As Major League Baseball hunkers down into month two of its player lockout, the league’s official network will be moving forward without one of its significant contributors.
Ken Rosenthal, the multi-platform newsbreaker who has contributed to the network for 13 years, will not be retained in 2022, he confirmed via Twitter Monday night.
Rosenthal, who remains a dugout and on-field reporter for Fox Sports’ national baseball broadcasts and a national reporter for The Athletic, has covered the industry with a rigor beyond typical TV network contributors. He was part of an Athletic team that in 2019 exposed the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal of 2017-18 and remains a significant part of their coverage of the ongoing lockout and the commissioner’s office.
The New York Post, which first reported Rosenthal’s departure, said Rosenthal was removed from MLB Network for roughly two months in the summer of 2020, a de facto suspension that came on the heels of Rosenthal’s pointed analysis of commissioner Rob Manfred’s handling of negotiations with players to stage a season during the early waves of the pandemic.
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Rosenthal did not immediately return a message seeking comment. In a tweet sent shortly after his departure became public, Rosenthal said he always “strove to maintain my journalistic integrity, and my work reflects that.”
Rosenthal’s real-time reporting has been a boon for MLB Network at high-volume times of the year, such as the July trade deadline and the winter meetings. While he will continue to break news on social media and The Athletic, he’ll for now lack a broadcast platform for such work.
His departure continues a mild exodus of talent at MLB Network, which did not renew “Intentional Talk” co-host Chris Rose’s contract at the end of 2020. Rose, who was replaced by Stephen Nelson, is now a podcast host for Jomboy Media.