Baseball Night in America Is Ready for Primetime with Mets/Dodgers, Tigers/Rays
Charles Davis: Four Isn’t the Right Number for College Football Playoff
Joe Buck CenterStage Premieres on YES Network Thursday Night
BASEBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA – BASEBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA returns to intraleague play on Saturday, June 30 at 7:00 PM ET. East meets west as David Wright and the Mets visit the City of Angels to take on the Dodgers. Joe Buck, Eric Karros and Ken Rosenthal call the action from Dodger Stadium. The power-hitting duo of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder lead the Tigers into St. Pete to face the Rays. All-Star leading vote-getter Josh Hamilton leads the Rangers into a matchup with the A’s. While Ryan Braun entered the season on a controversial note, he has displayed his usual prowess at the plate. The 2011 NL MVP and the Brewers welcome the D-Backs to Milwaukee. Also, Padres visit the Rockies and the Twins host the Royals.
Coverage begins with the BASEBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA PREGAME SHOW, originating live from MLB Network’s state-of-the-art Studio 3 in Secaucus, NJ. The show is hosted by MLB Network studio host Matt Vasgersian, who is joined by analysts Harold Reynolds and Kevin Millar.
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New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Buck, Eric Karros
Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles, CA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Atlanta, Birmingham, Buffalo, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Portland, Raleigh, Richmond, St. Louis, Washington, West Palm Beach
Probable Pitchers: Johan Santana, LHP (5-4, 3.00 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP (0-4, 4.04 ERA)
Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays
Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, FL
MARKETS INCLUDE: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Providence, Tampa
Probable Pitchers: Rick Porcello, RHP (5-5, 4.71 ERA) vs. TBA
Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
Rangers Ballpark – Arlington, TX
MARKETS INCLUDE: Austin, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Francisco, Tulsa
Probable Pitchers: Tommy Milone, LHP (8-5, 3.83 ERA) vs. Justin Grimm, RHP (1-1, 11.57 ERA)
Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers Daron Sutton & Bill Schroeder
Miller Park – Milwaukee, WI
MARKETS INCLUDE: Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Pittsburgh
Probable Pitchers: Wade Miley, LHP (9-3, 2.19 ERA) vs. TBA
San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies Eric Collins & Mark Grant
Coors Field – Denver, CO
MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle
Probable Pitchers: TBA vs. Christian Friedrich, LHP (4-5, 5.86 ERA)
Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins Steve Physioc & Bert Blyleven
Target Field – Minneapolis, MN
MARKETS INCLUDE: Kansas City, Memphis, Minneapolis
Probable Pitchers: Luke Hochevar, RHP (5-7, 5.07 ERA) vs. TBA
HAMILTON ON THE BRINK OF BREAKING SINGLE-SEASON ALL-STAR BALLOTING RECORD –As we enter the final week of voting for the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game, airing Tuesday, July 10 (7:30 PM ET) on FOX, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is on the verge of breaking Jose Bautista’s single-season balloting record from last year. With less than 150,000 votes keeping him from reaching the milestone, Hamilton is the leading vote-getter in All-Star Game balloting by a landslide. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter continues in second place in the American League. In the National League, Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto has overtaken L.A. Dodgers’ outfielder Matt Kemp as leading vote-getter by some 300,000 votes. Votto, who has had an excellent voting week, has also surpassed Jeter and is now the second most voted player in Major League Baseball.
Fans can vote for their hometown superstar and get more information on this year’s ballots by visiting www.allstargame.com
ROSENTHAL: BRAUN LOOKING BETTER THAN EVER – Following the uproar over his positive test for elevated levels of testosterone — and successful appeal; many wondered how 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun would respond in 2012. As MLB on FOX & FOXSports.com insider Ken Rosenthal notes; “it’s as if nothing changed. Braun, 28, is almost exactly the player he was a year ago at this time,” Rosenthal writes. “The uproar over his positive test for elevated levels of testosterone — and successful appeal and avoidance of a 50-game suspension — long has subsided. Check his stats: Braun’s 20 homers, 52 RBI and .596 slugging percentage (as of 6/26) surpass his numbers in those categories after the same amount of games last season, when he was voted National League MVP.”
To read more on Braun’s 2012 from Rosenthal, click here: http://on-msn.com/MX6Ig9
MCCARVER CHANNELS HIS INNER BRYCE HARPER IN ALL-STAR GAME PROMOS SHOT AT MLB FAN CAVE – Last week, MLB All-Star broadcasters Joe Buck & Tim McCarver paid a visit to the MLB Fan Cave in downtown New York City where they signed autographs, met with the Cave Dwellers and recorded a few promotional spots for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. It is the 14th MLB All-Star Game broadcast by Buck & McCarver (1997, 1999, 2001-12) which is a record for a broadcasting duo. The promos appear in select campaigns leading up to the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 10th (7:30 PM ET). To view these unique promos, visit: http://bit.ly/LOGCwL.
JOE BUCK CENTERSTAGE PREMIERES ON YES NETWORK TOMORROW NIGHT – MLB ON FOX lead play-by-play announcer Joe Buck is Michael Kay’s guest on an all-new CenterStage premiering Thursday, June 28 at 11:00 PM ET on YES NETWORK. Among the highlights is Buck on why the All-Star Game is his hardest to broadcast and opening up on the death of his father, legendary Cardinals announcer Jack Buck.
Buck’s opinion on the new one-game playoff in Major League Baseball: “I don’t know. I want to see it play out once before I have a real firm opinion on it…I do like sweetening the pot at the end of the year and opening the door for another team…I think it’s good to add a team…If you can replicate what happened at the end of last season—… where it’s play-in’s all over the place and this crazy day of baseball, then I’m all for it, because that’s when baseball is great.”
Buck on why the All-Star game is the hardest game to call: “I love the All-Star Game. It is—by far—the hardest game to do during the course of the year. If you are doing a World Series Game Seven, you think “Oh, that’s gonna be the most intense, the hardest one to do.” That’s the easiest one to do…Because it does itself; you just kinda get out of the way. In an All-Star Game, whoever is at the plate has got a story why they are there [and] whoever is on the mound has got a story why they are there, so it gets a little hectic. [Also] it’s more of a TV show really a game. But it’s fun because it is a celebration of the sport that we love and to be there in Kansas City this year will be a blast.”
DAVIS: FOUR ISN’T RIGHT NUMBER FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF – As plans for a four-team college football playoff move forward beginning with the 2014 season, FOX College Football analyst Charles Davis says the controversy of which teams play for the national championship is only beginning. “If you thought we had discussions and controversies on who the top teams were before, wait until we try to figure out who the top four are. I don’t think four is the right number. To me it’s 16,” said Davis. “We don’t even have a committee yet and I’m already hearing people scream there’s going to be bias. The make-up of the committee will be interesting. Should it be coaches? Administrators? Media? That’s going to be a major deal. Everyone brings biases to the table. They need to try to balance the group so that the bias gets balanced naturally.”
UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTENDER SONNEN MOTIVATED CURRENT CHAMP SILVA TO DESTROY HIM, SAYS “UFC TONIGHT’S” FLORIAN – The trash-talking feud between UFC Middleweight No. 1 contender Chael Sonnen and Current Champion Anderson Silva took a surprising turn this week with Silva firing back at Sonnen for the first time in his career. FUEL TV’s “UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian says Silva’s reaction to Sonnen could have different results: “Either it’s going to fire Silva up and it’s going to motivate him to train hard and destroy Sonnen, or it is going to distract him too much and take him away from his game plan. Then Chael will have accomplished what he wanted.” FUEL TV airs a preview of the upcoming UFC Middleweight Championship rematch, “UFC Primetime: Silva vs. Sonnen II” on Saturday, June 30 (7:00 PM ET). The UFC 148 title fight takes place in Las Vegas on July 7. To see Florian’s assessment of the situation and Sonnen’s response to Silva’s trash talking, check the link from Tuesday’s “UFC Tonight”: http://youtu.be/AkcukAlcEaE