ESPN To Air Special MLB Double Header On Independence Day

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will celebrate America’s birthday this year with a celebration of the country’s national pastime.

Network officials announced recently the network will carry a special Major League Baseball double header on July 4th.  The schedule starts with a National League inter-divisional matchup between the Phillies and Pirates at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.  American League opponents Boston and Texas round out the day’s double header schedule beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

Rotations and pitchers have not been announced for either game.  The July 4 matchup between the Phillies and Pirates will be the second of a four-game series between the NL foes while it the AL showdown between the Red Sox and Rangers will be the second in a three-game series between those teams.

More information on ESPN’s special Independence Day double header schedule is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at http://www.espn.com/mlb.

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Red Sox, Orioles Open 4-Game Series Monday Night On ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Red Sox will play host to the Orioles Monday night live on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA.

Monday night’s game is the first in a four-game series between the American League East opponents.  It replaces the network’s previously scheduled Indians-Tigers matchup.  The game will be simulcast on television and online via ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET and is subject to local blackout restrictions in each teams’ markets.

Chris Sale is expected to get the start for Boston, though mlb.com has Rick Porcello scheduled as the starter for the Red Sox.  Dylan Bundy is expected to take the mound for the Orioles.

Monday night’s series opener between the Sox and the “Orange Birds” is certain to be an interesting one, going by the numbers.  Baltimore is currently in the midst of a two-game skid, but is 6-4 in its last 10 games.  The team’s weakness is that it has performed better at home (8 – 3) so far this season than on the road (6 – 5).

By comparison, Boston has also performed far better at home (8 – 5) so far this season than on the road (4 – 6) but not quite as impressively as Baltimore.  Boston is 4 – 6 in its last 10 games and looking to bounce back Sunday from a 7 – 4 loss against the Chicago Cubs.

Win or lose in that series-ending game, Boston will be hungry for another “W.”  Looking at the overall picture painted by those numbers, Monday night’s game could go to either team.

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

 

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.

‘Sports Detectives: Season One’ Is A Winning Debut For Smithsonian Channel Series

Courtesy: Smithsonian Channel/Public Media Distribution

Early this month, Public Media Distribution and Smithsonian Channel partnered to release the first season of the network’s new sports history-based series Sports Detectives on DVD.  One part History Detectives, one part 30 for 30 and one part Expedition Unknown, this introductory season will appeal to any sports and sports history buff. That is due in no small part to the sports that it covers over the course of its episodes.  The stories that are presented within each episode are just as important to discuss as the sports that are covered.  The transitions that are used in the two-part episodes round out the season’s most important elements.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the season’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Sports Detectives: Season One is, overall, a winner for any sports aficionado.

The debut season of Smithsonian Channel’s Sports Detectives is a presentation that will appeal to sports buffs of all ages.  That is due in no small part to the sports that are covered over the course of its 300-minutes.  From the first disc to the second, the series covers all of America’s major sports.  There are two stories from Major League Baseball, two from the National Football League, one from the National Hockey League and one from the National Basketball Association.  They are not the only sports that are covered in this collection.  NASCAR fans get a nod with a story focusing on the legend of Dale Earnhardt’s pink K-2 Ford driven early in his career, one for the horse racing fans out there and even one focusing on the boxing world.  Simply put, those behind the series made sure to reach out to fans of as many sports as possible with these stories  The only downside here is that there is no listing of the stories inside or outside the box.  Even with that in mind, the inclusion of stories from most of the sports world’s major arenas (yes, that bad pun was intended) is in itself plays a big part in the program’s overall presentation.  The fact that the series has yet to touch on soccer (yes, that bad pun was intended, too) gives fodder for more stories.  There are certain to be stories from the worlds of golf and tennis, too.  That is not even mentioning the college sports realm, too.  Keeping that in mind, this gives plenty of material for at least a second season.  Keeping all of this in mind, the sports that are covered and the sports that could be covered in a second season of Sports Detectives show why they are pivotal to the series’ first season.  They are, collectively speaking, just part of what makes this season so enjoyable for sports lovers.  The stories presented within the episodes are just as important to discuss in examining this season as the sports presented within the episodes.

The stories that are presented within each episode are so important to discuss because of the history that each story presents.  The stories also don’t always result in a clear answer either.  The story of Muhammad Ali’s Olympic Gold Medal supports both of those statements.  Audiences learn through this story about how he represented his country at the 1960 Olympics, only to allegedly throw it in the Ohio River upon his return to the U.S.  The alleged incident happened, according to the story, after he was denied service in his still segregated home city of Louisville.  Not to give away too much here, but the story is never fully solved despite the lengths to which the investigative team of Kevin Barrows and Lauren Gardner go to try to solve the mystery.  That the story isn’t solved actually adds to its interest, leaving one wonder if there is any validity to Ali’s story or not.

The story of Ali’s missing 1960 Olympic Gold medal is just one example of the importance of this season’s stories.  The story of Lou Gehrig’s baseball bat is another prime example of the importance of the season’s episodes.  This is one of the stories that is solved.  The investigation here finds a bat that was in fact once in the hands of the baseball legend.  The revelation that someone out there has a bat that was in fact once held (and used in a game) by the legendary figure is in itself incredible.  The history behind the bat is just as interesting.  It is just one more of the stories that shows the importance of the stories featured in this season.  There is also a story centered on famed horse Secretariat’s saddle cloth that is just as interesting.

The story of Secretariat’s supposedly missing saddle cloth is another one that results in the mystery being solved.  What is so interesting in this story is the revelation of how easily it could have and did go missing in the commotion following Secretariat’s win in one of horse racing’s biggest events.  The story keeps audiences engaged because of the twists and turns that it presents as it eventually leads to the discovery of the saddle cloth.  Those twists and turns keep viewers wondering right up to the eventual discovery if it will turn up.  Again, it is just one more example of why the episodes’ stories are so important to the season’s overall presentation.  The story of a flag brought to the ice after the famed “miracle on ice” Olympic matchup between the U.S. and Russia, the location of an NFL Champion’s ring and that of a famed basketball are a few more examples of why this season’s stories are just as important to discuss as the sports that are covered in examining the season’s overall presentation.  As important as the stories presented in these episodes are to the season’s overall presentation, they are not the last of its important elements.  The transitions used in the two-part episodes are important to note, too.

The sports and stories presented throughout the first season of Smithsonian Channel’s Sports Detectives are both key elements to discuss in examining the season’s overall presentation.  They are not its only key elements to examine either.  The transitions that are used in the season’s two-part episodes are important in their own right to the season’s presentation.  The transitions used in said episodes are so important because they are so smooth. The case of the missing NFL Championship ring and the missing “Immaculate Reception” is a prime example of that statement.  Those behind the lens picked all of the right moments to connect one story to the other, thus keeping the story moving.  It is clear in watching the episode that the choices were made not only through the discussions but also through the shots.  This same approach was used in the episode focusing on Dale Earnhardt’s K-2 Ford and Secretariat’s saddle cloth and in the episode focusing on Lou Gehrig’s baseball bat and Kirk Gibson’s home run ball.  Those smart transitions will certainly keep audiences just as engaged as the stories themselves.  That is because they enhance the stories, thus making them all the more engaging.  When this element is set alongside the show’s actual stories and the sports that are featured, the whole of the elements makes this season of Sports Detectives a win for sports buffs of all ages and tastes.

Sports Detectives: Season One is a winning start for Smithsonian Channel’s new sports-based series.  That is due, as already discussed, to the diversity of sports featured in the season’s two discs and 300 minutes.  The stories at the center of each episode are just as important to discuss as the featured sports.  The transitions that are used in each episode (or more specifically, the editing in general) is the finishing touch to the season’s presentation.  Of course one could also argue the interviews, footage and pictures used in each story are important in their own right, too.  Those who point out those elements would be right, too.  All things considered, the debut season of Sports Detectives leaves no mystery why it is a winning presentation.  It is available now and can be ordered online via PBS’ online store.  More information on Sports Detectives and other Smithsonian Channel series is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.smithsonianchannel.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SmithsonianChan

 

 

 

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.

Shout! Factory, MLB Productions Go To Bat Again For 2016 World Series Game 7 Standalone Release

Courtesy: MLB/MLB Productions

It’s time to fly the “W” again.

Shout! Factory is going to bat with Chicago Cubs fans one more time next month when it releases the historic seventh game of the 2016 World Series in its own standalone Blu-ray and DVD release. The iconic game marked the end of a 108 year wait for the club, its fans and the city that supported it through thick and thin.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Productions

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Productions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 World Series: The Complete Game 7 Ultimate Edition will be released in stores and online on separate two-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets on Tuesday, May 9. Retailing for MSRP of $24.97 (Blu-ray) and $19.97 (DVD), viewers can pre-order it online now via Shout! Factory’s online store at a discounted price of $19.97 (Blu-ray) and $16.97 (DVD).

This latest presentation of the 2016 World Series’ seventh game presents the landmark four hour, twenty-eight minute matchup in its entirety complete with four separate audio options.  Those options are the original TV broadcast audio, Chicago Cubs radio broadcast, Cleveland Indians radio broadcast and Spanish-language broadcast.

As an additional bonus, the two-disc set also includes highlights of the Cubs’ 2016 postseason wins on the way to the World Series and the parade that followed.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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 Inks Deal With MLB Superstar Mark Teixeira

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added another big name to its list of superstar analysts.

Network officials announced this week the addition of Mark Teixeira to its staff.  The World Series Champion, 5-time Gold Glove winner, and 3-time All-Star will join the worldwide leader in sports as an analyst on its Major League Baseball programs.

The multi-year deal will see Teixeira contributing to SportsCenter, ESPN’s MLB studio programs, and ESPN Radio broadcasts.  The 14-year MLB veteran’s on-air presence is expected to begin with ESPN’s 2017 MLB Spring Training coverage.

Teixeira was humbled and excited to be the latest addition to ESPN’s roster of superstar staff members.

“I couldn’t be more excited to begin this next chapter of my baseball career with ESPN,” Teixeira said. I’m looking forward to being a part of their al-star rotation of commentators and to share my perspective with the fans.”

Teixeira is no stranger to ESPN.  Along with his on-field work, he has appeared many times in the past as a guest analyst on ESPN’s MLB broadcasts on ESPN Radio. That isn’t all.  He has even guest co-hosted on ESPN’s Mike & Mike.

Teixeira announced his retirement on Aug. 5, 2016.  He played in his final game on Oct. 2, 2016.  In 2009, he was a member of the World Series Champion New York Yankees lineup.  He led the American League in home runs and runs batted in that same year.

He also amassed a total of 409 home runs over the course of his career while playing for the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers.

More information on this announcement is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

 

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.

Tigers, Rangers To Play Live On ESPN’s ‘SNB’ Broadcast On May 21

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The countdown to the start of Major League Baseball’s 2017 season is on, and in anticipation of the season’s start, ESPN has announced one of the games to be featured on its weekly Sunday Night Basebal presented by Taco Belll broadcast schedule.

The Tigers and Rangers will face off on May 21 in an American League interdivisional matchup live on ESPN’s flagship MLB program.  Coverage is set to begin at 8 p.m. EST.  Dan Shulman will have the call for the game.

Shulman will be joined in the booth by analysts Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone.  Reporter Buster Olney will also be on hand for the latest in-game interviews and news.

The Rangers’ May 21 road game against the Tigers will mark Texas’ first appearance on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell for the season.  Detroit will make another live appearance on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell on July 9 against the 2016 American League Champion Cleveland Indians.

Those that won’t be near a television during either broadcast can still catch the games on the radio on ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio and online via WatchESPN and the ESPN app.  Spanish-speaking audiences and fans in other nations can catch games on television via ESPN Deportes and ESPN International.

More information on ESPN’s 2017 MLB coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

 

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.

‘2016 World Series Collector’s Edition’ Is A Win For Cubs Loyalists, MLB Fans Alike

Courtesy: MLB Productions/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: MLB Productions/Shout! Factory

The 2016 World Series is one of the most important fall classic series that Major League Baseball and its fans have seen in over a century.  It was through this year’s World Series that “next year” became “this year” and “it can happen” became “it did happen.”  Next Tuesday, Cubs loyalists and baseball fans alike will be able to own the complete 2016 World Series for themselves thanks to MLB Productions and Shout! Factory in the form of the 2016 World Series Collector’s Edition: Chicago Cubs.  This piece is a must have both for Cubs loyalists and for MLB fans in general.  That is due in no small part to the 8-disc set’s overall audio and video presentation.  That will be discussed shortly.  The companion booklet included in the set is just as important to note in examining the set’s presentation as its overall presentation.  Last but hardly least of note here is the set’s bonus disc.  Each element is key in its own right to the box set’s presentation.  All things considered, this box is the year’s top new sports box set, the year’s top new family box set, and one of the year’s top new overall DVD/BD box sets.

Shout! Factory and MLB Productions’ 2016 World Series Collector’s Edition: Chicago Cubs takes three swings and hits it out of the park all three times.  This set is the year’s top new sports box set, the year’s top new family box set and one of the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets.  That is due in no small part to the overall presentation of the 7-game series in the set’s main feature.  Presented in the set’s main feature is the 2016 World Series in its entirety from the first pitch to the last out.  All seven games are here just as they were originally presented on FOX.  The commercial breaks are even included in each game, just without any commercials.  So that speeds things up at least a little bit, making the overall viewing experience even better.  If that isn’t enough for fans, MLB Productions and Shout! Factory have offered fans the option to experience the game with standalone radio broadcasts from the teams’ home radio stations in place of the TV call and even in Spanish.  On the surface that might not seem like much, but in the bigger picture of the series’ presentation here, it is very important to note.  Some people prefer radio broadcasts to the TV call whether in English or another language.  Others prefer the TV call to radio.  So what MLB Productions and Shout! Factory have done here is honor all of the game’s fans.  They are to be highly commended for paying such attention to even this detail.  Of course, those familiar with MLB Productions’ past World Series know this is nothing new for those productions.  That makes MLB Productions even more deserving of applause here.  It shows that MLB Productions has lived up to its reputation once more in this box set.  Keeping that in mind, it’s just one way in which MLB Productions has impressed yet again with this set.  The companion booklet included in the set adds just as much enjoyment to the set’s presentation.

The full, diverse TV and radio presentation of the 2016 World Series in the 2016 World Series Collector’s Edition: Chicago Cubs is in itself a hugely important piece of the set’s presentation.  It allows audiences to re-live the 7-game series in its entirety not just on TV but on radio while still getting to see it on TV.  What’s more, Shout! Factory and MLB Productions have allowed fans here to experience it simultaneously on radio and TV both in English and Spanish.  This is a huge statement of the dedication to the game’s fans across the board.  In and of itself, it makes this element a hugely important piece of the set’s presentation.  It is only one important piece of the set’s presentation, too.  The companion booklet that is included with the set lives up to MLB Productions’ reputation just as much as the presentation of the game on disc.  Once again, MLB Productions has included a complete box score for each game.  That means it presents the numbers not just for the Cubs but for the Indians, too in each game.  Audiences even get some interesting trivia with each game to enhance the viewing experience.  Just one of the interesting pieces of that trivia that is included in the set’s companion booklet comes in the outline of Game 7.  The booklet notes with this game;s information, :The Cubs are the first team to come back from a 3 – 1 deficit and win World Series Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pirates.”  Audiences also learn of the Indians in the notes for Game 3, “The Indians’ Game 3 shutout was their fifth in the 2016 postseason, establishing a Major League record for a single postseason.”  As an added note, fans also learn here that the Indians’ game three World Series win meant the team won all eight postseason games when it scored first.  These are just some of the interesting tidbits that are shared through the series’ companion booklet.  There is far more that audiences will enjoy when they purchase the set for themselves or that special MLB fan.  Each game even includes a note of the temperature at the start of each game, the games’ attendance and much more.  The booklet gets that specific with each game’s outline and then some.  When this is all taken into consideration, it becomes even more clear why the collection’s companion booklet is just as important to its presentation as its overall presentation.  It is just one more piece of the set’s presentation that stands out.  The inclusion of the Cubs’ NLCS Game 6 win over the Dodgers rounds out the set’s most important elements.

The overall TV and radio presentation of the 2016 World Series in the 2016 World Series Collector’s Edition: Chicago Cubs and the set’s companion booklet are both key components of the set’s presentation.  The overall TV and radio presentation of the series and its presentation of the series in its entirety gives audiences a full viewing experience in the utmost sense of the term.  The set’s companion booklet adds even more depth and enjoyment to the set’s presentation with its bonus trivia and fully in-depth box scores.  Both elements are key by themselves and together.  However, they aren’t the set’s only important elements to note.  The bonus NLCS Game 6 presentation included in the set rounds out the set’s most important elements.  MLB Productions and Shout! Factory have included in this set, the Cubs’ 5 – 0 shutout of the Dodgers in Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS as a bonus for audiences here.    For those who might not know, the NLCS was just as interesting as the World Series.  The Cubs opened the series with a solid 8 – 4 win over Los Angeles,  But then, Chicago fell behind 2 games to 1 in games 2 and 3, only to come back and win the next 3 games and take the series.  Thanks, again, to MLB Productions and Shout! Factory, audiences get to see the Cubs’ dominating NLCS Game 6 in its entirety.  It was that game that catapulted the Cubs into the World Series.  So audiences get to see that pivotal game and the World Series in whole, and even follow along at their own pace through the set’s companion booklet while learning some interesting facts along the way, too.  Clearly, all three elements play their own huge part in the set’s presentation.  All things considered, they show that MLB Productions has lived up to its reputation once again as has Shout! Factory, the leading name in home entertainment (at least in this critic’s view).  They make this set in itself yet another home run for Cubs fans and MLB fans alike. When all of this is combined with the equally impressive 2016 World Series Film, which was released Dec. 6, the whole of both sets is a grand slam for any MLB fan and any Cubs fan.

2016 World Series Collector’s Edition: Chicago Cubs is yet another home run for MLB Productions and Shout! Factory.  That is evident through an overall TV/radio broadcast that once again lives up to fans’ expectations of MLB Productions’ titles.  The same can be said of the set’s companion booklet.  Once again, MLB Productions has added so much depth to another presentation through its fully in-depth booklet, complete with game-specific trivia.  The bonus NLCS Game 6 disc included in the set rounds out its most important elements.  Audiences get to see that game in its entirety just as each of the World Series’ seven games.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the game’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this set yet another home run for MLB fans and Cubs loyalists alike. When the set is joined with the newly released 2016 World Series Film, the two together make for a grand slam for all involved.  The 2016 World Series Film is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via Shout! Factory’s online store.  The 2016 World Series Collector’s Edition: Chicago Cubs will be available next Tuesday, Dec. 13.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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.