MLB, Shout! Factory’s 2018 World Series Presentation Is Another Grand Slam

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Major League Baseball Productions

Winter is officially here again, and for fans of the National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  For others though – baseball fans – it means there are still two months until the start of Spring Training for the 2019 season.  Thanks to Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball Productions, that wait is a little bit easier (for some at least) with their annual World Series releases, The 2018 World Series documentary and 2018 World Series Collector’s Edition: Boston Red Sox.  This is an especially positive combination of releases for the most devoted Boston fans, and for baseball aficionados in general.  It might be difficult to watch for those who have a very strong dislike of Boston (this critic included), but for others who might not have such a strong dislike, it will be a welcome overall presentation.  That is due in no small part to the set’s overall presentation.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content provided in the sets adds to their presentations.  The sets’ overall average price range rounds out their most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make the two presentations collectively yet another home run for the most devoted Boston fans and for baseball aficionados who don’t have a strong dislike of Boston.

Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball Productions have had quite the successful run of things in recent years with their partnership.  That partnership has seen the release of the Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series win, full presentations of World Series wins by the San Francisco Giants  and the historic first win by the Houston Astros, just to name a few.  That partnership continued this year with the release early this month with the presentation of the Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series win.  The team’s fourth title win in 15 years, the series is presented in full through The 2018 World Series documentary and 2018 World Series Collector’s Edition: Boston Red Sox.  That presentation forms the foundation for the sets’ presentation.  The Collector’s Edition presents the entire five-game 2018 World Series from its first pitch to its last right from the original broadcasts on FOX.  The documentary presentation adds to that presentation by turning the series into a cinematic experience while also highlighting the key moments from the series and presenting commentary from members of the Dodgers and Red Sox.  The doc also presents some interesting “non-game” moments for people to enjoy, such as Kirk Gibson taking a pitch from Dennis Eckersley ahead of Game 4, and Dodgers Manager (and former Red Sox player) Dave Roberts sharing memories with members of his former team, including former teammates from the 2004 season.  The doc, narrated by award-winning actress Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black, My Little Pony: The Movie, The Wiz Live) takes audiences deeper into the series, creating even more appreciation for the set’s overall presentation. Aduba’s narration alone does so much to capture the intensity of the series, especially in that 18-inning Game 3.  She puts the emphasis on all of the right moments, pulling in audiences that much more.  The whole of that depth and the full experience presented by the Collector’s Edition makes this set’s overall presentation such that it creates a solid foundation for the set.  That foundation is strengthened even more through the bonus content presented collectively in each presentation.

The bonus content included in the Collector’s Edition is the most important of the bonus material featured in this year’s set.  As with past years’ sets, the companion booklet included with the Collector’s Edition is that bonus material.  It takes audiences game-by-game, providing specific box scores for each game, as well as gametime temps, game lengths, in terms of time, and even game-specific trivia, such as the revelation that “the 18 combined pitchers used in Game 3 was the most in history for a Postseason game” and that “Cody Bellinger’s sliding catch in Game 2 had only a 14 percent chance of being caught, meaning it was a critical catch.  Between this information and everything else presented throughout the course of the booklet, audiences are taken even deeper into each game, than just the presentations on the surface.  It makes the experience that much more engaging for audiences, and that much more impressive especially for those noted aficionados who are not defiantly anti-Boston.  The addition of the regular and post season highlights in the series’ documentary as bonus content adds yet another layer of engagement and entertainment for audiences.  Those highlights include the post season series highlights and even key moments in the regular season that punched the Bosox’ ticket to the post season.  There is even a featurette that highlights even more so, how Boston made its way to the postseason.  It uses footage of the team’s regular season play to show the road that the team took, leading the league in games won, and the work that went into it all.  When one considers the engagement and entertainment offered through that featurette, the value of the box scores and trivia featured in the Collector’s Edition companion booklet and regular season highlights in the doc, one will see that the bonus content featured in this overall set is its own important material.

As if the actual content presented across the set is not enough, it once again offers four different audio options.  Audiences can take in the game via the Dodgers’ home radio, that of the Red Sox, the actual game telecast from it’s broadcast on FOX and also on Spanish radio.  Simply put, audiences are given plenty of options through which they can take in each game.  This applies to all five games, adding even more for audiences to appreciate.  This is yet another tradition that MLB Productions and Shout! Factory have carried through its past World Series collections, and for which the companies should again be complimented.  When this is all considered along with the primary content presented across both presentations, the whole of all of the noted content makes the whole even more engaging and entertaining.  The result is a presentation that is well worth the money paid for the sets.

The overall average price point of the 2018 World Series documentary and World Series Collector’s Edition: Boston Red Sox barely tops the $80 mark.  That price is reached by averaging prices from Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Shout! Factory.  Additionally, it is obtained by collectively averaging the prices for the Collector’s Edition and 2018 World Series documentary from each noted site.  Considering that the average price for the Collector’s Edition totals a little more than $60 and the doc alone averages a little more than $20, that total average is actually quite affordable.  Add in the breadth and depth of the primary and secondary content featured throughout the two presentations, and that pricing proves even more affordable.  It might not be overly inexpensive, but that collective average price for the two presentations also does not break the bank.  Keeping this in mind, it makes the two sets together well worth the purchase by and for any Boston devotee and baseball aficionado who does not completely despise the Red Sox.

Shout! Factory and MLB Productions’ latest World Series presentation, which once again features the World Series in its entirety and companion documentary, is another win for both companies.  As noted through this discussion, that is due in no small part to the collective primary content displayed across each presentation.  By themselves, the content entertains and engages audiences easily.  Collectively, that primary content forms a rock solid foundation for the set.  The bonus content featured in each set comes together to once again pull in audiences even more, continuing a long-running tradition for the companies that is just as welcome now as it was with the organizations’ first release.  The set’s overall average price range is relatively affordable, coming in at just under $100 for the two presentations.  Considering the breadth and depth of the noted content, that average price of a little more than $80 for the pair is not a bank-breaking price, and one that true Major League Baseball aficionados and Boston Red Sox fans will agree is money well-spent.  When this is considered along with the noted content, the whole of these two sets proves to be a grand slam for Major League Baseball and Shout! Factory.  Both sets are available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  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

 

 

 

More information on the sets is available online along with all of the latest Major League Baseball headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.mlb.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mlb

 

 

 

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.

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ESPN Announces ‘SNB’ Broadcast Schedule For First Half Of 2019 Season

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced the first slate of games on its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast schedule this week.

The network released the 14-game schedule Monday, and this year’s schedule launches March 31 as the Phillies host the Braves in a National League inter-divisional matchup.  Week Two will see National League West foes Colorado and Los Angeles go under the lights live.

The Dodgers took the division in the 2018 season, and were followed very closely by the Rockies, who trailed L.A. by only one game at the end of the regular season.  The Rockies got a wild card slot for the post season, but fell just short of the NLCS, losing 3 games – 0 against Milwaukee. Milwaukee went on to face Los Angeles in the National League Championship series, with Los Angeles winning that series, but ultimately falling in the World Series to Boston.

The Braves, who fell to the Dodgers in the NLCS last season, will be on the road against St. Louis in the third game on ESPN’s 2019 SNB broadcast schedule.  That game is scheduled for May 26.

Boston is also included in this year’s early season broadcast schedule.  The Red Sox are scheduled to play live under the lights on SNB on June 2 against their age-old foes, the New York Yankees in New York.

This year’s SNB schedule will be preceded by a triple-header schedule March 28 that opens with the Yankees hosting the Orioles in an American League East matchup at 1 p.m. ET.  The Dodgers hope to avoid getting snake-bitten as they host the Diamondbacks at 4 p.m. The Mariners host the Red Sox at 7 p.m. to round out the day’s coverage.

This year marks the second year that ESPN will be the exclusive home to Major League Baseball’s second-half opener.  That game is scheduled to feature the Texas Rangers — in their last year in their current stadium — hosting their cross-state (and AL West) rivals, the Houston Astros.  According to a news release from ESPN, broadcast is scheduled to be played at 8 p.m., July 11.

This year also marks the first time that it will start its Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell telecasts at 7 p.m.  Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet will precede the broadcasts at 6 p.m.

This season is especially important for ESPN because it marks the network’s 30th year covering Major League Baseball.  ESPN’s current SNB boradcast schedule is noted below.

Current 2019 Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date

Time (ET)

Game selection

March 31

7 p.m.

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

April 7

8:30 p.m.

*Special start time

Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies

May 26

7 p.m.

Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals

June 2

7 p.m.

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

June 16

7 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers

July 14

7 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox

July 28

7 p.m.

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

August 4

7 p.m.

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

August 18

7 p.m.

MLB Little League Classic:

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

August 25

7 p.m.

New York Yankees at Los Angeles Dodgers

September  8

8 p.m. * Special start time

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

*Additional game selections will be determined in the upcoming weeks.

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

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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.

 

 

Mendoza, ESPN Reach Contract Extension Agreement

Courtesy: ESPN

Another member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team will be back with the group this spring.

Jessica Mendoza reached a new multi-year contract extension with ESPN this week.  The announcement came only a day after fellow ESPN MLB broadcast team member and MLB vet Mark Teixeira was announced to return.

Mendoza said in a news release from the network that she is glad the two sides came to terms on the contract.

“I’m beyond excited to continue to contribute analysis to ESPN’s signature MLB platform — Sunday Night Baseball — alongside Alex Rodriguez, Matt Vasgersian and Buster Olney,” Mendoza said.  “I look forward to continue helping grow the sports of softball and Major League Baseball through our second-to-none coverage by utilizing cool technology, offering exciting insights and doing it all with passion.”

ESPN Senior Vice President of Production and Remote Events Mark Gross shared Mendoza’s thoughts.

“Jessica’s preparation, expertise and work ethic are among the many attributes that make us proud to have this trailblazer with us for years to come,” Gross said.  “She forms tremendous relationships in the sports with executives, managers and players, and those connections help us inform our telecasts and make them better.  Her passion for the sport is contagious.”

Mendoza made history in 2015 when she joined ESPN’s SNB broadcast team.  It made her the first woman to ever serve as a national analyst for Major League Baseball games.  She also became the first woman to serve as an analyst for an MLB post season game on Oct. 15 when the Yankees and Astros faced off in the American League Wildcard Game live from Yankee Stadium.

According to ESPN’s news release, Mendoza is considered “one of America’s greatest softball players.”  A graduate of Stanford University, she holds records in categories, such as batting average, hits, runs, home runs stolen bases and slugging percentage.

She helped lead the U.S. Softball team to gold in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.  She also won a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Additionally, she will be inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame next year as a member of the class of 2019.

Along with her continued duties on SNB, she will also make appearances on ESPN’s MLB studio program Baseball Tonight, and will make regular appearances on SportsCenter and Get Up! according to the network’s release.

More information on this and other news from ESPN is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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.

 

Teixeira, ESPN Reach Agreement On Contract Extension

Courtesy: ESPN

Mark Teixeira is sticking with ESPN.

The MLB great, who is a three-time American League All-Star and member of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees, has signed a new multi-year agreement with ESPN.  The network made the announcement in a news release sent Monday.

Teixeira’s new deal ensures that he will remain an analyst on ESPN’s Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown for the foreseeable future.  The program precedes ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball each week throughout Major League Baseball’s season.  The contract also ensures he will serve as analyst for other ESPN baseball programs, such as Opening Day, Winter Baseball Meetings and World Series.

Teixeira was humble as he talked about his new contract in a recent interview.

“I have the coolest job in baseball,” Teixeira said. “I’m fortunate to work with so many great colleagues and friends at ESPN, who are deeply committed to covering the sport we all love with passion and expertise.  I’m so happy to be part of this team.”

ESPN Vice President, Production Seth Markman shared  Teixeira’s positive thoughts.

“Mark is a consummate professional who elevates our show every time he appears,” Markman said.  “He’s smart, cadid and an excellent communicator, and his passion for the game is evident.  We’re proud to have Mark here at ESPN.”

Along with his work on ESPN’s MLB coverage, Teixeira will also contribute to SportsCenter and will make appearances on ESPN Radio’s programming, including ESPN Radio 98.7’s The Michael Kay Show.

Over the course of his Major League Baseball career, Teixeira — a switch-hitting First Baseman — hit 409 home runs, batted in 1,298 runs and won five Golden Gloves.  He retired at the end of Major League Baseball’s 2016 season and joined ESPN’s on-air roster at the start of the league’s 2017 season.

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

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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.

Shout! Factory, MLB Productions Announce Release Date For 2018 World Series Sets

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Major League Baseball Productions

Boston Red Sox fans got an early Christmas present this year when their team took this season’s Major League Baseball Championship, and next month, fans can re-live the whole series.

Major League Baseball Productions and Shout! Factory have partnered once again to release two World Series presentations.  The 2018 World Series and 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox are scheduled to be released on Blu-ray on Dec. 4. The 2018 World Series will be presented in a two-disc BLu-ray/DVD combo pack with digital and DVD with Digital.  The 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox will be presented on an eight-disc Blu-ray presentation.

The 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox will feature all five games of the 2018 World Series Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, in which the team claimed this year’s American League Championship and Game 4 of the American League Divisional Series, which saw the Red Sox defeat the New York Yankees to advance to the ALCS.

The exclusive package also features SleeveStats inserts, which include official game stats, trivia and more.  Each game in the set features the option to listen to the games’ audio from the team’s own radio network, the opponents’ radio network, Spanish-language broadcasts and television audio.

The 2018 World Series documentary is a truncated presentation of this year’s Fall Classic, showcasing the major highlights of the series, as well as the Divisional and Championship series that paved the road to the World Series.  It also features bonus content, such as “How They Got There,” regular season highlights and season-clinching moments.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Major League Baseball Productions

The 2018 World Series will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and the 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox for $59.99.  Both titles will also be available on DVD.  They can all be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s official store.  More information on these and more 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.

 

 

Cubs, Phils To Close Out Weekend Series Live Today On TBS With Rubber Match

Courtesy: Turner Sports

National League foes the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies will close out their three-game weekend series this afternoon as Major League Baseball’s 2018 season inches closer to its finale.

The Phillies took the series’ opener Friday 2-1 over Chicago.  That game was a pitcher’s duel as it wasn’t until the top of the 5th inning that the game’s first run was scored by Chicago. the Phillies tied it up in the bottom of the 6th with a run of their own.  After Philadelphia tied it up, the game was forced into extra innings, and the Phillies would take advantage of the overtime setup, adding one more run for the 2-1 final.

Pat Neshek (2-1) was credited with the win for the Phillies while Steve Cishek (4-2) took the loss for Chicago. This was despite fellow Chicago pitcher Jose Quintana (11-9) pitching six innings in the game. Quintana allowed just one run on three hits, one earned run, and one walk while striking out seven Phillies batters.

Philadelphia starter Nick Pivetta (7-10) meanwhile was almost as solid as Quintana, allowing only one run and one earned run on five hits while walking three Cubs batters and striking out six.

Chicago controlled Game Two right from the start, scoring two runs in the first.  two more followed in the third with three more runs coming in total between the seventh and ninth inning.  Philadelphia was held to just one run in the game. That lone run came from outfielder Odubel Hererra.

The Phillies’ woes weren’t limited to just that lone run.  Pitcher reliever Austin Davis had his cheat sheet taken by umpire Joe West during Saturday’s game.  The sheet told Davis how to throw to the Cubs’ batters, and while not illegal, should not have been in Davis’ possession according to MLB rules section 6.02 (c) (7), which bans pitchers having any “foreign substance” on their person during a game.

Jon Lester (14-5) is expected to get the start for the Cubs in today’s series finale.  Lester’s last time on the mound was Tuesday against the Mets, and he had a bit of a rough time in that game.  Over the course of six innings, he allowed three runs and three earned runs on five hits while walking three batters, allowing one home run and striking out three Mets batters.

Aaron Nola (15-3) is currently expected to get the start for Philadelphia.  His last time on the mound was also Tuesday, in this case against Washington.  The Nats took that game 5-4 in nine.  While Nola got the start, Neshek took the loss in the game for the Phillies.

Nola had a rough time in Tuesday’s game, pitching seven innings.  Over the course of that time, he allowed two runs, one earned run and two walks on four hits while striking out eight Washington batters.

Looking at each team’s overall stats, the numbers don’t favor fully one team over another. Philadelphia is playing host to Chicago for the series, and has been far better at home so far this season than at home, going 43-24 at home and 29-38 on the road.

Chicago meanwhile has also proven better at home than on the road, going 44-24 at home and 35-31 on the road so far this season.

Chicago has gone 8-2 in its last 10 games and sits atop the National League Central standings with just a narrow 3.5 game lead over second place St. Louis.  Philadelphia meanwhile sits second in the National League East, but has gone 4-6 in its last 10 games.  At the same time though, Philadelphia is only two games behind the division-leading Atlanta, so this afternoon’s series closer will have major playoff implications for both teams.

Brian Anderson will have the call for this afternoon’s broadcast on TBS.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Ron Darling for additional commentary.  Coverage is currently scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. and the game will be blacked out in Chicago.

More information on TBS’s Major League Baseball coverage is available online now along with more MLB news at:

 

Website: http://www.tbs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tbsnetwork

 

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 Final Two ‘SNB’ Broadcasts For MLB’s 2018 Season

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added two more matchups to its broadcast schedule for the 2018 Major League Baseball season, including the network’s season finale broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.

Up first on that schedule is an inter-divisional National League matchup between the Dodgers and Cardinals on September 16.  The game is certain to have major playoff implications for both teams as Los Angeles (70-61) currently sits on the cut-off line for the National League’s post season picture and as St. Louis (73-58) is also playing hard for its own spot in the post season.

ESPN closes out the 2018 season of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell September 23 as the American League and Major League Baseball leading Boston Red Sox (90-42) visit the Cleveland Indians (74-56) in an equally important matchup looking to the post season.  For the Red Sox, the game (and series) will be a chance for the team to continue widening its lead over the league and conference while Cleveland will be looking to stay just inside the post season picture in the American League.

The Indians currently sits 5th in the American League and atop the American League Central Division, 13 games ahead of second place Minnesota.  The rotations and pitchers will be announced closer to each game’s broadcast.

Matt Vasgersian will anchor both broadcasts.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will also be hon hand for all of the games’ latest news and interviews.

The season finale episode of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will have a special start time of 7 p.m. ET.  The September 16 episode will still start at 8 p.m. ET.  As is the case each week, both games will be preceded by an hour-long episode of Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.

Those who won’t be close to a television during each game can still catch the broadcasts online via the ESPN App and on the radio via ESPN Radio.  The games will also be simulcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.

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.