We have a lot of links to get to so let’s get to them.
Interleague play in baseball and the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown headline the weekend viewing picks.
NBC Sports will have complete coverage of the Preakness Stakes live from Baltimore starting at 4:30 on Saturday. Luckily, we won’t have a silly red carpet show. Big Brown will be the favorite to take the next step towards the Triple Crown. During NBC’s show, Bob Costas will hold a roundtable discussion on the dangers of horse racing in the wake of the Eight Belles tragedy at the Kentucky Derby. And ESPN will have the Preakness undercard starting at noon.
As mentioned, interleague play starts this weekend in Major League Baseball. In a rare piece of programming, Fox Sports does not jump on the New York Mets-New York Yankees matchup for its Saturday Game of the Week. Instead, Fox chooses the Brewers-Red Sox, Cleveland at Cincinnati and the Dodgers at Anaheim for its games at 3:55 p.m. WGN has the White Sox at San Francisco Saturday night at 9 and the lone National League series, the Cubs hosting Pittsburgh, Sunday at 2. TBS also has Milwaukee at Boston, Sunday at 1;30 p.m. ESPN will take the Mets-Yankees for the Sunday night game.
Both NHL Conference Finals could conclude this weekend. NBC Sports has two Games Five, Dallas at Detroit on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. NBC is hoping this won’t go into overtime to avoid a repeat of last year when Buffalo-Ottawa went OT and shuffled the game to Versus so it could start its Preakness Stakes pre-race show on time. On Sunday, NBC will not have potential conflicts as it will cover Philadelphia at Pittsburgh at 3 p.m.
The NBA schedule is a bit up in the air. ABC is scheduled to carry one game at 3:30 p.m., Sunday and it could be a Game 7 in the Boston-Cleveland series or Game 7 in the Utah-Los Angeles Lakers series or Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Motorsports is busy this weekend. NASCAR has its annual All Star Race on the Speed Channel this Saturday night at 7. Indy Car continues the Indianapolis 500 Time Trials throughout the weekend on ESPN2 and ABC.
The PGA Tour continues without Tiger Woods with the AT&T Classic on CBS at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The LPGA Sybase Classic is picked up by ESPN2, Saturday and Sunday at 2.
HBO has Boxing After Dark Saturday night at 9:45 p.m. with three scheduled fights.
ESPN2 begins coverage of the NCAA Division I Softball tournament with regional action on Saturday.
The WNBA begins the Candace Parker era with the LA Sparks visiting the Phoenix Mercury on ABC this Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
And track and field fans can watch the Adidas Track Classic from Carson, CA Sunday on ESPN at 4 p.m.
The TV sports listings can be seen at USA Today. To the links now.
ESPN Ombudsman Le Ann Schreiber takes ESPN to task for the Miguel Tejada ambush interview on E:60.
Michael McCarthy of USA Today says HBO’s Real Sports interview of former New England Patriots employee Matt Walsh keeps the Spygate scandal in the spotlight.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch was busy keeping track of the John Tomase mea culpa at the Boston Herald as well as following a story involving NESN’s Heidi Watney before she joined the network.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe says NESN has hired former Red Sox utility infielder Lou Merloni as a studio analyst.
Newsday’s Neil Best talked with SNY’s Mets announcer Gary Cohen before he called yesterdays game against the Washington Nationals from the Shea Stadium’s upper deck with analysts Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez. In his blog, Neil talks with Mets announcers Cohen, Howie Rose, Hernandez and Darling about their childhood experiences sitting in the cheap seats.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times talks with ESPN’s Doris Burke (and Providence College alumnus) who has found a role on the network’s college basketball and NBA broadcasts.
From the New York Post, Phil Mushnick laments the number of young men and women who are entering the professional poker business.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman wonders why Fox Sports omitted the Mets-Yankees from tomorrow’s MLB schedule and chose Brewers-Red Sox instead.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that Fox Sports Radio updates are truly lacking.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun looks at NBC’s coverage of the Preakness Stakes. John Wostendiek of the Sun talks with Dave Rodman, the track announcer at Pimlico, who will call his 17th Preakness Stakes, but you won’t hear him on TV or radio.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says the Preakness Stakes is an event made for ESPN’s Kenny Mayne.
Dan Daly of the Washington Times says sensationalism such as John Tomase’s story in the Boston Herald is hurting sports journalism.
Heading to the Akron Beacon Journal, George M. Thomas talks about ESPN taking SportsCenter live in the mornings starting in August.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press also writes about the live morning SportsCenters.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Brewers hit the national TV spotlight this weekend thanks to its interleague matchup with the Red Sox.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune talks with former Toronto Raptors radio voice Chuck Swirsky who’s returning to Chicago as the radio voice of the Bulls.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad tells us that the family of Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad is looking to buy more radio stations.
Paul Christian from the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says NBC Sports likes the fact that there is a clear cut favorite in this year’s Preakness Stakes.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News wonders why some TV announcers won’t admit they’re wrong after seeing the replay.
From the North County Times, John Maffei writes about Hannah Storm returning to sports TV as an anchor in ESPN SportsCenter’s live morning block.
Over to the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle talks about NBC’s roundtable discussion of horse racing during its coverage of the Preakness.
John Scheibe of the Los Angeles Times also writes about the NBC roundtable talk about Eight Belles in the weekly Sound and Vision column.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says ESPN feels the need to send out press releases at breakneck speed. In his media notes, Tom says hearing Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons on Dodgers road games makes him yearn for Vin Scully. One side note, Tom has picked up on Hannah Storm’s sexy poses, something I noted earlier this week.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that Canada’s all-sports cable channels are making good money.
The State’s Doug Nye talks with the long time radio voice of Clemson baseball.
Barry Jackson from the now Dan Le Batard-less Miami Herald says the NBA continues to keep the real NBA Draft Lottery off camera.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel is a fan of interleague play and finds an ESPN MLB analyst who agrees with him.
Over to the Houston Chronicle where David Barron says colleague Jerome Solomon has been dropped by sports radio station KFNC.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says ESPN is competing against itself with its upcoming live morning SportsCenters in August.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says headbands are now a big part of the NBA’s sales.
In his Sports Marketing and Public Relations blog, Joe Favorito says there are plenty niche sites to get your sports news.
The Big Lead says Yahoo! Sports was the most visited sports website in April closely followed by ESPN.com.
Awful Announcing likes ESPN’s promos for Euro 2008.
In case you missed it from earlier this week, the Sox & Dawgs blog has the video of Manny making a catch in Baltimore, high fiving a fan in the stands, then throwing the ball into the infield for a double play.
That’s going to do it. Back later.