ESPN Announces First Games For Network’s September Sunday Night Baseball Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced today three big games for its schedule of games in September on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  The first of that trio of games pits Marlon Byrd and the New York Mets against Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital on September 1st.  The National League showdown will air on ESPN2.  The second of the games will air Sunday, September 8th.  That game will feature a matchup between the currently streaking NL West leading Dodgers—led by Yasiel Puig—and Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds.  The third of the newly announced games features the latest round in one of the greatest rivalries in sports.  The Yankees head to hostile ground to face off against their hated foes at Fenway Stadium on Sunday, September 15th in an American League fight as the playoff races heat up.

All three games will be anchored by play-by-play veteran Dan Shulman.  Shulman will be joined by analysts Orel Hershiser and John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.  All games will be simulcast on ESPN Radio affiliates nationwide.  ESPN Radio broadcasts of Sunday Night Baseball games are anchored by Jon Sciambi.  Sciambi will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton.  Spanish-speaking audiences can also catch the games on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio with Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Guillermo Celis, and Ozzie Guillen.  All broadcasts are also available online via WatchESPN.

Before September’s games, audiences will get to see the Yankees and Bosox go toe-to-toe yet again this weekend.  The teams will face off this Sunday, August 18th live from Fenway Park.

The current schedule of games on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is listed below.  Each game is preceded by the network’s pre-game show, Sunday Night Baseball at 7pm ET.

Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date Game
Aug. 18 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Aug. 25 Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Sept. 1 New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Sept. 8 Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds
Sept. 15 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

*An added note for viewers:  ESPN’s final Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast will be Sunday, September 22nd.

To keep up with the latest baseball on ESPN news, audiences can go online to http://espn.go.com/mlb or “Like” the ESPN Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  And to keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Two More Sunday Night Baseball Games

 

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced two more games to its current Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule.  Network officials have announced that on Sunday, August 11th, the Dodgers will host the Tampa Bay Rays.  And on Sunday, August 18th, the most storied rivalry in baseball hits its latest round, when the Yankees head to Fenway to take on the Boston Red Sox. 

Each game’s broadcast begins at 8pm EST on ESPN.  Dan Shulman will host the broadcasts.  He will be joined by his broadcast team mates, analysts Orel Hershiser and John Kruk.  Reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary.  Games will be simulcast on ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes with Jon Sciambi manning the mic for ESPN Radio.  He will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton.  The team of Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, and Guillermo Celis will handle broadcast duties for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.  Both games will also be available online via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.

This week’s matchup on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell sees the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals on the road against the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.  And on August 4th, the Braves will be on the road against the Phillies.

Each broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is preceded by Baseball Tonight on ESPN at 7pm EST.  For more information on upcoming games, stats, and more on fans’ favorite teams, go online to http://espn.go.com/mlb/

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Letters From Jackie Another Great Story Of One Of Baseball’s Greats

Courtesy:  A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

Courtesy: A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

Major League Baseball celebrated a very special anniversary early in 2013.  On April 15th, 2013, fans and players of America’s Past Time celebrated the sixty-sixth anniversary of Brooklyn Dodgers great and groundbreaking player Jackie Robinson’s very first ever major league game.  It was on April 15th, 1947 that Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first ever African-American to play major league baseball.  Every year since that day, Major League Baseball has celebrated Jackie Robinson day on the anniversary of his first game.  This year, the anniversary has been celebrated with more than just celebrations at baseball fields across the country.  It was also celebrated with a major motion picture focusing on Robinson’s life and a documentary from Shout! Factory that was even more enjoyable than the prior.  Now MLB Productions has joined in the celebration with its own documentary on Robinson.  Whereas the previous releases focused largely on Robinson’s life, this latest release, Letters From Jackie: The Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson focuses exactly on its title; Robinson’s own thoughts put to paper.

Letters From Jackie: The Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson is a good companion piece to the previously released pair of works from Warner Brothers and Shout! Factory.  The first thing that makes this documentary stand out is its run time.  It comes in at just forty-five minutes long.  This is not counting the end credits, either.  Within that short time-span, the story presented moves at a relatively fast pace.  It’s not too fast for viewers to keep up with the story, either.  And within the context of the production, viewers will be moved to both laughter and tears, hearing Robinson’s words read.

The letters written by Jackie Robinson are both moving and at times entertaining.  Most moving of all is the story of Robinson’s years-long communications with a young white fan, Ron Rabinovitz.  The pen pals’ ongoing letter writing led to a friendship that transcended skin color and even religious backgrounds.  It was a friendship based solely on two individuals’ love of the game of baseball.  Rabinovitz himself even gets to share his thoughts on the letters shared between himself and Robinson.  The fondness with which he remembers Robinson is both entertaining and moving.  Audiences will be brought to smiles hearing Rabinovitz discuss Robinson actually taking him into the Dodgers’ locker room to meet his team mates at the time.  He even presents the baseball signed by Robinson’s team mates.  The really funny moment of that story is when Rabinovitz reveals that Robinson was so caught up in introducing his team mates to Rabinovitz and getting them to sign the ball, that he forgot to sign the ball himself.  Rabinovitz adds, laughing that he didn’t mind because he had so many other items (noting the letters) signed by Robinson.  Viewers even get to see Rabinovitz sharing his memories with one of today’s greats at the 2013 Jackie Robinson Day pre-game.

Rabinovitz shares so many wonderful memories of one of baseball’s greatest names though his interviews.  Along with the stories are pictures of the pair posing together on the field.  They help to add even more interest to the story of Robinson’s own thoughts on how he was viewed during his career.  Those pictures aren’t the only ones shared throughout this near hour-long feature.  Those charged with bringing the program to life also incorporated footage from The Jackie Robinson Story as well as footage from games that he played during his career.  The footage shows both the good and bad of the people who came to the games to see Robinson play.  That footage set against Robinson’s own thoughts on fan support and the lack thereof makes these moments even more interesting for any real baseball history buff.

Whether for the stories shared of Robinson by his family and friends or for the footage of the baseball legend’s career, baseball fans have plenty for which to root in this companion piece to the year’s previously released Robinson tributes.  Audiences will of course find their own interesting and entertaining moments throughout the story.  Being that Major League Baseball is coming up to the annual celebration of the halfway point of its season, thoughts will go back to one of the original All-Stars.  And as thoughts go back to him, this latest story will make for another good look back at that legend in question.  It will be available next Tuesday, July 16th.  It can be ordered online at the MLB Productions store at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=21611606.

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MLB, A&E Offer Brewers Fans Reason To Celebrate This Offseason

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

The Milwaukee Brewers is one of Major League Baseball’s younger teams.  The team, which was originally started in part by Bud Selig in 1970, has had its share of great moments in its roughly forty-two year history.  Now thanks to MLB Productions and A&E Home Video, the team’s fans and baseball fans alike can enjoy a handful of the team’s greatest moments in the new four-disc box set, The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers

It’s fitting that all four of the games included in this box set are taken from the Brewers’ post season history, as Major League Baseball is currently in its second season.  Now fans yearning for a fresh start next season can enjoy these momentous games in the meantime.  One of the games that fans will enjoy from this set is its matchup against the then California Angels.  The game in question was the teams’ faceoff in Game Five of the 1982 ALCS.  Both teams were tied up at two games each in this best of five series.  So both teams’ fates boiled down to this decisive match.  And both teams showed how bad they wanted it.

Game Five of the 1982 ALCS started off with both the Angels and Brewers bringing in one run a piece.  The next two innings would see only one run scored on the part of the Angels’ catcher, Bob Boone.  Both sides stayed toe to toe in the game’s fourth inning with each one bringing in another run each, bringing the score at that point to 3-2, advantage Angels.  The Brewers’ lone run that inning came after a single run home run by Ben Oglivie.  The fifth and sixth innings would go scoreless on both sides of the ball.  But apparently the legendary seventh inning stretch must have done some magic for the Brewers as Milwaukee would seal the game with two more runs, bringing the Brewers past the Angels, 4-3.  The runs turned out to be the last runs of the game on either side of the ball as both teams went scoreless in the game’s last two innings.  The Brewers’ seventh inning surge started when Don Money hit a pop fly single to first base off of Angels pitcher Luis Sanchez.  Charlie Moore followed up that hit with a single to second base.  Sanchez gave up a single to Center Field against Jim Gantner next, thus allowing Moore to move to second.  Sanchez made up for that sacrifice by striking out future MLB legend Paul Molitor.  But then he walked Robin Yount, loading the bases.  Cecil Cooper’s single to Left Field brought in both Gantner and Moore and moved Yount to second.  These two runs would be the last two for the game, and would be the last scored against Sanchez, as he was replaced on the mound by Andy Hassler.  Hassler struck out Ted Simmons to end the inning.  Hassler wouldn’t be back until the bottom of the eighth inning.  He and the Angels’ fielding unit worked together to keep the bases empty on a quick three up, three down.  Bob McClure and Pete Ladd would finish the game for the Brewers, allowing only one man on base.

The Brewers’ 1982 post season run would see not one but two amazing games for this team that just over a decade prior had been brought in from Seattle of all places.  After the Brewers finished off the Angels in Game Five of the ALCS, they went on to the World Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals.  Things got started pretty well for the Brewers in the World Series with Milwaukee taking a decisive Game One win 10-0.  But two straight losses in Games Two and Three put the Brewers’ back somewhat to the wall.  Had the Cards won this game, it would have put the Brewers in a huge three games to one hole.  But the boys weren’t to be counted out just yet.  Despite going down by four runs early on, the Brewers’ offense kept the Cardinals scoreless in the third and fourth innings and finally getting on the board in the bottom of the fifth.  Don Money got things started first with a hard hit double.  Charlie Moore followed up with a short fly ball to Center Field.  That hit let Money move to third and into scoring position.  Jim Gantner finished things off with this rush, hitting a ground ball double that sent in Money for the score.  Paul Molitor ended up being taken out on a fly ball to Center Field, ending the inning.

The Cardinals answered the Brewers right back in the top of the sixth inning on doubles by both Lonnie Smith and Dane Iorg.  Iorg’s double brought in Smith, putting the Brewers deep into a 5-1 deficit.  But the Brewers showed that they still had a fire burning as they answered back with six big runs against four different Cardinals pitchers.  Those six runs were all the Brewers needed as they retook the lead 7-5.  The Brewers’ offense came to life in the eighth and ninth, keeping the Cardinals scoreless.  They went toe to toe with the Cardinals’ offense, showing that they weren’t about to just lay down for the red birds.  They took that momentum into Game Five and won that matchup 6-4.  Sadly though, it would be the last win for Milwaukee, as the Cardinals would force Game Six and then Seven, eventually taking the title in 1982.  Despite the Cardinals’ eventual title win, the Brewers showed in Game Four that the club’s appearance in the Fall Classic that year was no fluke.  And the team reiterated that in Game Five, too.  And while the Brewers may not be in the playoffs this year, this club proved that it could still hold its own in the National League with an 83-79 final record.  This team could have made it into the playoffs.  And it showed in turn, that it could easily make the second season next year, too.  In the mean time, Brewers fans have these two games and two others to enjoy throughout the offseason.  The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers is available now.  It can be ordered online now at MLB Productions’ shop site, http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13117903&cp=1452356.2184761.3740939.

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