XM All-Star Futures Game
(Sunday, July 12) at 2 p.m. ET
(ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV) Commentators: Gary Thorne, Rick Sutcliffe, Peter Gammons and Erin Andrews
State Farm Home Run Derby
(Monday, July 13) at 8 p.m. ET
(ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV) Commentators: Chris Berman, Joe Morgan, Steve Phillips and Erin Andrews
Taco Bell Legends and Celebrity Softball Game
(Monday, July 13) after the Derby
(ESPN2, ESPN2 HD; also available live on ESPN360.com Sunday, July 12 at 5 p.m. ET) Commentators: Gary Thorne, Rick Sutcliffe and Erin Andrews
MLB All-Star Game
(Tuesday, July 14) at 7:35 p.m. ET
(ESPN Radio; 8 p.m. ET on ESPN Deportes Radio) ESPN Radio commentators: Dan Shulman, Dave Campbell, Marc Kestecher (on-site host) and reporters Peter Pascarelli and John Rooney ESPN Deportes Radio commentators: Eduardo Ortega, Juan Marichal, Renato Bermudez and reporter Jose Francisco Rivera
ESPN’s nightly destination for MLB fans seeking highlights, news and information throughout the season, generally Monday through Saturday at 10 p.m. and midnight (9 p.m. PT); Sundays at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Following are highlights from this week’s Major League Baseball coverage on ESPN:
Sunday Night Baseball Showcases Rays’ Speed and PowerESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast included special graphics and discussion highlighting the keys to the Tampa Bay Rays’ potent offense – speed and power. Immediately after airing the speed segment, B.J. Upton (hit by pitch) and Carl Crawford (walk) both reached base and executed a double steal, then Upton scored on a sacrifice fly and Crawford on a throwing error (same play) to manufacture two runs without a hit.
Rick Sutcliffe Dissects the Curveball Analyst Rick Sutcliffe discussed the curveball on Wednesday Night Baseball during a telecast featuring San Francisco’s Matt Cain and St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright, two hurlers with some of the best benders in the game. Sutcliffe said Sandy Koufax and Bert Blyleven had the best breaking balls he’s ever seen.
Sunday Night Baseball Live Manager Interviews ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast included live in-game interviews with both managers – Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon, who is also managing the A.L. in the All-Star Game, and Texas’ Ron Washington.
Hall of Famers Connect on SNB Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Nolan Ryan enjoyed discussing what it was like facing each other during a Sunday Night Baseball conversation with Ryan.
Karl Ravech and Dave Winfield Demonstrate Importance of Outfield Communication Baseball Tonight’s Karl Ravech and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield provided a demonstration on the importance of outfield communication, including which position player is responsible for taking charge of in-between fly balls.
ESPN’s 20th Year All-Star Team Voting Intensifies
ESPN continues to celebrate 20 seasons of MLB coverage with fan voting determining a 20th year All-Star Team. ESPN viewers have voted throughout the first half of the season to narrow the list of 10 candidates per position down to three finalists in each category. This week, the fan vote will determine their favorite left-handed pitcher over the past 20 years. The winner – Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson or Johan Santana – will be announced during Sunday Night Baseball July 12. Last week, Nolan Ryan received over 60 percent of the fan vote to outpace Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux as favorite right-handed pitcher. Next week’s vote will determine the fans’ choice for top closer over the previous 20 seasons.
Quotes of the week:
Joe Morgan on the impact participating in the Home Run Derby has on a player’s swing:
“If a guy gets hot like Josh Hamilton does and hits 28 or like Bobby Abreu (in 2005) – maybe that takes a lot out of them that particular night. I don’t think there is carryover for the next two weeks or anything. A lot of times when a guy is struggling, you’ll go out and take extra batting practice…you’ll get just as many swings in that extra batting practice session as you did in the Home Run Derby.”
“In batting practice, you take a round and slap the ball around. Then, the last round, you play Home Run Derby with your teammates. You do that, so you do change your swing a little bit. I’m just not a believer that the Home Run Derby keeps guys from having good second halves.”
Morgan on his philosophy behind selecting All-Stars:
“I believe we should reward the team sometimes…if you have a situation where you are undecided and it’s a tie, then I think you should look at the team’s record and that should help you decide between players…you should reward winning.”
Morgan on the A.L. All-Star outfielders:
“Jermaine Dye should be on that team some place – he’s hitting .291; he has 20 home runs and 51 RBIs – and he’s done it year in and year out…I’m surprised he doesn’t get more support from the players, because I definitely think Jermaine Dye should be on that team.”
Phillips, on which player he would have selected for the 33rd A.L. roster spot:
“If I’m managing the game, I’m taking Chone Figgins because I can play him at third base or the outfield and I’ve got all kinds of power bats in my lineup. I’m going to take the guy who can help me get on, get over, get in, hit and run, bunt, do something to win the game.”
Peter Gammons on the improvement of the Baltimore Orioles being masked by the challenge of competing in the A.L. East:
“That’s really disguised how much better Baltimore is than it was a year or two ago. They have all this young pitching coming. It will be different for the Orioles to get good in a hurry, but they will be very good two years from now.”