Fox Sports will be televising the Major League Baseball All-Star Game from CitiField on Tuesday, starting with the 7:30 p.m. pregame show. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver call the action for the 13th year in a row and 15th season overall.
In addition to the story in the Saturday print editions of the Times Herald-Record, here are some additional comments from the Fox team:
McCarver discusses technical advancements in baseball coverage over his distinguished broadcasting career: “Sounds of the Game, more than any other element, is what FOX has brought to the coverage of Major League Baseball. Microphones on the bases, umpires and everywhere else you can imagine over the last 18 years since we’ve been doing the All-Star Game, is the biggest and best evolution in the coverage of the game. It’s how the game is heard as much as how the game is seen.”
Buck on fans reactions to new stars in Major League Baseball: “Four guys are in this game that are 21 years old or younger. Manny Machado is a kid, and on a national level Manny Machado isn’t well known yet he’s one of the best players in the game. We’ve had a bit of a changing of the guard and it’s going to take a little while for national audiences to know who these guys are and to get excited to watch them play in a game that doesn’t maybe affect their team locally. This is what makes it exciting for Tim and I, that we get to cover new blood and we get to tell stories about guys that are some of the best athletes we’ve seen come along to play this game.”
Buck on the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston: “The Ted Williams moment at Fenway Park. Both Tim and I were stranding in the booth as Ted Williams was making his way around the warning track and in the strongest motion took the cap off of his head and lifted it up to the fans. Our producer was telling me to talk and I couldn’t speak. I was so choked up. Thank god I didn’t because Tim and I would’ve ruined the moment. It was so powerful and to also be quiet and let the natural audio of Ted Williams talking to Tony Gwynn and Mark McGuire and the other guys who just naturally congregated around him. That happened organically and we stayed with it. We were supposed to go to a commercial break and it was one of the great calls by a great producer in Mike Weisman to stay with that moment. Had we gone to commercial that moment after the ceremonial first pitch would have been on replay but instead we got it live.”
McCarver on ’99: “I think that emotion then carried through to the game as Pedro Martinez started that game and struck of five of the six hitters he faced. It was a phenomenal performance on a phenomenal night.”
Fox executive Eric Shanks on whether FOX Sports is hoping for Puig to be in the game: “It would be exciting if one of the hottest players in the league, a player fans want to see, and a player many haven’t seen outside of highlights was in the game. It’s an exciting story. We’re in a business of eyeballs and delivering stories. It would be fun if he got in, it might add a few more eyeballs but at the same time, outside of talking about the race of the fan voting, there isn’t a particular push one way or another.”
Shanks on the strength of the All-Star Game and FOX Sports’ overall baseball business: “The Mid-Summer Classic is still a jewel event. At FOX Sports, we look at it as a part of our total baseball business. We still have a healthy local baseball business and very strong demand for our national business and strong demand for the All-Star Game. When you put it in context among all of the entertainment choices out there, this is the top end of the summer. Not just the All-Star Game, but baseball itself. The national game of the week on Saturday nights is winning the night against all networks. I feel that it’s very healthy.”