ESPN Opens 25th Anniversary Season Of MLB Coverage This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN hits a major mark this weekend.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports begins its 25th season of Major League Baseball coverage beginning this Sunday night. ESPN opens its 25th anniversary season covering Major League Baseball live from San Diego, California. Chase Headley and the Padres host Yasiel Puig and the Los Angeles Dodgers live on ESPN’s MLB Opening Night Presented by Scotts at 8pm ET on ESPN in the network’s season opening broadcast. Dan Shulman will have the call. He will be joined by analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for the broadcast. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, and ESPN Deportes. Before the game starts, ESPN will air a special 90-minute edition of Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown beginning at 6:30pm live from Petco Park in San Diego with Karl Ravech, Jon Kruk and MLB Hall of Famer/ESPN analyst Barry Larkin. Larkin and Ravech will hit the road after Sunday’s broadcast for a special Opening Day edition of Baseball Tonight live at 12pm ET live from Great American Ballpark.

Sunday night’s Opening Night broadcast will be followed up Monday with an Opening Day double header broadcast. Game one will come live from Pittsburgh as reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates host Starlin Castro and the Chicago Cubs. The broadcast is scheduled for a 1pm ET start time. Sean McDonough will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined in the booth by analyst Aaron Boone and reporter Tim Kurkjian. The second game on the day will see Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds host NL Central foes and defending National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Dan Shulman will have the play-by-play for the game. He will be joined by Jon Kruk and Buster Olney for the trio’s second game in less than twenty-four hours.

If ESPN’s Opening Day double header isn’t enough for baseball lovers, ESPN2 will have a triple-header beginning at 3pm ET. Game one on the day’s schedule will see David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox hosting Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles at the famed Fenway Park. Dave O’Brien will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Rick Sutcliff and Eric Wedge, and reporter Pedro Gomez. Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies will host Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins in the second game of the three-game schedule. SportsCenter’s Steve Levy will call the play-by-play action for the game. He will be joined by analyst Eduardo Perez for more insight. The last game of the day on ESPN2’s triple header schedule will see Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners on the road against Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That game is scheduled for a 10pm ET start time. Jon Sciambi will have the call. Analyst Doug Glanville and reporter Jessica Mendoza will also be on hand for more coverage throughout the game.

All of ESPN’s games and Baseball Tonight can be watched online through all computers and mobile internet via WatchESPN. Specific games will also be on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes +, and ESPN Radio.

More information on ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day coverage is available online at http://espn.go.com. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

MLB Superstars A Good “Lead Off” For The 2013 MLB Season

Courtesy:  A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

Courtesy: A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

MLB Productions’ latest home release is a good way to start off the New Year and a new season of baseball.  MLB Superstars: Impact Players is an hour plus profile of some of Major League Baseball’s best up-and-coming players.  It’s an easy to follow feature that takes audiences around the diamond focusing on the top players from both the American and National League without the unnecessary add-ons that one might see on a television take of the program.  Though it was produced and edited much in the same vein of something one might see in the course of a pre-game show on MLB network or any network currently airing big league baseball.

Over the course of its near ninety-minute run time, audiences get profiles of young stars the likes of Prince Fielder, Joey Votto, Aroldis Champman, Stephen Strasburg, and many more.  Their pedigrees are expertly illustrated through the eyes of those closest to them and to the game, including broadcasters, fellow and former teammates, and even managers and owners.  It’s all set largely against the backdrop of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.  The video quality is top notch as each player’s profile is highlighted by footage of both their performance at the All-Star Game and through games that each has played.  The footage was recorded and edited by Major League Baseball.  So viewers naturally get professional quality footage.  Viewers even get some more lighthearted moments as they get to hear audio of the players both before and during their games.  That coupled with the profiles of fellow players, managers, and broadcasters will entertain and enlighten baseball fans, thus keeping them engaged throughout the program’s run-time.

This new DVD’s main feature makes for a great introduction to Major League Baseball’s 2013 season.  It serves as a way to introduce viewers to baseball’s next generation of star athletes.  As an added bonus, viewers also get a brief history of the players’ walk-offs.  Also, Troy Tulowitzki, who is one of those up-and-comers, gets his own feature as does San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain.  Cain’s pitching performance in the Giants’ first ever perfect game closes out the disc’s bonus features.  That game and the footage from the disc’s other bonus features was also produced and edited by Major League Baseball.  So audiences even get in these bonuses professional quality game footage and one more way to get hyped for a new season.  Together with the disc’s main feature the bonuses and the main feature mix to make another release that is everything baseball fans have come to expect from MLB Productions.  MLB Superstars: Impact Players is available now and can be ordered online at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=19148216.

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New MLB DVD Takes Mets Fans Through Team’s Half-Century History

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

The 2012 MLB Playoffs are in full “swing.”  Get it?  Swing?  Ahhhhhh, thank you, thank you.  I’ll be here all week.  In all seriousness though, this past weekend saw lots of baseball action.  Among that action is the now two games to none lead that the Cincinnati Reds have over the San Francisco Giants.  The Reds second win came Sunday night thanks to the pitching of Bronson Arroyo and a pair of relievers.  Arroyo along with Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, and Joey Votto make up some of the best known players in the Reds’ current history.  However, this legendary team has had so many other great names.  Among that list of famed names is a man who played not just for the Reds but also for another equally beloved team in the New York Mets.  His name is Tom Seaver.

Tom Seaver is most well known in Cincy for pitching a 4-0 perfect game against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 16, 1978.  That’s just one of many games that made him so well known during his entire career.  While he earned some fame in Cincinnati, Seaver is best known for his time with the New York Mets.  He along with the likes of Mike Piazza, Dwight Gooden, and Carlos Delgado have made the Mets one of the league’s most beloved teams.  Now thanks to MLB Productions and A&E Home Video, Mets fans and baseball fans alike can find out where Piazza, Seaver, Gooden, and Delgado fit on the list of The New York Mets’ Fifty Greatest Players

The New York Mets Fifty Greatest Players is simply titled, a countdown of the fifty greatest players from the first half century of this NY squad’s history.  The list was compiled by a group of broadcasters and sports historians.  Interviews with broadcaster Howie Rose, comedian/actor Chris Rock, and a number of former Mets players help to illustrate why each player was placed where he was on the list.  As each player is introduced, fans are given figures about each one’s career.  Archived footage from Major League Baseball’s vaults help to further illustrate what makes each player deserving of a spot on this first half century list. 

Also included with this single disc presentation are a number of bonus features also included in the Mets 50th Anniversary Collector’s Set.  So fans that aren’t able to pick up that set will still be able to enjoy most of its features.  Some of the additional pieces included in this presentation are included as bonus features.  Others are included as additional main features that play immediately after the countdown.  Among the bonus features included here are the team’s origins and some of its greatest games.  There are also some other great Mets players and moments included as part of the disc’s main feature.  All together, these extras and the countdown itself combine to make another great piece for the Mets’ legions of fans and for baseball fans in general.  It’s available now and can be ordered online at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13156463

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