Just over eight years after broadcasting his final playoff game, Bob Costas is getting back the keys to the baseball broadcasting booth. With the Super Bowl marking the end of the football season and Bob's size 32 NFL on NBC hosting jacket getting put in mothballs, the MLB Network has stepped in and hired Costas to do play-by-play commentary for regular season baseball games on the new cable channel. Darren Rovell reports that Costas will remain under contract with NBC to do Olympics and NFL stuff but will relinquish his position at HBO, the network that brought us this good stuff.
He'll also get a one-hour Thursday night interview-style show called "MLB Network Studio 42 with Bob Costas" which debuts February 5th. He'll be sitting down with Dodgers manager Joe Torre as he continues his book-whoring tour around the tri-state area.
You can take your Harold Reynoldses and your Hazel Maes and your Al Leiters because this is undoubtedly the biggest signing the fledgling network has undertaken in its first month of existence. Costas instantly provides the channel with class, gravitas, and a hearty dosage of snark. His sense of humor has been softened somewhat with the onset of his 50s but short-of-stature smartasses like me have always regarded Bob with admiration.
If you grew up in the 1980s, he was simply the voice of pre-game and post-game baseball coverage on TV, doing countless All Star Games and World Series games for NBC. Stuck on the depth chart behind Vin Scully for most of his career, he finally got to do play-by-play for the 1997 World Series, infamously causing chills across the Cleveland when he shouted, "The men of teal are for real!" That was the year Joe DiMaggio popped into the booth for an unannounced guest appearance, declaring that Costas' partner Joe Morgan was a real Hall-of-Famer, Costas was a future Hall-of-Famer and that he didn't know what to think about third man Bob Uecker.