I like the new All-Star game format in which the winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series. I think it adds some suspense to what had been a meaningless exhibition game. Fox Sports broadcasters Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, who will broadcast the game from AT&T Park in San Francisco at 7 p.m. Tuesday on KOKH-25, also like the rule. They discussed the broadcast in a conference call last week.
Buck: “Before this was the format, it was more of a TV show. It really contained no strategy. Now, it makes it a lot more fun and interesting because there is strategy involved. It’s something that has added to our conversation during the course of the game and it’s been debated for years now. I think the format has enhanced the game. …What we have noticed in the past couple of years is that the starters will play longer and the better players are in the game longer.”
McCarver: “I think it affects the managers more than it does the players. It’s a little far-fetched to think that when (Tampa Bay outfielder) Carl Crawford is batting in the top of the ninth with two outs, the winning run on second base that he’ll say to himself, ‘Lets win this for David Ortiz so the Red Sox can have home-field advantage in the World Series.’ Obviously that’s not the case. But I think Jim Leyland and Tony LaRussa will be playing this game to win and prior to this format I don’t think the managers really played the game to win. I think their first and foremost thoughts were to get everybody in the game.”
Steroid king Barry Bonds, who is closing in Hank Aaron’s career home run record, likely will get plenty of attention on the broadcast of the game in his home ballpark.
McCarver: “I think we’re going to do more than touch on it. I think it’s clear he still has a bastion of support in his hometown. Because the game is being held in
San Francisco, it somehow seems right to me that he’s starting the game. Would we spend more time on Barry Bonds than we would normally? Of course. Would he dominate the broadcast? Of course not.”
Buck: “There are 15 different angles you can come at it from. I think Tim and I have always been upfront, tried to tackle the tough issues and have the conversations that are taking place in living rooms and not just on television screens across the country. As opposed to a regular-season game, you don’t have time later to go back and revisit it. If we get the chance we will. But I can’t imagine there being enough time to really do it justice, so the question then becomes how much do you want to get into it when you can’t really give the full story. I’m sure we’ll be wrestling with it right up until game time and right up until his first at-bat. How long will his at-bat last? There are a lot of factors.”
If you can’t get enough of the All-Star game, FOXSports.com and MLB.com will give fans the opportunity to watch batting practice live on the Web as part of a special pregame Webcast. Co-hosted by FOX Sports’ Chris Rose and Harold Reynolds of MLB.com, the two-hour Webcast begins at 4 p.m. The presentation also includes exclusive on-field interviews with All-Star players and coaches, analysis of the season’s first half and live coverage of the official All-Star team photo shoot.
FSN’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period” will air the “MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Special” at 6 p.m. Chris Rose, two-time All-Star Rob Dibble and FSN reporter Charissa Thompson follow the 2007 All-Stars as they arrive in front of AT&T Park for interviews conducted near the Willie Mays statue. The special also features contributions from Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Harmon Killebrew.