Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fox, ESPN Share All-Star Spotlight

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fox, ESPN Share All-Star Spotlight

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

Fox and ESPN will vie for the attention at this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

ESPN gets the early jump by televising the 2007 XM All-Star Futures Game today (4 p.m.) on ESPN2. Among the participants are Jacksonville Suns shortstop Chin-Lung Hu (World team) and Suns manager John Shoemaker, who will serve as a coach for the World Team.

ESPN will also televise Monday's Home Run Derby (8 p.m.) which will be aired on ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com. Chris Berman will host the show, with analysis from Joe Morgan and Dusty Baker along with interviews and reports from Peter Gammons and Erin Andrews. In addition, Kenny Mayne will be kayaking in McCovey Cove beyond the right-field bleachers with "Scuba Cam" -- a hand-held camera positioned in the water -- to capture the atmosphere from the bay.

Fox holds the rights to Tuesday's game. The network's top sports announcer, Joe Buck, and veteran baseball analyst Tim McCarver will call the game. Both offered opinions on the controversial topic of the All-Star Game deciding which league receives home-field advantage in the World Series.

"Before this was the format, it was more of a TV show. It really contained no strategy," Buck said in a teleconference.

"Now, it makes it a lot more fun and interesting because there is strategy involved. 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."

Added 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 Devil Rays 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, 'Let's win this for David Oritz so the Red Sox can have home-field advantage in the World Series. …

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