MLB World Series Takes Top Honors In The Phil’s Picks 2014 List Of Best New Box Sets For Grown-Ups

The days are officially ticking away to the end of another year. That means that all of the critics out there are now putting out their annual “Best Of” lists. This critic is still working on some of those lists while others are official. The jury’s still out on some right now such as the year’s Best New Documentaries, Independent Movies, Re-Issues, and Best New Movies overall. The lists for all the new music are still in the works, too. So while those lists are being completed, Phil’s Picks offers to everyone to start off the year, a look at the Top 10 Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. This year’s list is capped by a box set featuring the entire 2014 World Series, courtesy of Lionsgate, A&E Home Video, and MLB Productions. Also on this year’s list are some blasts from the past and some imports from our neighbors across the pond, and one surprise entry in the Honorable Mention list. The box sets’ packaging, bonus material and more were collectively taken into account in building this (and the other lists to come). Only 15 titles total could make the list. So there were some that didn’t make the list such as the sixth and seventh seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation on Blu-ray or the full six-season run of Ancient Aliens among others. It goes without saying that this was not an easy list to build. But it feels right. So without further ado, here is the list of 2014’s Top 10 New Box Sets For Grown-Ups.

2014 Best New Box Sets For Grown-Ups

1. 2014 MLB World Series Collector’s Edition

2. Endeavour: Series 2

3. Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series

4. The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crackups

5. The Dean Martin Show: Fully Roasted

6. The Roosevelts

7. Inspector Lewis: Series 7

8. Psych: The Complete Series

9. Secret Agent (A.K.A. Danger Man): The Complete Series

10. The Wonder Years: Season 1

Honorable Mention

11. The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years–1951 – 1955

12. The Almighty Johnsons: Season 1

13. Hell on Wheels: Season 3

14. The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection

15. I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1 (BD Re-Issue)

Tomorrow, Phil’s Picks looks into the list of the year’s best new box sets for Children and Families. Stay tuned! 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.

Giants World Series Blu-ray Collector’s Edition Is A Must Have For Any Hardcore Baseball Fan

Courtesy:  MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Major League Baseball’s 2014 season is officially in the books.  The trophy’s been raised, the champagne poured, and all the gear is hung up for the year.  It means baseball fans have to wait another six months to hear the crack of the bat and all of the great smells of the ballpark again.  Meanwhile, the people at MLB Productions, Lionsgate, and A&E Home Video have made available for baseball fans everywhere a great way to get their baseball fix in the meantime.  They have partnered to release Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition.  This box set is a viable candidate for every sports writer and sportscaster’s best new releases this year.  The reasons for this are far more than any one person could ever discuss in a single setting.  So this critic will attempt to discuss at least some of the reasons that this box set is a win itself for baseball fans regardless of their team allegiance.  One reason that Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition is a win is the fact that it presents every single inning of every game from the 2014 World Series.  Within the context of each game, audiences can choose which inning to watch and whether to watch the top or bottom of said inning.  This is the norm from Major League Baseball Productions.  So it is especially nice to see that carried on in this box set.  Another reason that audiences will enjoy this box set is its companion booklet.  The companion booklet that comes with the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition offers a complete box score for each game.  It also includes little tidbits about each game including not only the hits, .ERAs, etc. but even the games’ attendance and temperature at first pitch.  It really is an in-depth companion for any hardcore baseball fan in the context of this set.  Last but hardly least important worth noting of the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition is its audio settings.  Audiences are not limited to just Fox’s broadcast team in following the game.  Fans can watch the game and listen to the game through the call of the Royals Radio Network and the Giants Radio Network.  That trio of choices is offered in every one of the World Series games, not just one.  Whether it be that choice of game audio, the set’s companion booklet, or the fact that all seven games are included in whole here, each factor plays its own important role in the success of the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition.  Together, they make this box set a must have for any hardcore baseball fan regardless of their team allegiance.

The first and most important reason for the success of the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition is the fact that presented in this set is the complete seven-game 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals.  Not one game is left out.  It even includes as a bonus for baseball fans, Game 5 of the National League Championship Series between the Giants and Cardinals.  That was the game that boosted the Giants into the World Series.  As with each of the World Series’ seven games, that game is also presented in its entirety.  The fact that the series (and Game Five of the NLCS) is shown in its entirety is just the tip of the iceberg that makes the complete collection a bonus.  MLB Productions has maintained its tradition of allowing audiences to choose the inning at which they want to start here.  Not only that, but they can choose whether they want to start at the top or bottom of the given inning.  This, too is something that MLB Productions has made a standard with each of its previous releases.  So the fact that MLB Productions has continued that tradition here is a wonderful thing.  It isn’t all that makes the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition a success.  Audiences should also take into account the set’s companion booklet.

The companion booklet that comes with the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition is a perfect addition to the box set.  It includes a complete, in-depth box score for each game.  It doesn’t just give the standard score information such as .ERAs, runs, hits, etc.  It also includes extra tidbits such as the game-time temperature at the time of each game’s first pitch, attendance at each game, and even specific details about certain players from both sides of the ball.  It’s like having a full series program for those that could only take in the game from their living rooms and bedrooms.  The fact that the people at MLB Productions would include this with the box set once again (it’s not the first time that MLB Productions has done this either) makes the box even more of a win.

The complete presentation of all seven games from the 2014 World Series is a key factor to the success of the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition.  The set’s in-depth companion booklet makes the experience all the richer for baseball fans.  That is because of the amount of information that is shared throughout the companion booklet.  It is like having a program for those that couldn’t be at any of the games.  The last factor that makes this box set a success is the trio of audio options for each game.  Audiences are not relegated to listening only to Fox’s broadcast team.  They are given the option of listening to the game through the call of the Royals Radio Network and the Giants Network.  There are those people who actually admit to turning off a game’s audio on television and taking in the game through the call of their local radio affiliate.  Now audiences can do just that without even having to turn on a radio.  Again whether one is loyal to the Royals or Giants, audiences can experience the call of each game through the network of their choice.  Even more impressive is that audiences can even switch between the two radio networks or Fox’s broadcast team throughout each game.  They are not forced to listen to just one broadcast audio option within any game.  That is a huge win for audiences even if they are not loyal to the Royals or Giants.  That factor rounds out the entire box set and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this box set is a must have for every sports writer and sports caster around the country.  It is just as much of a must have for any hardcore baseball fan regardless of team allegiance.

The full seven-game presentation of the Giants 2014 World Series Collector’s Edition and its in-depth companion booklet more than make this Blu-ray box set a must have for any lover of America’s past-time.  The fact that audiences can choose the inning and half of said inning at which they start viewing makes the box set even more of a hit.  The multi-functional  audio options offered to audiences throughout the course of those seven-games makes the box set a grand slam (bad pun fully intended).  It is available now and can be ordered online direct from MLB Productions’ website at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=51967736.  More information on this and other releases from MLB Productions is available online at:

Website: http://mlbproductions.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mlbprod

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

Tigers Host Giants Live Sunday On ESPN’s SNB Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will come live from Motown this Sunday night.

The Detroit Tigers will host the San Francisco Giants live on ESPN this Sunday night in the third game of a three-game series between the teams. ESPN’s Dan Shulman will anchor Sunday night’s broadcast. He will be joined by analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for additional commentary throughout the game. As with each week’s broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell, Sunday’s telecast will be preceded by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7pm ET. MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin will join host Karl Ravech for the show.

This weekend’s inter-league matchup will prove to be an interesting one for both teams as the Tigers have proven so far this season to be better on the road than at home. The team is 35 – 30 at home but 42 – 33 on the road. However, it is coming into tonight’s game on the heels of an 11 – 4 drubbing of Cleveland yesterday at home, giving the team even more motivation going into this weekend’s series as it hosts the Giants. San Francisco will pose its own threat for the Tigers this weekend. It has proven to be almost as good on the road as it is at home going 38 – 33 at home and 38 – 31 on the road so far this season. San Francisco comes into tonight’s game after having a day to rest up yesterday following Wednesday’s 9 – 2 loss to Colorado. So the team will be ready to go against Detroit.

Sunday night’s game is the third in a three-game series between the Tigers and Giants. The series’ first game is tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:08pm ET. Game two is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. It is currently expected to start at 1:08pm ET. ESPN Radio will have full coverage of the game beginning at 12:30pm ET.

Anyone that is not near a TV Sunday night can still catch the game live on ESPN Radio. Spanish-speaking audiences can also catch Sunday’s broadcast live on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight. 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.

Orioles To Host Yankees On Sept. 14th Edition Of Sunday Night Baseball

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Football season is officially underway.  College football and NFL stadiums alike are now rocking every week with rabid fans on both sides of the ball.  While football has taken center stage, audiences should be reminded that the 2014 MLB season isn’t over just yet.  With time ticking away before the playoffs start, ESPN has announced that the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees will face off live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell on Sunday, September 14th.

The teams’ matchup on September 14th will be the last in a four-game series between the teams that weekend.  The series kicks off Friday, September 12th with a double-header between the AL East rivals. Whether or not audiences are Yankees fans, the scheduled game will be an important one as it is believed that it will be the last appearance by Yankees great Derek Jeter on Sunday Night Baseball.  It will also be the last for Jeter at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is itself celebrating its 25th season this year.

Dan Shulman will have the call for the game.  He will be joined live by analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for additional commentary.  Fans that won’t be close to a TV to catch the game on  September 24th can still catch it on their local ESPN Radio affiliate.  Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the call for audiences listening on the radio.  It will also be available online via WatchESPN and on TV and radio for Spanish-speaking audiences on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes radio.  As with every Sunday Night Baseball broadcast on ESPN, the matchup between the Orioles and Yankees will be preceded by ESPN’s Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet live at 7pm ET.

Tomorrow night, audiences can catch the third game in a three-game series between the Indians and Royals.  The Royals currently sit atop the AL Central Standings while the Indians are third in the division, 3.5 games back.  Game two is tonight at 7:10pm ET.  Next Sunday night, September 7th, ESPN will carry the third game in a three-game series between the Giants and Tigers.

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight.  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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

San Francisco Hosts Los Angeles This Weekend On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The MLB divisional races are starting to heat up now that the annual MLB All-Star Game has come and gone and the cutoff for the playoffs is only weeks away. And one of the hottest of those divisional races is the race for the NL West. This weekend, the San Francisco Giants play host to the L.A. Dodgers in a three-game series beginning Friday, July 25th that will see the two teams fight it out for the divisional lead. Saturday’s game, the second in the series between the teams, will be available on ESPN Radio. Jon Sciambi will have the call. He will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton.

The third game in this weekend’s series between the Dodgers and Giants will be broadcast live this Sunday, July 28th on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell. The Giants currently lead the Dodgers by a game and a half in the NL West standings.  Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday night’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analyst Jon Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for commentary. Coverage of Sunday night’s game is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET.

Before either team takes to the field, and the first pitch is thrown, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet will highlight all of the game’s major storylines. Host Adnan Virk and analyst Aaron Boone will discuss those storylines and all of the latest MLB news beginning at 7pm ET.

Audiences that want that can’t be near a TV for Sunday night’s matchup can catch every pitch and hit on ESPN Radio with host Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton. It will also be available on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.

Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays will be on the road against the Big Papi—David Ortiz—and the Boston Red Sox next Monday, July 28th on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA. Coverage of that game is scheduled to begin at 7pm ET with Dave O’Brien, Aaron Boone, and reporter Tim Kurkjian providing commentary.

All of the latest MLB news and more is available online at http://espn.go.com/mlb and http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight. 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 Latest Addition To Its Sunday Night Baseball Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added another game to the schedule of its 25th anniversary season of Sunday Night Baseball.

Officials with the network announced Thursday that the currently first-place San Francisco Giants will host the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, July 27th on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell. Coverage of the game is scheduled to start at 8pm ET on ESPN. It will be preceded by ESPN’s weekly pre-game broadcast of Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7pm ET. Karl Ravech will host the pre-game broadcast. He will be joined by MLB Hall of Famer and former Cincinnati Red Barry Larkin, and John Kruk. Dan Shulman will anchor the broadcast of the game itself. He will be joined in the booth by analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.

The broadcast of the Giants/Dodgers July 27th game will be simulcast on ESPN Radio. Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will have the call for the game. Spanish-speaking audiences can catch the game on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio. And all audiences can follow the game online via WatchESPN.

Next up on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule, the Angels host the Rangers. The Rangers have proven so far this season to do better on the road than at home while the opposite has proven to be the case for the Angels. That means Sunday’s game is sure to be quite the interesting matchup for viewers.

Games selections for Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcasts in August and September will be made two weeks in advance of their airings. The current schedule of games for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is listed below.

Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date Game
June 22 Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
June 29 Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
July 6 Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers
July 13 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
July 20 Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
July 27 Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
Aug 3 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

 

More information on all of ESPN’s upcoming slate of games and all of the latest MLB news is available online now at http://espn.go.com/mlb and http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight. 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 Spring Training Coverage, Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour Schedules

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced the schedule for its coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2014 Spring Training games.

This year’s schedule kicks off with coverage of a rematch from last year’s World Series.  The Boston Red Sox will host the St. Louis Cardinals March 17th at Fenway Park.  First pitch is scheduled for 1pm.  The game will be carried on television on ESPN and online via Watch ESPN and ESPN Deportes+.    The ESPN family of networks’ complete seven-game Spring Training coverage schedule is available below.

Spring Training game schedule:

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Networks
Mon, March 17 1 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN,WatchESPN,ESPN Deportes +
Tue, March 18 1 p.m. Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Buster Olney

ESPN,WatchESPN
Thu, March 20 7 p.m. New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Buster Olney

ESPN,WatchESPN,ESPN Deportes +
Mon, March 24 1 p.m. Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates

Adnan Virk, Doug Glanville, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN,WatchESPN,ESPN Deportes +
Tue, March 25 1 p.m. Atlanta Braves at Detroit Tigers
Adnan Virk, Doug Glanville, Tim Kurkjian
ESPN,WatchESPN,ESPN Deportes +
Wed, March 26 1 p.m. Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals

Steve Levy, Eduardo Perez, Doug Glanville

ESPN,WatchESPN,ESPN Deportes +
Thu, March 27 12 p.m. Washington Nationals at New York Mets

Steve Levy, Eduardo Perez, Doug Glanville

ESPN,WatchESPN,ESPN Deportes +

 

Before the ESNP family of networks kick off their coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2014 Spring Training games, the Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour will hit the road.  The tour will visit a number of teams’ camps beginning next Monday, February 17th at the Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Florida.  Karl Ravech and Buster Olney will be on hand with coverage of the team’s preps for the 2014 season.  SportsCenter will have Baseball Tonight segments beginning at 9am ET each day.  Each segment will include interviews with players and managers as well as in-depth team analysis and discussions on every major off-season story lines.  Baseball fans can get even more in-depth coverage of the upcoming season online at ESPN.com.  Buster Olney, Jayson Stark, Jerry Crasnick, Keith Law, Jim Caple, and David Schoenfield will have reports from various camps in Florida and Arizona through the online home of the Worldwide Leader in Sports.  As an added bonus, ESPN.com will also offer baseball fans a Countdown Clock to Opening Day, videos from the Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour, and a blog with daily posts.  The complete Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour schedule is available below.

Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tourschedule:

Date Location Team/Commentators
Mon, Feb. 17 Fort Myers, Fla. Boston Red Sox

Karl Ravech, Buster Olney

Tue, Feb. 18 Lakeland, Fla. Detroit Tigers

Karl Ravech, Buster Olney

Wed, Feb. 19 Jupiter, Fla. St. Louis Cardinals

Karl Ravech, Buster Olney

Thu, Feb. 20 Viera, Fla. Washington Nationals

Karl Ravech, Buster Olney

Fri, Feb. 21 Tampa, Fla. New York Yankees

Karl Ravech, Buster Olney

Mon, Feb. 24 Glendale, Ariz. Los Angeles Dodgers

Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Tim Kurkjian

Tue, Feb. 25 Scottsdale, Ariz. San Francisco Giants

Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Tim Kurkjian

Wed, Feb. 26 Surprise, Ariz. Texas Rangers

Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Tim Kurkjian

Thu, Feb. 27 Tempe, Ariz. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Tim Kurkjian

Fri, Feb. 28 Goodyear, Ariz. Cincinnati Reds

Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Tim Kurkjian

Sat, March 1 Peoria, Ariz. Seattle Mariners

Tim Kurkjian

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ upcoming MLB coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight.  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.