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.

ESPN Celebrates 25 Years Covering MLB With Special Opening Night Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN reaches a milestone this Spring.  Beginning March 30th at 6:30pm ET, the Worldwide Leader in Sports will kick off its twenty-fifth season covering Major League Baseball.  It all begins with an exclusive ninety-minute presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts–Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres—on Sunday Night Baseball.  Karl Ravech will host the special anniversary broadcast.  He will be joined by MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, Jon Kruk, and Curt Schilling.

The night’s special pre-game broadcast will be followed up by first pitch scheduled for 8pm ET.  Host Dan Shulman will be back for the network’s landmark anniversary season.  Also returning are analyst Jon Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.  There will be a new face joining the regular broadcast team this season.  MLB veteran and Curt Schilling also joins the team beginning this season.

MLB fans can catch all the Opening Night festivities across the ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi, and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, and online via WatchESPN.

ESPN’s Opening Day schedule will feature five matchups, highlighted by a matchup of the 2013 MLB World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.  That game is scheduled for a 3pm start time.  The complete ESPN Opening Night/Opening Day schedule is listed below.

 

ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sun., Mar. 30 8 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 1 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 3 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 4 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 7 p.m. Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 10 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

ESPN offers audiences fully in depth MLB coverage 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 First Games For Network’s September Sunday Night Baseball Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced today three big games for its schedule of games in September on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  The first of that trio of games pits Marlon Byrd and the New York Mets against Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital on September 1st.  The National League showdown will air on ESPN2.  The second of the games will air Sunday, September 8th.  That game will feature a matchup between the currently streaking NL West leading Dodgers—led by Yasiel Puig—and Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds.  The third of the newly announced games features the latest round in one of the greatest rivalries in sports.  The Yankees head to hostile ground to face off against their hated foes at Fenway Stadium on Sunday, September 15th in an American League fight as the playoff races heat up.

All three games will be anchored by play-by-play veteran Dan Shulman.  Shulman will be joined by analysts Orel Hershiser and John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.  All games will be simulcast on ESPN Radio affiliates nationwide.  ESPN Radio broadcasts of Sunday Night Baseball games are anchored by Jon Sciambi.  Sciambi will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton.  Spanish-speaking audiences can also catch the games on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio with Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Guillermo Celis, and Ozzie Guillen.  All broadcasts are also available online via WatchESPN.

Before September’s games, audiences will get to see the Yankees and Bosox go toe-to-toe yet again this weekend.  The teams will face off this Sunday, August 18th live from Fenway Park.

The current schedule of games on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is listed below.  Each game is preceded by the network’s pre-game show, Sunday Night Baseball at 7pm ET.

Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date Game
Aug. 18 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Aug. 25 Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Sept. 1 New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Sept. 8 Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds
Sept. 15 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

*An added note for viewers:  ESPN’s final Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast will be Sunday, September 22nd.

To keep up with the latest baseball on ESPN news, audiences can go online to http://espn.go.com/mlb or “Like” the ESPN Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  And to keep up with all of 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.

Letters From Jackie Another Great Story Of One Of Baseball’s Greats

Courtesy:  A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

Courtesy: A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

Major League Baseball celebrated a very special anniversary early in 2013.  On April 15th, 2013, fans and players of America’s Past Time celebrated the sixty-sixth anniversary of Brooklyn Dodgers great and groundbreaking player Jackie Robinson’s very first ever major league game.  It was on April 15th, 1947 that Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first ever African-American to play major league baseball.  Every year since that day, Major League Baseball has celebrated Jackie Robinson day on the anniversary of his first game.  This year, the anniversary has been celebrated with more than just celebrations at baseball fields across the country.  It was also celebrated with a major motion picture focusing on Robinson’s life and a documentary from Shout! Factory that was even more enjoyable than the prior.  Now MLB Productions has joined in the celebration with its own documentary on Robinson.  Whereas the previous releases focused largely on Robinson’s life, this latest release, Letters From Jackie: The Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson focuses exactly on its title; Robinson’s own thoughts put to paper.

Letters From Jackie: The Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson is a good companion piece to the previously released pair of works from Warner Brothers and Shout! Factory.  The first thing that makes this documentary stand out is its run time.  It comes in at just forty-five minutes long.  This is not counting the end credits, either.  Within that short time-span, the story presented moves at a relatively fast pace.  It’s not too fast for viewers to keep up with the story, either.  And within the context of the production, viewers will be moved to both laughter and tears, hearing Robinson’s words read.

The letters written by Jackie Robinson are both moving and at times entertaining.  Most moving of all is the story of Robinson’s years-long communications with a young white fan, Ron Rabinovitz.  The pen pals’ ongoing letter writing led to a friendship that transcended skin color and even religious backgrounds.  It was a friendship based solely on two individuals’ love of the game of baseball.  Rabinovitz himself even gets to share his thoughts on the letters shared between himself and Robinson.  The fondness with which he remembers Robinson is both entertaining and moving.  Audiences will be brought to smiles hearing Rabinovitz discuss Robinson actually taking him into the Dodgers’ locker room to meet his team mates at the time.  He even presents the baseball signed by Robinson’s team mates.  The really funny moment of that story is when Rabinovitz reveals that Robinson was so caught up in introducing his team mates to Rabinovitz and getting them to sign the ball, that he forgot to sign the ball himself.  Rabinovitz adds, laughing that he didn’t mind because he had so many other items (noting the letters) signed by Robinson.  Viewers even get to see Rabinovitz sharing his memories with one of today’s greats at the 2013 Jackie Robinson Day pre-game.

Rabinovitz shares so many wonderful memories of one of baseball’s greatest names though his interviews.  Along with the stories are pictures of the pair posing together on the field.  They help to add even more interest to the story of Robinson’s own thoughts on how he was viewed during his career.  Those pictures aren’t the only ones shared throughout this near hour-long feature.  Those charged with bringing the program to life also incorporated footage from The Jackie Robinson Story as well as footage from games that he played during his career.  The footage shows both the good and bad of the people who came to the games to see Robinson play.  That footage set against Robinson’s own thoughts on fan support and the lack thereof makes these moments even more interesting for any real baseball history buff.

Whether for the stories shared of Robinson by his family and friends or for the footage of the baseball legend’s career, baseball fans have plenty for which to root in this companion piece to the year’s previously released Robinson tributes.  Audiences will of course find their own interesting and entertaining moments throughout the story.  Being that Major League Baseball is coming up to the annual celebration of the halfway point of its season, thoughts will go back to one of the original All-Stars.  And as thoughts go back to him, this latest story will make for another good look back at that legend in question.  It will be available next Tuesday, July 16th.  It can be ordered online at the MLB Productions store at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=21611606.

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 Releases First Slate Of MLB Spring Training Games

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

January is officially at its end.  That means the countdown to Spring has officially begun.  Regardless of what the groundhog may or may not see, we’ve got six weeks until the official start of Spring.  It’ll be here before anyone knows it.  And what better way to help count down the days until Spring than the start of Major League Baseball’s 2013 Spring Training.  Spring Training kicks off on ESPN Monday, March 11th with a full slate of games.  All of the games slated for Monday March 11th are slated to start at 1pm EST throughout each market. The full slate of games is listed below.  Fans on the go can also see the games online via WatchESPN.

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators
Mon, Mar. 11 1 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees Jon Sciambi, Doug Glanville, Jayson Stark
Mon, Mar. 18 1 p.m. Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Buster Olney
Tue, Mar. 19 1 p.m. New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Buster Olney
Wed, Mar. 20 1 p.m. Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees * Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Buster Olney
Mon, Mar. 25 1 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Doug Glanville
Tue, Mar. 26 1 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets Karl Ravech, Aaron Boone, Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Kurkjian
Wed, Mar. 27 1 p.m. Philadelphia Phillies at Detroit Tigers Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Doug Glanville
Thu, Mar. 28 1 p.m. New York Mets at Washington Nationals Dave O’Brien, Aaron Boone, Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Kurkjian

This season will see one noticeable change for MLB fans.  ESPN will have a new Sunday Night Baseball announce team.  Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, and reporter Buster Olney will make their debut March 18th at the Phillies/Braves game.  All four will also call the March 19th Yankees/Phillies game and the March 20th game between the Red Sox and Yankees.  That game will be aired on ESPN2.

International audiences won’t be left out of the Spring Training games.  ESPN International will handle broadcasting duties in the Middle East/North Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Rim.  ESPN America will take broadcasts for Europe. 

Fans can get all the latest news from around the league as Spring Training leads to the regular season when they “Like” the ESPN Baseball Tonight Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.