After three consecutive primetime windows, Fox Saturday Baseball heads back to its regular 4 p.m. timeslot. I have to admit, I liked having the Fox games at night with a whole slew of afternoon games that were made available on MLB.TV and MLB Extra Innings. Fox did quite well in the last primetime window getting its highest ratings in three years.
And Joe Buck will be working what in essence is a home game for him. He’ll call the Chicago Cubs-St. Louis game with Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal. That means he’ll have worked 7 out of a possible 10 weeks for Fox which I think is pretty good for him. With the NFL lockout, Joe might keep going, we’ll have to wait and see.
Here is the schedule which includes the regional splits and announcing assignments. Fox is back to carrying three games this week after a record six last Saturday night.
NL Central Rivals Collide This Saturday As MLB on FOX Returns to 4:00 PM ET
BIG BATS HIGHLIGHT FOX’S AFTERNOON MLB SLATE – Returning to its afternoon timeslot, the FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK presents three National League matchups on Saturday, June 4 (4:00 PM ET). Two classic, Midwest rivals meet as Albert Pujols and the Cardinals welcome the Cubs to St. Louis. Out west, the Giants continue to adjust to life without Buster Posey. The defending champs are still in the thick of the NL West race and host Carlos Gonzalez and the potent Rockies. Things have calmed down a bit in Los Angeles and the Dodgers have been playing better baseball. Andre Ethier and a surging Matt Kemp lead the boys in blue into Cincinnati to face NL HR and RBI-leader Jay Bruce and the Reds. The MLB on FOX pregame originates live from the AT&T Park in San Francisco, with host Chris Rose. Once game action begins, Rose joins Kenny Albert and Mark Grace 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.
MOROSI: TWINS CAN’T RISK LOSING MAUER LONG-TERM – Injuries have limited Joe Mauer to just nine games for the Minnesota Twins this season. As FOXSports.com national MLB writer Jon Paul Morosi points out, the last place Twins must consider the long-term with Mauer. “I can’t see the wisdom in him putting on a chest protector again this year. The player is too valuable. The season is too hopeless. Any cost/benefit analysis comes down on the side of Mauer doing anything but catch for the Twins between now and October,” said Morosi. “At the core of this issue is that Mauer is in the first season of an eight-year, $184 million extension. Mauer is 28 now. He will be 35 when the contract expires. He is a long-term asset, at a time when short-term performance is of little overall benefit. There is inherent risk when a team’s franchise player is its everyday catcher. I’m not suggesting Mauer should give up catching for good. I am saying he shouldn’t catch again this year. That’s an important distinction.”
For Morosi’s full analysis, click here: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/joe-mauer-too-valuable-for-minnesota-twins-to-let-catch-in-2011-053111.
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals, Joe Buck, Tim McCarver & Ken Rosenthal, going to 72% of USA
Busch Stadium – St. Louis, MO
MARKETS INCLUDE: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, San Antonio, St. Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, Washington, West Palm Beach
Probable Pitchers: Ryan Dempster, RHP (4-4, 6.00 ERA) vs. TBA
Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants, Kenny Albert & Mark Grace, going to 15% of USA
AT&T Park – San Francisco, CA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle
Probable Pitchers: Jhoulys Chacin, RHP (5-4, 3.33 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner, LHP (2-6, 3.66 ERA)
Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds, Thom Brennaman & Eric Karros, going to 12% of USA
Great American Ballpark – Cincinnati, OH
MARKETS INCLUDE: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville
Probable Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw. LHP (6-3, 2.62 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto, RHP (2-2, 2.20 ERA)
One more Fox Sports press release is coming up.