grit”, and “determination” certain players have.

That’s all. I’m sad.

Vito in Boston

Scott, i have to agree with you in all you have said about the international fan aspect of the channel and my rant on my blog says almost the same. Like i said on my previous posts that none of these problems are with Casey. I just wish people would stop blaming Casey and blame the bosses. It wasn’t his fault that he got put on to the 411 and his shows the Bottom Line and Midday were cancelled.

So if there is anyone to blame for me is MLBAM bosses. Just wish that they would stop messing about with a good thing.

I have to say that you are so lucky in America that you can get access to baseball regularly on your tv or get to a game without it costing alot. To get the North American Sports Channel here in the UK you have to pay for almost $30 a month to get it or spend more than $1000 on flights and accommodation to come to a game. So we international fans wont get access to the new mlbnetwork unless we want to pay alot of money for it.

Jan in Glasgow.

I think it’s telling that no feedback has been uttered on the podcast about these comments. It means either that the show is too scripted to allow for it, or Cory and Mike have been muzzled by management. Time and time again in the past, the boys have commented (and rightfully so) on things said about the show, and now we hear not a thing. I can’t help but feel that they’re being restrained from doing things their own way. It’s too bad, since it seemed to have worked for them so well in the past.

Earwax, we’ve provided our thoughts about the change on this blog, there’s no need to do it on the show… no one is muzzling us, but decisions have been made and we’re moving on. We’ve got about a 28 minute show now so we’re trying to fill it with as much content as we can so hopefully everyone who has posted here will be able to say “maybe it’s not great, but it’s still something I want to listen to.”
–Cory

Cory,

I would like to listen to more callers, special guests, IM’s and Emails, and less scripted content. Is this never going to happen again? I don’t understand why Casey constantly says “We will get to all the calls, emails and IM’s but first…yadda yadda yadda”, then no calls are ever taken, maybe one, and its kept short. I am curious if people are just not calling in anymore or if they are being neglected.

Again I am sad about this change but still listen to the show every day on podcast. Thing is, with a 30 minute show, do you really need three people, and do we really need to hear about the weekly fantasy challenge you guys have going, the fav five, or pitch or ditch? I would rather all that be cut out and put on the blog, and air time go to the fans.

Thanks

Arthur in Dallas

Arthur, when the show was an hour we targeted 10 e-mails/AIM’s/phone calls per show, so now that it’s down to 30 minutes, we’re targeting to do 5-6 per show. As far as the Fantasy Feud and Fave Five, those will continue to be in the showing going forward but we’ll continue to keep it as tight as possible to get in as much “content” as we can.
–CS

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