ESPN Celebrates 25 Years Covering MLB With Special Opening Night Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN reaches a milestone this Spring.  Beginning March 30th at 6:30pm ET, the Worldwide Leader in Sports will kick off its twenty-fifth season covering Major League Baseball.  It all begins with an exclusive ninety-minute presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts–Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres—on Sunday Night Baseball.  Karl Ravech will host the special anniversary broadcast.  He will be joined by MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, Jon Kruk, and Curt Schilling.

The night’s special pre-game broadcast will be followed up by first pitch scheduled for 8pm ET.  Host Dan Shulman will be back for the network’s landmark anniversary season.  Also returning are analyst Jon Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.  There will be a new face joining the regular broadcast team this season.  MLB veteran and Curt Schilling also joins the team beginning this season.

MLB fans can catch all the Opening Night festivities across the ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi, and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, and online via WatchESPN.

ESPN’s Opening Day schedule will feature five matchups, highlighted by a matchup of the 2013 MLB World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.  That game is scheduled for a 3pm start time.  The complete ESPN Opening Night/Opening Day schedule is listed below.

 

ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sun., Mar. 30 8 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 1 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 3 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 4 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 7 p.m. Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 10 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

ESPN offers audiences fully in depth MLB coverage 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 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.

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.

MLB Productions, A&E Score Again With Phillies Four Piece Box Set

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the oldest teams in the history of Major League Baseball.  This team has been in its hometown since 1883.  That’s nearly one hundred and thirty years.  In the time that the Phils have been an organization, this storied club has had a number of important games.  Now thanks to MLB Productions, fans of the Phillies have a new box set complete with four of the team’s greatest games to enjoy, regardless of the team’s post season hopes.  The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies is a four disc box set.  It includes: the Phillies’ 1980 NLCS Game Five matchup against the Houston Astros, Game Six of the NLCS from 1993, Game Five of the 2008 World Series, and Game One of the 2010 NLDS against the Reds.

Phillies fans will appreciate that the set starts off with the team’s Game Five matchup against the Astros from the 1980 NLCS.  Long time fans will recall that this was the game that sent the Phillies into the World Series to face the Kansas City Royals.  The Phillies would go on to defeat them, too and take the team’s first ever MLB title.  Game Five was a pivotal one as it was a hard fought battle on both sides of the ball.  Houston would strike first after Jose Cruz hit a double, allowing Terry Puhl to score.  Puhl had led off the bottom of the first with a single.  He followed that up by stealing second.  A fly ball to Center Field by Joe Morgan allowed Puhl to make his way to third base.  It was Cruz’s single that brought in Puhl.  His run would be the only one of the inning.

The Phillies answered back in the top of the second with two runs scored.  The Phillies’ bats got warmed up when Manny Trillo hit a single to Center Field.  Astros legend Nolan Ryan was on the mound throughout the top of the second inning.  And things didn’t go his way after that hit.  He would go on to walk Garry Maddox, thus moving Trillo to second.  Larry Bowa was up next.  A groundout on his part allowed Trillo and Maddox to move another base.  The pair would end up scoring when catcher Bob Boone hit a single to Center Field off of Ryan. 

Both teams went scoreless in the next three innings.  But things started to pick back up in the bottom of the sixth when Astros pinch hitter Alan Asby hit a single to Center Field, allowing Denny Walling to score.  That run tied the game at two runs a piece and gave the Astros a jolt as they’d go on to score three more runs in the bottom of the seventh, putting the Astros up by two.  The Phillies would battle back in the top of the eighth, bringing in five more runs, putting them back up by two.  But the Astros weren’t about to just lay down for the Phillies.  They answered back with two more runs in the bottom of the inning, tying the game right back up at seven runs each.  Those two runs would be the last for the Astros, though.  The tie brought the teams into the tenth.  This was the last showdown for the two teams.  Del Unser hit a double to Right Field. Trillo would follow that play with a fly ball to center field.  Garry Maddox would seal the game when he hit a double to Center Field, bringing in Unser for the team’s eighth run.  The Astros had nothing for the Phillies at the bottom of the inning, ending the game.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  From here, the Phillies would go on and take its first ever MLB Championship against the Royals.

The Phillies’ road to the team’s first ever championship was closed off in quite the dramatic fashion with the team’s game Five matchup against the Astros.  In 2008, the Phillies would face an equally tough match against the Tampa Bay Rays.  Game Five of this matchup would be the nail in the coffin for the Phillies.  The team had only lost one game to the Rays in the series.  And it had dominated the Rays 10-2 in Game Four.  All the Phils needed was one more win.  And while they got that win, it wasn’t as easy as they had wanted.  While the Phils struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, the Rays kept them scoreless for the next four innings.  It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Phillies would score again.  Even then, the team only brought in one run.  That run came courtesy of Jayson Werth.  Werth hit a single to Second Base, allowing Geoff Jenkins to score.  The Rays weren’t about to have any of that, though.  They answered back in the top of the seventh with a single run homer by Rocco Baldelli.  That homer would tie the game back up at three runs each.  The back and forth didn’t stop there, though.  The Phillies answered right back in the bottom of the seventh.  Pat Burrell hit a double to Center Field.  Eric Bruntlett would end up pinch running for Burell, and would eventually score the winning run after Pedro Feliz hit a ground ball single to Center Field.  Neither team knew it at that time, of course.  But Bruntlett’s score would finish things off as both teams went scoreless in the game’s last two innings, thus bringing the Phillies the team’s second ever championship.

The two games noted here are just a sampling of what baseball fans have to look forward to in The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies.  There are two more games for fans to enjoy any time they want.  And just as with each one f MLB Productions’ previous releases, fans can easily follow the games as each one comes in its own slim case, complete with box score and roster lineups.  This is one more gem of a set for any baseball fan regardless of the Phillies’ fate this season.  And fans can even enjoy it throughout the cold winter months as they count down the days to the opening day of 2013 Spring Training.

The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies is available now.  It can be ordered direct via the MLB Productions website at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13156453

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.