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 https://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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.