Is this the quietest Opening Day you’ve ever seen? Usually, there’s more hype over baseball Opening Day, but I really haven’t seen much promotion except for ESPN’s during the NCAA Women’s Tournament. Anyway, as baseball opens Wednesday, the TV partners for MLB ramp up and get ready for their openers. Fox will have three games on Saturday and it means the return of Fang’s Bites counting the games that Joe Buck will call during the regular season. Last year, he did 14 out of 26 regular season games for Fox.
We see that he’s calling Saturday’s Detroit-Yankees game which will go to most of the country. Here’s the schedule for the season premiere of MLB on Fox.
FOX SPORTS NOTES, QUOTES & ANECDOTES
MLB on FOX Comes Out Swinging for 16th Season Saturday at 4:00 PM ET
2011 Premiere Features Yankees/Tigers, Giants/Dodgers, Padres/Cardinals
Buck, McCarver & Karros Break Down Chances of Giants Repeating, On and Off-Field Problems with Mets, Pujols Contract and Mattingly’s Rookie Manager Season
MLB ON FOX THROWS OUT FIRST PITCH OF ’11 SATURDAY – The multi Emmy Award-winning FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK returns for its 16th season on Saturday, April 2 at 4:00 PM ET with live regional coverage of three exciting matchups. Week one takes FOX Sports to the South Bronx as Derek Jeter and the Yankees begin their pursuit of championship No. 28 against Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers. In Los Angeles, the defending champion Giants begin their quest of repeating against their most heated rivals, the Dodgers. In St. Louis, Albert Pujols as the Cardinals host the Padres. Pregame originates live from Dodgers Stadium, with host Chris Rose. Once game action begins, Rose joins the game crew including Kenny Albert and Eric Karros as a field reporter.
For instant updates throughout the week and during games from the entire MLB on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MLBONFOX. Fans can gain more access to exclusive FOX Sports content by logging on to www.facebook.com/foxsports and www.myspace.com/foxsports.
SATURDAY, APRIL 2 – 4:00 PM ET
Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees – Joe Buck, Tim McCarver & Ken Rosenthal, going to 59% of USA
Yankee Stadium – Bronx, NY
Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Miami, Minneapolis, Mobile, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, San Antonio, Seattle, Tampa, Washington, West Palm Beach
Probable Pitchers: Brad Penny, RHP (3-4, 3.23 ERA vs. A.J. Burnett, RHP (10-15, 5.26 ERA)
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenny Albert & Eric Karros, going to 20% of USA
Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles, CA
Albuquerque, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco
Probable Pitchers: Matt Cain, RHP (13-11, 3140 ERA) vs. Ted Lilly, LHP (10-12, 3.62 ERA)
San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals – Thom Brennaman & Mark Grace, going to 20% of USA
Busch Stadium – St. Louis, MO
Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oklahoma City, San Diego, St. Louis, Tulsa
Probable Pitchers: Clayton Richard, LHP (14-9, 3.75) vs. Jake Westbrook, RHP (10-11, 4.22 ERA)
PLAY BALL – BUCK, KARROS, MCCARVER AND SHANKS PREVIEW 2011 SEASON — During yesterday’s MLB on FOX season preview press call, play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, analyst Eric Karros, analyst Tim McCarver and FOX Sports Media Group Co-President & COO Eric Shanks looked ahead at some of the stories of the 2011 season.
BUCK ON ALBERT PUJOLS’ CONTRACT SITUATION: “It has the potential of getting really ugly. The Cardinals should’ve taken care of two years ago before Ryan Howard signed a $25M a year contract. Howard’s deal changed everything. If Albert Pujols is steadfast on wanting a contract anywhere close to 10 years in length, I don’t see the Cardinals being able to do it and they shouldn’t do it. If they can overpay him for a shorter duration, that would make more sense to me. I think the Cubs are right at the top of list of teams for him. They can say ‘here, change the perception of our club.” The other one might be the Mets, depending on what happens with that ownership situation. At the end of this process, it comes down to how bad he wants to be a St. Louis Cardinal. If the answer is, ‘eh, kind of,” then I think he’s gone.”
McCARVER ON THE METS: “I feel the Wilpons will have to sell the ball club. I don’t see how they can escape just by selling a minority stake where they won’t allow any control. It’s a deplorable situation and I would not want to be a player on that team right now. All the questions surrounding the team will be about the off the field problems and it’s very difficult to play under those circumstances. I can’t see the Mets doing a lot on the field but if they finish second or a close third it wouldn’t surprise me as far as their talent on the field.”
KARROS ON THE RANGERS: “I don’t think the road will be as easy as it was last year. The Oakland A’s are better, the Angels will be better if Kendry Morales gets back soon but I think the Rangers still win the division. I like Adrian Beltre a lot. I played with him when he was a youngster and he’s as good of third baseman as there is in the league.”
McCARVER ON THE RANGERS’ MICHAEL YOUNG: “Is there any guy in baseball who has been any more of a team player than Michael Young? He’s moved from second to short to third and now he’s asked to DH. He’s been an All-Star at two of the positions. He has been a guy who has accepted it and continues to accept it. He is the quintessential team player.”
McCARVER ON THE YANKEES: “I don’t think the concern should be whether Derek Jeter gets 180 or 220 hits. The real emphasis should be put on A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and whether Ivan Nova can win 13 games. If the Yankees are going to be successful it’s not going to be the success of Derek Jeter, it’s going to be the success if their pitching staff.”
KARROS ON MATTINGLY AS FIRST-YEAR MANAGER: “If I’m a rookie manager, would I rather manage the Pirates or Dodgers? I’d take this Dodger job 10 out of 10 times. He has a roster full of talented players. I think he will do well but I’m not sure what his style is. When he first faces adversity, we’ll get a real idea of him.”
KARROS ON THE GIANTS: “I think the Giants have improved their ball club from last year. I don’t say that because they went out and got guys but because they’ll have Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey for the entire year. Mark DeRosa can spell want Juan Uribe did last year. The Giants are that much deeper and better than everyone else in the division. They would have to be a lot of things go wrong for them not to repeat in the division. ”
McCARVER ON GIANTS: “Tim Lincecum is going to get off to the best start of any pitcher in the major leagues. His spring was astounding. With two Cy Young’s under his belt, I think he’s going to win his third.”
FOXSPORTS.COM MLB LIVE SHOW TONIGHT! – Beginning tonight, FOXSports.com goes LIVE for a final hour-long MLB spring training breakdown. Host Brian Webber is joined by analysts Kevin Kennedy, Jim Bowden and Mike Harmon from Los Angeles. In between breaking-down each and every division, FOXSports.com airs exclusive interviews with Dodgers star Andre Ethier, White Sox slugger Adam Dunn and Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood with MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal from earlier in spring training. Kennedy, Bowden and Harmon also take questions via @MLBONFOX twitter or by emailing email@example.com.
Beginning tonight, fans can click here to access: http://tinyurl.com/4km7wdq
FOX SPORTS AND STAND UP TO CANCER COME TOGETHER TO FIGHT CANCER – During the 2011 MLB on FOX season, the network supports “Stand Up To Cancer” an organization that utilizes resources from the film and media industry to support a new model of cancer research. SU2C’s mission is to fund groundbreaking, collaborative research to accelerate treatments to patients. MLB on FOX, along with FOX Sports’ 14 regional cable channels will support the charity with on-air mentions. In addition, talent will wear SU2C pins and Public Service Announcements will run next month across News Corporation’s family of channels. For more information please visit standup2cancer.org/foxsports.
ROSENTHAL STEPS TO THE PLATE FOR THE BOW TIE CAUSE — Beginning this Saturday and throughout the 2011 MLB on FOX season, FOX Sports reporter and FOXSports.com senior MLB columnist Ken Rosenthal will proudly sport a bowtie – but why? Through the bowtie, Rosenthal is supporting “The Bow Tie Cause,” a philanthropic initiative created by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones in honor of Jones’ best friend Kunta Littlejohn. Littlejohn was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1999 and is in full remission today. Jones’ company has produced bow ties that represent a number of nationally known charities, from Livestrong to Ronald McDonald House to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. More bow ties are in development, including one for Stand Up to Cancer, MLB on FOX’s charity for 2011. Each Friday, FOXSports.com unveils the bow tie Rosenthal will wear on that Saturday’s broadcast, along with a description of the charity and how to get involved.
For the complete story told by Rosenthal on how the Bowtie initiative at FOX started click here: http://tinyurl.com/4uh6sat
And that is all.