ESPN Networks Announce Changes For 2014 MLB Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN kicks off its 25th season covering Major League Baseball today. In celebration of the anniversary, ESPN has announced a number of changes and additions to its coverage. The very first of those changes and additions is a rebranding of its flagship program, Sunday Night Baseball. Sunday Night Baseball has been rebranded as Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown. The name change has been implemented in order to better coincide with ESPN’s weekly national game of the week. Karl Ravech will continue to anchor the broadcast. And MLB Hall of Famer/analyst Barry Larkin will join Ravech for most episodes.

The rebranding of Sunday Night Baseball is just the tip of the iceberg for the changes being made to ESPN’s MLB coverage in its 25th season. Along with the rebranding of the network’s flagship show, several episodes of Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown will be broadcast live on-site from key locations near select games throughout the season. The live broadcasts will allow fans to show their pride live on television and viewers to get a taste of the live Baseball Tonight atmosphere. It all begins opening night from PetCo Park in San Diego at 6:30pm.

The new live, on-site broadcasts of Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown are the cornerstone of ESPN’s re-branded broadcasts for its 25th season of coverage. Along with the new live, on-site broadcasts, viewers will also see some new faces on this year’s telecasts. ESPN added new commentators for its telecasts during the offseason. Veteran manager Eric Wedge has been added to the Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown roster as has former perfect game pitcher Dallas Braden. Braden will join ESPN’s weekly broadcast as an analyst. Wedge will contribute regularly to the show, too.

MLB great and former manager Ozzie Guillen joined ESPN Deportes throughout the 2013 MLB season. His role has been expanded this season. Guillen will contribute both to ESPN Deportes and ESPN’s English-language platforms this season, including regular appearances on Baseball Tonight. Eduardo Perez returns to the broadcast side of the game after spending the past two seasons in the dugout. Perez will contribute largely to MLB broadcasts on ESPN Deportes. Both Guillen and Perez will join Manny Acta and Alex Cora in ESPN’s growing stable of bilingual MLB analysts.

As the 2014 MLB season progresses, audiences can stay tuned in to ESPN as the Worldwide Leader in Sports will televise special holiday games on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, as well as at least one Wild Card game, in addition to NY and all tie-breaker games. Making the deal even sweeter, ESPN will have rights to four Postseason Impact games in late September. This will allow ESPN to present the top games and storylines from around the league heading into the postseason. The schedule for ESPN’s special holiday broadcasts is provided below.

Holiday Date Time (ET) Game
Memorial Day Mon, May 26 1 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Atlanta Braves
4 p.m. New York Yankees at St. Louis Cardinals
Independence Day Fri, Jul 4 3 p.m. New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins
TBD TBD
Labor Day Mon, Sep 1 TBD TBD
TBD TBD

If the weekly Sunday night broadcast of MLB games isn’t enough for fans, ESPN will also offer audiences a special “seamheads” edition of Baseball Tonight every Thursday night at 10pm ET. ESPN MLB Insiders Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney, and Jayson Stark will serve as the panel for the program. They will discuss all even more insight than is offered every Sunday night, including: advanced stats, ranking, and breaking news and rumors throughout the season. They will be joined occasionally by Keith Law and Grantland’s Jonah Keri.

ESPN is going to have expansive and in-depth coverage of MLB baseball this season, as is obvious by now. But it’s still not all that fans have to expect from the Worldwide Leader in Sports during the 2014 MLB season. ESPN will also present specially produced vignettes each week across its TV and internet platforms that celebrate each of the league’s teams. The first of those vignettes will air tonight, March 30th. It will focus on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The final touch to ESPN’s massive list of changes for this season of MBL coverage involves coverage on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes +. ESPN Deportes increases its broadcast schedule to more than eighty regular season games. That is sixty-five games more than in previous seasons. ESPN Deportes + will also include exclusive Spanish-language coverage of thirty regular season games.

More information on all of the latest on the ESPN family of networks’ MLB coverage is available online at 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.

ESPN Announces Matchup For Last Sunday Night Baseball Broadcast Of 2013

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has made it official.  The “Sports Leader” has announced the matchup for the last game of its regular season coverage for 2013.  On Sunday, September 22nd, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will present a matchup of the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.  The Red Birds are currently in the hunt for the National League Central Division as they come into the game.  They are looking to get back in the win column as they face the NL Central leading Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend in a three-game series beginning tonight.  The Brewers, the Cards’ NL Central foes, are in the basement right now.  They currently sit at 60-80 and are at 3-7 in their last ten games at the time of this posting.

ESPN’s Dan Shulman will anchor the 8pm broadcast.  He will be joined by analysts Orel Hershiser and Jon Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for commentary.  Broadcast of the game (and all ESPN Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell games) will be available on ESPN Radio with Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton.  ESPN Deportes will also carry the game with Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Guillermo Celis, and Ozzie Guillen.  All games will also be broadcast on ESPN Deportes Radio and online via WatchESPN.

Before the Cardinals and Brewers go head to head, the Los Angeles Dodgers will face off against The Cincinnati Reds tomorrow night, September 8th.  The Reds are currently in the hunt for a spot in the 2013 postseason.  And next Sunday, September 15th, the Yankees and Red Sox hit the field in the latest round of their ongoing battle.  All broadcasts of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell are preceded by Baseball Tonight at 7pm.

More information on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is available online at http://espn.go.com/mlb and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  And for all 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 all of the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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.

Dodgers Host Bosox August 25th On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Presented By Taco Bell

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced the latest addition to its lineup of games on its weekly Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast.  Coming up Sunday, August 25th, Hanley Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers will host Dustin Pedroia and the Boston Red Sox as the race to the playoffs heats up.  The game is scheduled to air live at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Dan Shulman will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by former Dodgers great and ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser, fellow analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.

Along with its broadcast on ESPN, the matchup will also be available on ESPN Radio affiliates nationwide and online via WatchESPN.  Jon Sciambi will anchor the broadcast for ESPN Radio.  He will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton.  Spanish speaking audiences can catch the game on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.  Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Guillermo Celis, and Ozzie Guillen will have the call for both networks.

The East Coast/West Coast rivalry is just one more rivalry on the Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule.  Coming up this Sunday, August 4th, the Phillies will take on the Atlanta Braves in a modern day battle of North vs. South on the baseball diamond.  The current schedule of games on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is available below.

Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date Game
Aug 4 Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Aug 11 Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Dodgers
Aug 18 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Aug 25 Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers

Upcoming games for the September broadcast schedule will be announced two weeks in advance to the games.  Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is preceded every Sunday night by Baseball Tonight live at 7pm ET.

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 keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bosox, Angels Face Off July 7th On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Presented By Taco Bell

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced the latest addition to its Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule.  On Sunday, July 7th, ESPN will broadcast a matchup between “Big Papi” David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox and Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels live.  The game will be broadcast live at 8pm EDT.  Dan Shulman will be joined by analysts Orel Hershiser and John Kruk.  Reporter Buster Olney will be on hand to provide commentary.

Along with its primary broadcast on ESPN, the gam will also be broadcast on ESPN Deportes with Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Guillermo Celis, and Ozzie Guillen.  It will also be broadcast on ESPN Radio affiliates across the country with Jon Schiambi and analyst Chris Singleton.  Fans can also see the game on with WatchESPN.

Each week’s game is preceded by Baseball Tonight at 7pm EDT.  Tonight’s game sees the San Francisco Giants on the road against the Atlanta Braves.  The current schedule of games on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is available below.  Additional July games are announced three weeks prior to their broadcast while August and September games will be announced two weeks in advance to their broadcast.

Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date Game
June 16 San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves
June 23 Texas Rangers at St. Louis Cardinals
June 30 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
July 7 Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels
July 14 St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
July 21 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

For all the latest Sunday Night Baseball news, go online to http://espn.go.com/mlb/baseballtonight and https://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight.

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.

MLB All-Time Bloopers Offers Audiences Nine Innings Of Laughs And More

Courtesy:  A&E Entertainment/MLB Productions

Courtesy: A&E Entertainment/MLB Productions

The old year is almost out and the New Year is nearly here.  For those who aren’t much for sports that just means it’s the start of a new year.  For those who are lovers of the game, that means something completely different.  It means the end of one sport’s season and the start of another.  Any true lover of sports has noticed that as the old year comes to its end, the news surrounding the baseball world has been increasing once more.  Right now, it’s mostly about some major trades.  But as the calendar turns from one year to the next, the news will turn to America’s pastime even more.  That means every baseball fan across the country will be counting the days until opening day.  In celebration, MLB Productions and A&E Entertainment have given fans one more offering as they wait for the big day.  That offering is the new single disc collection, MLB All-Time Bloopers.

MLB All-Time Bloopers is a laugh riot from start to finish.  This near hour long presentation offers baseball’s legions loads of laughs.  It offers audiences some of the game’s funniest moments both on the field and off.  That also includes some of the most interesting antics not just from the players but the fans and even animals.  Yes, even the animals make the blooper real in this brand new collection.  Perhaps one of the funniest of the collection’s moments comes not from the players and animals, but from one certain celebrity.  Fans even get some hilarious sound bites from the players own mouths from the sounds of the game.  It all combines to make for plenty of laughs for those wanting to get their baseball fix during the offseason.

MLB All-Time Bloopers is separated nicely into about four different segments.  It starts off with some of the funniest on-field moments from across the league and its history.  From players hitting the outfield wall to running into each other and even making some really wild plays, it shows that for all the training that these professional athletes go through, even they are capable of making some of the game’s funniest moments.  From there, it moves on to some of the funniest players in the game through the twentieth century.  Prince Fielder gets some love, as do a number of other veteran athletes.  One of the funniest moments comes when said veterans are profiled for their fan favorite rainy slip and slide moments.  Others get their own moment in the limelight not so much for what they do on the field but for their clubhouse antics.  One of those is a certain player streaking through an interview with his teammates.  Thank goodness that was blurred out.  Think that’s a wild blooper moment?  Try the segment featuring the mascots of the game.  That’s right, even the mascots get their own segment in this collection.

The players make for more than their share of entertainment throughout a season both for audiences and sports analysts.  But the team mascots also make for their own share of laughs.  And few have the resume of the one and only Philly Phanatic.  This legendary mascot has more than enough material to make his own blooper reel.  What fans do get to see here though, is a few snippets of the long running love/hate relationship between the Phanatic and Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda.  Apparently, there was one incident initiated by the Phanatic of which Lasorda was no fan.  Fans will have to check out this DVD to find out what exactly that incident was.  It’s an incident that will keep audiences laughing and talking even after watching it.  The same thing applies for watching the fans and even “fan mascots.”  Wait.  Fan mascots?  That’s right.  While they’re not the official team mascots, the teams have their own “fan mascots” in the stands.

Football isn’t the only sport with “fan mascots.”  Even baseball has this dedicated legion of fans.  They will get out on top of the dugout and entertain the fans in order to get them worked up, cheering for their team.  Some come just as themselves.  Others come dressed to the nines in their full homemade regalia.  And they all come with their own moves that get fans both at the games and watching on TV equally charged up thanks to their moves.  Baseball fans will get to see all of that and so much more throughout the course of this laugh-a-minute presentation.  As if what’s on this disc isn’t enough, fans will note in watching it that there are sure to be more volumes to come as the seasons roll on.  That’s because even the show’s narrator notes it’s only the first volume.  That’s not noted on the DVD’s case.  But being that it is noted, fans can be sure that the 2013 season will bring its own share of bloopers.  Until it starts though, this collection will put smiles on any fan’s face for nine innings and more.  MLB All-Time Bloopers is available now.  It can be ordered online direct via MLB Productions’ online store at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13235967&cp=2366583.706121.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.