TBS To Carry Exclusive Coverage Of MLB’s 2016 American League Postseason Games



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MLB On TBS Team Mourns Fernandez’s Death

Courtesy: Turner Sports

Courtesy: Turner Sports

Sunday was another sad day in the sports world.  Jose Fernandez, who had played with the Miami Marlins from 2012 – 2016 passed away Sunday morning after a boating accident.

As news of the young star’s death made its way through the league, some members of TBS’ MLB broadcast team shared their thoughts on Fernandez and his passing with heavy hearts.  They include Pedro Martinez, Gary Scheffield, and Rollins.  The trio’s comments are noted in whole below.

Pedro Martinez: “It’s not only sad for baseball, but [also] the culture, the family, and the hope that the entirely family has.  That’s a kid that went through a lot of struggles [to make it].  Destiny tells you where you are going to end up.  It’s hard for me to believe that this day is going on.  A kid so energetic, so happy all the time… all the things we can say about him.  More than anything, I understand how the family must feel losing this young baby.  Maybe one of the best arms that was ever going to play in the game.  The hopes that they had, so many people that looked up to him to open that door to finally make it to a better life, it’s really difficult for us to swallow.  I thank God that I was able to bring that back home… For this family, it’s devastating and it’s devastating for all of us.  I feel extremely sad.  I saw a better talent than I was lose his life this tragic morning.  It’s really sad and I don’t have words to express how bad I feel for baseball, for him and his family.



Gary Sheffield: “Wow, that’s all I can say at this point is, wow.  Condolences go out to the family, big time, because when stuff like this happens, especially in the baseball family – baseball is really a family – when you lose a guy in your family, it hits home and it hits you right here [in the heart].  To know this young man in Tampa, Florida, he wanted to meet me.  I didn’t think it was a big deal until I met him.  I came to meet him, he was working out with all the Cuban players, and when I met this kid, there was a spirit about him that lights up the room.  He gives and he breathes energy into you.  When I talked to him about his preparation for the season – I’m watching this kid go out and throw 98 MPH in November getting ready for the season – I pulled him to the side and said you’ve got to tone it down a little bit.  And he said, ‘Mr. Sheffield, I only have 100.  I have 100% in me and I have to go as hard as I can, that’s just my energy level.’… When you got to meet this guy, the life that he instilled in everyone around him, he’s just full of energy.  It’s a sad loss.  Not only for the Marlins but all of Major League Baseball and his family.”



Jimmy Rollins: “When I first met the kid, I had seen him on TV and seen his stuff and his dynamic arm, but it was his smile.  You knew his struggle, you knew where he came from and what he went through to get here and he never lost who he was and that joy for the game and joy for life.  I wanted to meet him because he was the next big thing… As a competitor he was in your face and smiling and joking with you and letting you know he was a presence.  From the field, you knew he was the same way off the field – he accepted everyone and wanted to bring joy and happiness to everyone’s life.  Not just the attention on him, but it was his journey and he wanted you to be part of it and share it with those that he loved… For a life to end so young, you feel it and you realize how precious life is… Baseball is a family, you don’t want to lose anyone, especially in a tragic way.”



Jose Fernandez originally came to the United States when he was 15, defecting from Cuba at the time.  He then eventually went on to become one of MLB’s major pitching stars.  Two others were killed in the accident along with Fernandez.


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Home Run Showdown A “Hit” For Families

Courtesy: Image Entertainment

Home Run Showdown is a “hit” for families.  But it is in itself not a home run.  One part Bad News Bears (the 1976 original, not the most recent remake), one part Mighty Ducks, and one part Little Giants (just on a baseball field), this story mixes the standard underdog sports story with the family split plotline that’s seen in Little Giants(1994).  On the surface, the comparisons to The Bad News Bears (1976) are far too obvious.  Just as in that original baseball flick, a young ragtag group of baseball players is led by a washed up ex-minor leaguer to great heights.  Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo 2) fills the shoes of the late great Walter Matthau this time out. 

The Bad News Bears isn’t the only movie from which this movie very liberally lifts.  Just as Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neill went toe to toe in the pee-wee football movie, Little Giants (1994), so do Lillard and co-star Dean Cain (Lois & Clark:  The Adventures of Superman) here.  To their credit, the feud between Joey and Rico is very believable.  The sibling rivalry between these brothers is very real.  There are so many families out there today who still suffer great rifts because of something that happened many years ago.  And as angry as Joey gets at Rico at some points, some older audiences may just be waiting for Joey to punch out Rico.

Audiences will love to hate Rico.  And that audiences will so love to hate him shows that Cain did his job.  At the same time, watching Joey (Lillard) grow from not caring what he was doing to really caring about the whole team will make older audiences cheer for him that much more.  At the same time, his lack of drive early on will make audiences want to hit him on the head and tell him to get up just as much as the kids on his team wanted.  Just as Rico made audiences hate him, Lillard’s ability to garner an emotional response from viewers means that he did his job, too.  In the same vein, Barry Bostwick (Spin City) is just as believable as the brothers’ frustrated father.

Lillard, Cain, and Bostwick did a wonderful job in this movie.  The trio carried it on its own.  But they weren’t the only cast to make the movie worth a watch.  Supporting actor Wayne Duvall was just as despicable as Commissioner Simpson.  In Simpson, audiences see a man who was stuck in his old ways, doing everything he could to keep a girl off of a baseball team, and basically keep the Cubs down for his own personal biases.  While he wasn’t a major player in the cast, Duvall’s portrayal of Simpson added that much more enjoyment to the story, as there are sadly still people like Simpson out there, too.
Home Run Showdown may not be the most original sports movie ever written.  But it does boast a cast that makes for a lot of heart.  It makes for enough heart that it’s worth at least one watch.  Home Run Showdown is available in stores and online now on DVD and blu-ray.

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