One of television’s favorite duos, Chris Rose and Kevin Millar, who have hosted Intentional Talk together since the show’s inception in 2011, said its goodbyes Friday with Rose announcing his departure from MLB Network when his contract expires at the end of the month. Rose, who first came to prominence as the host of Fox Sports Net’sThe Best Damn Sports Show Period, said leaving Intentional Talk was not his call, attributing the move to financial difficulties brought on by the continuing effects of COVID.
“Unfortunately, COVID has really sunk its teeth into a lot of businesses and baseball is not immune,” lamented Rose, who was told three weeks ago the network would not be renewing his contract. “I’m not angry at MLB Network. I’m sad that I will not be able to do this show anymore. It crushes my heart.”
Rose, who is also employed by NFL Network and the Discovery Channel, isn’t sure what his next move will be, though he’ll always be appreciative of the decade he spent alongside Millar on MLB Network. “I’m too old to be upset. I’m not. Don’t think that. Don’t think I’m leaving on bad terms,” Rose insisted. “Is it a little unsettling that I have to go find something else in addition to my work elsewhere? Yes. But based on what has happened in this world since March, where families have lost loved ones, where people can’t pay their mortgage, where they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, I’m in great shape and I am thankful for the opportunity.”
The usually energetic Millar, best-known for his contributions to the Red Sox’s 2004 World Series team, was noticeably stoic during the segment, clearly rattled by the revelation his longtime cohost will be leaving the network. “I’ve never been around anybody that works as hard as you,” said Millar, choking back tears. “You’re the smartest guy I’ve ever been around. This is something that wasn’t going to be an easy day and it’s still not easy. I love you like a brother, as you know. I know you’re going to be on top of the mountain either way because you’re a badass at what you do.”
Rose and Millar carved a unique space on Intentional Talk, bringing a much-needed levity to a sport that, to outsiders, can feel uptight and inaccessible. Chemistry usually isn’t something that’s built overnight, but Rose and Millar, who shared a similar sense of humor, seemed to have it from the jump.
MLB Network’s decision to let Rose walk continues the recent industry trend of downsizing with bleeding media giants like ESPN gutting their staffs in a desperate attempt to cut costs. The mass exodus out of Bristol has cost ESPN many of its brightest talents including radio staples Mike Golic and Dan Le Batard.
Rose and Millar will host their final show together, a special hour-long edition of Intentional Talk, on December 23rd. It’s unclear who will serve as Millar’s new cohost, though any of Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, Matt Vasgersian and Heidi Watney, each of them frequent guest hosts, would be logical choices.