MLB Productions Releasing New Babe Ruth Documentary This Spring

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

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

This spring, MLB Productions will examine the life and career of one of baseball’s greatest figures when it releases American Hercules: Babe Ruth.

American Hercules: Babe Ruth will be released on DVD on Tuesday, May 19th. It will be released in partnership with Lionsgate and A&E Networks. The film, narrated by veteran actor Martin Sheen, examines Ruth’s life and career from his early days as a youth in Baltimore to his time as a member of both the Red Sox and the Yankees. Along the way, it examines why Ruth remains such a revered figure among both baseball players and fans alike to this day. It does all of this through the use of new psychological and historical perspectives on Ruth the man and Ruth the legend.

American Hercules: Babe Ruth will retail for MSRP of $19.98. It can be ordered online via MLB Production’s online store at http://shop.mlb.com. More information on this and other titles from MLB Productions is available online now at:

Website: http://mlbproductions.com

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

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 Productions’ Giants World Series Film Is A Giant Hit For Team’s Fans

Courtesy:  MLB Productions/Lionsgate

Courtesy: MLB Productions/Lionsgate

The countdown is on.  Spring training is winding down and opening day is now only days away.  In anticipation of Major League Baseball’s 2015 season, MLB Productions has just the thing to get fans–San Francisco Giants at least–into the mood for the upcoming season.  While it was released late last year, MLB Productions’ San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film is just the thing to get at least Giants fans excited for the 2015 season.  The main reason that it will get fans excited is the story presented across the film’s near ninety-minute run time.  The story follows the Giants from the ups and downs of the team’s 2014 regular season ride to its incredible seven-game series against the underdog Kansas City Royals.  It spends most of its time focusing on the Giants’ 2014 World Series.  Though there is just enough focus on the regular season to enhance the importance of the team’s World Series appearance this year.  The editing that went into the film should also be noted in terms of what makes it so enjoyable for fans.  The editing includes the mix of the interviews and game footage throughout the film.  The work of the film’s editors helps keep the film’s pacing solid and in turn keeps audiences engaged from start to finish.  This is especially the case when taking into account actor Colin Hanks’ (King Kong, Dexter, Orange County) narration of the film.  Hanks’ almost deadpan deliery somehow makes the on-field action all the more gripping.  Perhaps it is because despite being a Giants’ loyalist, no favoritism is displayed in his delivery.  That coupled with the work of the film’s editors shows why the editing should be noted in its success just as much as the story itself.  Last but not least of all to note in examining what makes this film so enjoyable at least for Giants fans is the inclusion of the film’s bonus material.  The bonus features include the Giants’ full victory parade after the team’s surprising World Series win, a short feature on Giants star Michael Morse, and some of the most important moments of the 2014 World Series among a handful of others.  Whether for the noted bonus features or those not noted, the bonus material in full proves to be yet another reason that fans both of the Giants and baseball fans in general will enjoy this film.  All three elements together prove San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film to be yet another win for MLB Productions and a must have for any Giants fans as the days count down to the 2015 season’s opening day.

The story that was the Giants’ 2014 season is one of the league’s more interesting stories, even coming into the 2015 season.  As audiences will see in San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film, the Giant’s road to the World Series was anything but perfect.  The same can be said of the team’s seven-game series against the upstart Royals.  That story of the team’s up and down season and post-season is the central reason for the enjoyment of this recently released Blu-ray.  While it does highlight the ups and downs of the team’s regular season run, most of the story’s time is spent on the Giants’ post-season efforts.  Audiences will appreciate the efforts of those responsible for bringing the story to life as said individuals didn’t just sweep over the team’s regular season highlights or even focus too much on them.  The same can be said of the Giant’s post-season run up to the World Series, too.  Everything is relatively well-balanced, heightening the emotional impact of the team’s wins and losses alike.  The first-person commentary from the likes of Hunter Pence, Madison Bumgarner, Travis Ishikawa and others adds even more to that emotional depth.  And anyone that is familiar with WWE superstar Daniel Bryan will enjoy the story of how his “Yes” gimmick became a season-long rallying cry for the Giants and their fans.  These are just some examples of why the story behind San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film makes it a must have for at least any Giants fan and any baseball enthusiast in general.  There is much more that could be noted here.  But there is not enough space or time for that.  Audiences will find plenty more of the film’s story to appreciate when they purchase this film for themselves.  In the same vein, the film’s editing is just as important to its success.  If not for the editing, the story presented on the disc might not have otherwise been worth the watch.

MLB Productions has maintained a high standard of storytelling and of editing in its presentations for years.  From its “Essential Games” collections to its stand-alone presentations the stories presented by MLB Productions have been gripping and fully engaging.  The story presented in San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film is no different.  The same can be said of said films’ editing.  The editing involved in this film is no exception to that rule, either.  Between the game footage, the sound bites from the Giants players and staff, and their personal insights each element compliments the other from beginning to end.  Just as with the story telling itself, the editing that works with the storytelling plays its own part in keeping audiences entertained and engaged.  From the natbursts of the team chanting “yes” along with its fans at AT&T Park to the slow motion shots of Bumgarner throwing his pitches to the scene transitions and more, the editing throughout the film will leave audiences in awe.  It is one more standard that has for years kept MLB Productions’ presentations among the best in sports films.  Together with that aforementioned solid storytelling, it shows even more clearly why San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film is a welcome addition to any Giants’ fan’s home library.

The editing and storytelling that went into San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film collectively show plenty of reason for baseball fans (and especially Giants fans) to add this film to their home libraries.  While both elements show plenty of reason for fans to purchase this film, there is still one more element included in its presentation that pushes it over the top.  That final element is the film’s collective bonus material. Included with the film as bonus material is the Giants’ full victory parade, specific highlights from the team’s season and post season, and even a fun little look into one of the team’s long-running traditions to “welcome” new pitchers to the team among plenty of other extras. The tradition in question will have audiences laughing, especially when manager Bruce Bochy’s son opens his lunchbox. Yes, the tradition in question involves lunch boxes. And it is absolutely hilarious. That much will be said and no more for the benefit of those that have yet to see this tradition for themselves. It is original, needless to say. The victory parade shows the pure joy of the players, having overcome so much adversity including injuries that hurt the team’s post-season chances, low expectations early on in the season by the talking heads, and more. It is a truly powerful and moving moment even for those that might not be Giants loyalists. It’s just one of so many great moments that will leave viewers agreeing that the bonus material included with this disc is indeed deserving of the title “Bonus.” It is one more moment that shows why the presentation’s bonus material is just as important to the film as the editing or even the storytelling. And in seeing this, audiences will agree why together with the film’s editing and storytelling, all three elements make San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film a welcome addition to the home library of any Giants fan and any baseball enthusiast in general.

There is a lot to say to the positive in regards to San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film. The story presented within the film will keep viewers engaged from start to finish. The film’s equally impressive editing plays its own part in making the story so enthralling, too. The bonus features included with the film add even more depth and enjoyment to the story of the team’s 2014 season. Whether for the in-depth look at the team’s season, the more lighthearted moments or the more emotional moments, the bonus features live up to their title. And together with the story itself and the film’s editing, the presentation in whole again proves itself well worth the watch by any Giants fan and baseball fan in general. And it is just as worth the addition to any fan’s home library. San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions 2014–Official 2014 World Series Film is available online now and can be ordered direct via MLB Productions’ online store at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=51967716&cp=1452365.2184768. More information on this and other titles 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Latest Additions To Its Sunday Night Baseball Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Major League Baseball’s 2015 season is just around the corner and in celebration, ESPN announced this week, its first official slate of games for this year’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule.

This year’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule kicks off Sunday, April 5thwith a matchup of National League foes St. Louis and Chicago. St. Louis will be on the road against the Cubs in the season’s first Sunday night broadcast. The following Sunday, April 12th, the Boston Red Sox make one of its annual trips up to New York to face their hated foes the New York Yankees. In week three, the Reds hit the road in an NL Central battle against the St. Louis Cardinals. And it’s the annual “Subway Series” between the Mets and Yankees in week four with the Mets leaving the safety of Shea Stadium to face the Yanks. Things only heat up from there as the season progresses. Dan Shulman will have the call for each week’s broadcast beginning at 8pm ET. He will be joined by analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk, and reporter Buster Olney. Each week’s broadcast is preceded by ESPN’s weekly pre-game show Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7pm ET.

Those that won’t be near a television on Sunday nights can still catch ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell on ESPN Radio and online via WatchESPN. Broadcasts are also available in Spanish for ESPN’s Spanish-speaking audiences via ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio. ESPN’s current Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule is listed below.

Current 2015 Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Apr. 5

St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs Opening Night presented by Scotts (ESPN2)
Apr. 12

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees presented by Taco Bell
Apr. 19

Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals presented by Taco Bell
Apr. 26

New York Mets at New York Yankees presented by Taco Bell
May 3

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox presented by Taco Bell
May 10

Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers presented by Taco Bell
May 17

Detroit Tigers at St. Louis Cardinals presented by Taco Bell
May 24

Texas Rangers at New York Yankees presented by Taco Bell
May 31

Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim presented by Taco Bell (ESPN2)
*July 12

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates presented by Taco Bell
*July 19

Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim presented by Taco Bell

More information on ESPN’s weekly broadcasts of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is available online along with all of the latest Major League Baseball news at:

Website: https://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

President Obama Making Special Call-In Appearance On The Herd This Morning

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

There’s big news for fans of ESPN Radio’s The Herd With Coin Cowherd today.

President Obama will be a special call-in guest on The Herd today.  Cowherd’s interview with President Obama is scheduled for 11am ET.  Along with talking about the Bulls and White Sox—Obama’s home town teams—Cowherd will also discuss the NFL’s conduct policy and NBA players holding their own protest by donning shirts reading, “I Can’t Breathe.”  The shirts are in reference to the recent case in which an NYPD officer was cleared of charges in the death of Eric Garner.  The interview will also include a discussion on the upcoming healthcare signup deadline.

This morning’s call-in appearance is not the first time that President Obama has joined Colin Cowherd.  He joined Colin back on March 20th to discuss his bracket for the 2014 March Madness tournament, college sports in general, and more.

The Herd With Colin Cowherd runs Monday – Friday from 10am – 1pm ET on ESPN Radio, the ESPN Radio app, espnradio.com, SiriusXM, iTunes Radio, Slacker, and TuneIn.  It is also simulcast on ESPNU.

More information on this morning’s show and upcoming broadcasts is available online at http://espn.go.com/espnradio/show?showId=theherd.

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.

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Announces Release Date For “Finding Your Roots Season 2″

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will release the second season of its hit celebrity-based historical series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. this fall.

Officials with PBS announced this week that Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 will be released on Tuesday, December 16th.  Gates meets some of the country’s biggest names in the series and examines their ancestry in each hour-long episode.  In the series’ second season, Gates studies the ancestry of big names such as: Derek Jeter, Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Sting, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Stephen King, Nas, and many others.  In all, twenty-nine celebrities are featured throughout the course of Season Two.

Gates goes into even more depth with his guests in Season Two than was possible in the show’s premiere season. He studies his guests’ specific ethnic roots, cultural traditions, and the inner works of his guests’ families. New advancements in DNA testing even allows for study of genetic genealogy. The advancements allowed for revelations linked to questions of paternity, geographic origins of his guests’ ancestors, and even tribal Native America ancestry in other cases. It is all revealed over ten episodes spread across three discs.

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season Two will be available only on DVD Tuesday, December 16th. It will retail for MSRP of $39.99 and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=46207086&cp=&sr=1&kw=finding+your+roots&origkw=Finding+your+roots&parentPage=search#Details. Audiences can access more information on the series, and watch videos from the show online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/henrylouisgates

 

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.