Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Week That Was: September 1, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where we feel like it was August as recently as yesterday.


Tuesday, Aug. 27 saw Bob Costas call his 450th national MLB telecast as a play-by-play announcer when the Cubs visited the Mets in Flushing Meadows. Jim Kaat and Joe Girardi rounded out the telecast's crew. Costas is the fifth person to 450 play-by-play appearances, trailing Jon Miller, Joe Buck, Dave O'Brien and Dan Shulman.

Later that same evening, Eric Karros called his 225th game as an MLB analyst, passing Maury Wills for 13th among color commentators. Justin Kutcher handled the play-by-play for the Rangers-Angels telecast from Orange County.

This Day In History:

September 5: As of Thursday night, it will have been 47 years since the infamous day in Munich. I yield the balance of my time to Jim McKay, who delivered this summary at 10:24 p.m. EDT:

"When I was a kid, my father used to say our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized. Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said that there were 11 hostages. Two were killed in their rooms this m—yesterday morning. Nine were killed at the airport tonight.

"They’re all gone."

This Week in the Tennis Section:

The second week of the year's fourth major at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. Quarterfinals begin Tuesday, with the women wrapping up Thursday-Saturday and the men Friday-Sunday.

This Week on the Playoff of Dreams:

On hiatus because our time is being taken up by tennis and football; will return on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The Week That Will Be:

Monday, Sept. 2
1:00 -- ESPN -- Rangers at Yankees
4:00 -- ESPN -- Astros at Brewers

Tuesday, Sept. 3
12:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal
2:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal
7:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal
8:00 -- ESPN2 -- USWNT vs. Portugal at St. Paul, Minn.
9:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal

Wednesday, Sept. 4
12:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal
1:00 -- YouTube -- Mets at Nationals
2:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal
7:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal
9:00 -- ESPN -- US Open quarterfinal

Thursday, Sept. 5
7:00 -- ESPN -- US Open women's semifinal (Tuesday winners)
7:00 -- YouTube -- Blue Jays at Rays
8:20 -- NBC -- Bears at Packers
9:00 -- ESPN -- US Open women's semifinal (Wednesday winners)

Friday, Sept. 6
4:00 -- ESPN -- US Open men's semifinal (Tuesday winners)
7:00 -- ESPN -- US Open men's semifinal (Wednesday winners)
8:30 -- FS1 -- USMNT vs. Mexico at East Rutherford, N.J.

Saturday, Sept. 7
3:30 -- Univision/TUDN -- NYCFC vs. Revolution
4:00 -- FS1 -- Yankees at Red Sox
4:00 -- ESPN -- US Open women's final
7:00 -- FS1 -- Phillies at Mets

Sunday, Sept. 8
1:00 -- TBS -- Phillies at Mets
1:00 -- Fox -- Rams at Panthers
1:00 -- CBS -- Titans at Browns
1:00 -- CBS -- Chiefs at Jaguars
1:00 -- CBS -- Ravens at Dolphins
1:00 -- Fox -- Falcons at Vikings
1:00 -- CBS -- Bills at Jets
1:00 -- Fox -- Redskins at Eagles
4:00 -- ESPN -- US Open men's final
4:05 -- CBS -- Colts at Chargers
4:05 -- CBS -- Bengals at Seahawks
4:25 -- Fox -- Lions at Cardinals
4:25 -- Fox -- Giants at Cowboys
4:25 -- Fox -- 49ers at Buccaneers
8:00 -- ESPN -- Yankees at Red Sox
8:20 -- NBC -- Steelers at Patriots

(Monday night: Texans at Saints, Broncos at Raiders)

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Week That Was: Aug. 25, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where we have just experienced our last weekend until February with neither the NFL nor Grand Slam tennis.


FC Dallas, formerly known as the Dallas Burn, played its 200th nationally-televised MLS game on Sunday night against the Houston Dynamo.

Dallas is the sixth or seventh team to that milestone; ironically, Houston is the team in question, depending on whether you count the Dynamo (2006-present) as an expansion team or the successor to the 1996-2005 San Jose entry.

Please send help as we have devolved into bookkeeping minutiae.

(This section eagerly awaits the return of football season, where every game is televised and we are two weeks from invoking the name of Frank Gifford.)

Database Updates:

Oct. 18, 1987: Dave Lapham replaces Dave Casper on the Browns-Bengals telecast for NBC. Jay Randolph was the PBP man. 506sports user ak482 does the digging here.

This Week in the Tennis Section:

The year's fourth major begins in Flushing Meadows, New York, and the grounds are pretty much packed for the first four days with 64 matches per day. Novak Djokovic is guaranteed the no. 1 men's ranking at the end of the fortnight while any one of four women could do the deed.

Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova is the marquee first-round match; ESPN is plugging that coverage for 7:45 Monday night.

ESPN has the television rights. Daytime coverage is on the mothership every day except Saturday, while primetime is split between ESPN2 (Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday) and ESPN (Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday).

This Week on the Playoff of Dreams:

We move to 1912. Boston and Chicago meet in the American League while Chicago and Pittsburgh play out the string for the right to meet the New York Giants.

The Week That Will Be:

Monday, Aug. 26
3:00 -- YouTube -- Braves at Rockies
7:00 -- ESPN -- Cardinals at Brewers
10:00 -- ESPN -- Yankees at Mariners

Tuesday, Aug. 27
7:00 -- MLBN -- Cubs at Mets
10:00 -- FS1 -- Rangers at Angels

Wednesday, Aug. 28
None scheduled.

Thursday, Aug. 29
7:00 -- FS1 -- USWNT vs. Portugal at Philadelphia

Friday, Aug. 30
7:00 -- MLBN -- Athletics at Yankees

Saturday, Aug. 31
6:00 -- FS1 -- Mets at Phillies

Sunday, Sept. 1
1:00 -- TBS -- Athletics at Yankees
6:00 -- FS1 -- Sounders vs. Galaxy
7:00 -- ESPN -- Mets at Phillies

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Week That Was: Aug. 18, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where we're two weeks away from the beginning of the only sport where every game makes the databases.


The Brewers-Pirates game on Wednesday, Aug. 7, was the 11,500th MLB telecast in our database. Jon Sciambi, David Ross and Ryan Howard called it for ESPN.

On Saturday, Aug. 10, Eric Karros was the analyst for his 224th MLB national telecast, a Phillies-Giants game from San Francisco on FS1 with Eric Collins. That broke a tie with Bob Brenly and Jeff Torborg for 14th on the MLB analyst list, but created a new tie for 13th with Maury Wills.

Less than 24 hours later on Sunday, Aug. 11, Ron Darling took hold of #11 on the same analyst list, breaking a tie with Orel Hershiser as he broke down the Angels and Red Sox from Fenway Park. Ernie Johnson was the play-by-play man on TBS.

Friday, Aug. 16, was Jon Morosi's turn in the spotlight for the second straight post. He handled field-reporter duties for an Indians-Yankees game in New York, moving him past Chris Myers into 10th place on the list of MLB field reporters. It was his 74th such game.

Kenny Albert assumed the title of 15th-most-frequent MLB commentator on Saturday, Aug. 17, with the Brewers-Nationals game on FS1. With Albert's 405th national MLB game, he passed Gary Thorne to take that spot, working alongside Joe Girardi and Ken Rosenthal.

Database Updates:

Dec. 4, 1990: Ron Thulin and Hubie Brown move from guesses to confirmations on the Suns-Bulls game.

This Date In History:

Thursday, Aug. 15 marked the 29th anniversary of Terry Mulholland's no-hitter, called for ESPN by Steve Zabriskie and Bob Gibson.

This Week in the Tennis Section:

Nothing this week as the tours play low-level events in New York and Winston-Salem ahead of next week's US Open.

This Week on the Playoff of Dreams:

The 1911 World Series began Saturday between the Tigers and Giants.

The Week That Will Be:

Monday, Aug. 19
None scheduled.

Tuesday, Aug. 20
10:00 -- ESPN -- Yankees at Athletics

Wednesday, Aug. 21
3:30 -- YouTube -- Rockies at Diamondbacks
8:00 -- TUDN-UDN -- DC United vs. Red Bulls
10:00 -- ESPN -- Yankees at Athletics
10:30 -- TUDN-UDN -- LAFC vs. Earthquakes

Thursday, Aug. 22
9:30 -- ESPN -- Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United

Friday, Aug. 23
8:00 -- ESPN -- Orlando City vs. Atlanta United
10:00 -- ESPN -- Timbers vs. Sounders

Saturday, Aug. 24
4:00 -- FS1 -- Yankees at Dodgers
7:00 -- FS1 -- Rockies at Cardinals
7:00 -- ESPN2 -- NYCFC vs. Red Bulls

Sunday, Aug. 25
2:00 -- TBS -- Nationals at Cubs
6:00 -- FS1 -- Cincinnati vs. Crew
7:00 -- ESPN -- Yankees at Dodgers
8:00 -- FS1 -- Dallas vs. Dynamo
10:00 -- FS1 -- LAFC vs. Galaxy

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Week That Was: Aug. 4, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where last week had an off night and this week has two.


On Monday night, Jon Morosi handled MLB field-reporting duties for the 73rd time as the Angels hosted the Tigers on YouTube. Morosi's 73rd game in that capacity matched Chris Myers for the 10th-most on record.

Tuesday night's Cubs-Cardinals tilt was a double milestone, as John Smoltz passed Buck Martinez for sixth on the list of MLB color commentators with his 353rd game and Bob Costas tied Dan Shulman for 10th on the total list with his 454th game. Jackie Redmond was the field reporter.

Costas went on to pass Shulman on Friday night with the Red Sox-Yankees game.

Finally, on Sunday, Ron Darling worked the Brewers-Cubs game at Wrigley Field alongside Brian Anderson for TBS. His 228th game as a national color commentator tied Orel Hershiser for 11th on that list.

Database Updates:

Oct. 25, 1979: Don Meredith, not Fran Tarkenton, worked Monday Night Football with Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell at the Oakland Coliseum.

This Date In History:

Friday, Aug. 9 is the 31st anniversary of the first official night game at Wrigley Field. While you may have seen the YouTube footage of the first night game's pomp and circumstance on Aug. 8, that game was rained out and the one that counted was 24 hours later. Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola called it and Marv Albert hosted on site.

This Week in the Tennis Section:

We return to the men's Masters 1000 events and the women's Premier tier in the Rogers Cup at Toronto and Montreal.

This Week on the Playoff of Dreams:

Beginning on Saturday, it's the 1911 League Championship Series.

The Week That Will Be:

Monday, Aug. 5
8:00 -- ESPN -- Athletics at Cubs

Tuesday, Aug. 6
None scheduled.

Wednesday, Aug. 7
3:00 -- YouTube -- Cardinals at Dodgers
7:00 -- ESPN -- Brewers at Pirates

Thursday, Aug. 8
9:30 -- YouTube -- Phillies at Giants

Friday, Aug. 9
None scheduled.

Saturday, Aug. 10
4:00 -- FS1 -- Phillies at Giants
8:30 -- FS1 -- Rockies at Pirates

Sunday, Aug. 11
1:00 -- TBS -- Angels at Red Sox
4:00 -- ESPN -- Atlanta United vs. NYCFC
7:00 -- ESPN -- Phillies at Giants
7:30 -- FS1 -- DC United vs. Galaxy
10:00 -- FS1 -- LAFC vs. Red Bulls

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Week That Was: July 28, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where we'd really like to know where the summer has gone as August arrives this week.


Thursday night marked John Smoltz's 350th game as an MLB national-telecast analyst, making him the 21st person to reach that point. Since all of Smoltz's national appearances in the booth have been as an analyst, he also became the seventh analyst to reach the 350 mark.

Tom Verducci served as the field reporter for that Yankees-Red Sox affair, calling his 355th game overall to match Buck Martinez for 19th-most on record. Bob Costas was the play-by-play man.

Thursday's game was also the 300th MLB Network-produced telecast.

On Saturday, both ends of the FS1 doubleheader included milestones. Smoltz called the Yankees-Red Sox game with Joe Davis and Ken Rosenthal, tying Buck Martinez for sixth on the MLB analyst list with his 352nd game. Three hours later, Kenny Albert worked his 404th MLB telecast (Astros-Cardinals with Tom Verducci), tying Gary Thorne for 15th on record.

Database Updates:

The good news is that we're up to 2018 in our effort to put a Retrosheet ID on each game in our MLB listings. The bad news is that, in the process, we're catching a number of errors. The good news is that those errors are getting fixed.

May 15, 1994: The Blue Jays' visit to Fenway Park was rained out. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan were slated to call the game for ESPN.

July 4 and 27, 1994: ESPN lost a pair of alternate telecasts — Pirates-Braves and Indians-Oriolesm respectively — with Dave Sims and Jim Rooker standing by.

August 5, 1995: The Phillies and Reds were rained off of ABC; George Grande and Chris Wheeler were to split the call under the banner of The Baseball Network.

September 22, 1995: NBC lost two of its Friday night games, Tigers-Yankees and Blue Jays-Red Sox, due to rain. The slated talent was Bobby Murcer and Lary Sorenson on the former game and Gary Thorne with Bob Montgomery on the latter.

October 20-21, 1996: Adjusted the dates of games 1 and 2 of the World Series, which didn't begin until Sunday due to a rainout.

July 16, 2000: The Athletics and Rockies were washed out in Denver. This was to have been an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game called by Jon Miller and Joe Morgan with Alvaro Martin on the field.

July 19, 2000: The Braves-Marlins telecast met a similar fate in Miami, depriving Dave Barnett and Rick Sutcliffe of their credit for this game.

October 5, 2001: The Phillies-Reds telecast on ESPN2 was rained out. Dan Shulman and Brian McRae were due to call it, which accelerates an upcoming milestone ever so slightly.

April 27, 2005: The Orioles-Red Sox telecast on ESPN was called off; this was to have been called by Dan Shulman, Steve Phillips and Steve Stone with Gary Miller.

August 19, 2007: The Cardinals-Cubs game on Sunday night on ESPN was rained out, which means Jon Miller and Joe Morgan did not call it with Peter Gammons.

This Date In History:

Wednesday, July 31 marks the 12th anniversary of Joe Morgan passing Tony Kubek for the lead on the MLB analyst list. Kubek had held the record since 1978.

Saturday, Aug. 3 is the sixth anniversaty of Tim McCarver passing Kubek for second on the same list.

This Week in the Tennis Section:

Washington hosts the Citi Open, the only 500-point (third-level) men's event on U.S. soil, while the women play in the Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose, California.

This Week on the Playoff of Dreams:

The Tigers meet the Giants in the 1910 World Series, having both been granted entry into the playoffs as division champions even though they didn't have the best record in their league.

The Week That Will Be:

Monday, July 29
7:00 -- ESPN -- Nationals at Braves
10:00 -- YouTube -- Tigers at Angels

Tuesday, July 30
8:00 -- MLBN -- Cubs at Cardinals

Wednesday, July 31
8:00 -- ESPN -- Cubs at Cardinals
8:00 -- FS1 -- MLS All-Star Game vs. Atletico Madrid

Thursday, Aug. 1
No national telecasts (of regular-season games; the NFL Hall of Fame game doesn't count)

Friday, Aug. 2
7:00 -- MLBN -- Red Sox at Yankees

Saturday, Aug. 3
1:00 -- FS1 -- Red Sox at Yankees
4:30 -- Fox -- Atlanta United vs. Galaxy
7:00 -- FS1 -- Angels at Indians
10:00 -- ESPN2 -- Women's soccer: USA vs. Ireland at the Rose Bowl

Sunday, Aug. 4
2:00 -- TBS -- Brewers at Cubs
4:00 -- ESPN -- Minnesota United vs. Timbers
7:00 -- ESPN -- Red Sox at Yankees
7:30 -- FS1 -- DC United vs. Union
10:00 -- FS1 -- Sounders vs. Sporting KC

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Week That Was: July 21, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where we hope you have a happy Reciprocal Pi Day on Monday. (Monday's date is 7/22, the reciprocal of which is 22/7, which is 3.14 to two decimal places.)


As sometimes happens in the summer when only baseball is adding to its list, there were no milestones to report this week. (In the proto-database stage, no MLS milestones of note, either.)

Database Updates:

Moved Broncos-Chiefs of October 6, 1974, forward from 4:00 ET to 2:00 ET based on the Montreal Gazette.

The analyst for the Broncos-Raiders game on December 26, 1982, has been corrected from Merlin Olsen to Gene Washington. 506sports user 49ersrock has the tape.

Made several updates to NBA sideline reporters, thanks to Classic TV Sports honcho Jeff Haggar watching YouTube:

  • May 7, 1989: Added Tim Brant to Sonics-Lakers
  • May 20, 1989: Replaced Pat O'Brien with James Brown on Suns-Lakers
  • May 21, 1989: Replaced James Brown with Lesley Visser on Bulls-Pistons
Added Canadiens-Islanders to the Canadian NHL listings on Jan. 30, 1988, per a promo on Penguins-Canadiens the previous week. It was a CBC regional telecast, in other words Hockey Night in Canada, with Dick Irvin and Brian McFarlane. 506sports user sew091472 with the find.

Added Canadiens-Penguins to the Canadian NHL listings on Oct. 14, 1989. The CBC regional telecast was called by Dick Irvin and John Garrett with Chris Cuthbert on intermissions. 506sports user garretta with the find.

The Mets-Reds game on May 28, 1990, was rained out. We have removed this from our database, subtracting one game each from Jon Miller and Joe Morgan.

The ESPN baseball doubleheader of August 3, 1990, was listed on August 2 in our database. This has been corrected.

The Expos-Mets game on Sept. 19, 1990, was rained out. Gary Thorne and Norm Hitzges are no longer credited with this game.

The Reds-Mets game on Aug. 20, 1991, was rained out. Bob Carpenter and Billy Sample were the scheduled announcers.

The Angels-Rangers game on Sept. 18, 1991, and the Red Sox-Orioles game a week later were both rained out. Paul Olden and Bill Robinson have been removed from the announcer listings.

This Date In History:

Thursday, July 25 will mark 15 years since Jon Miller passed Dizzy Dean for the most national MLB telecasts by a play-by-play announcer. Dean had held the record from 1953 until that day in 2004. Rick Sutcliffe and Sam Ryan rounded out the crew for that Yankees-Red Sox game on ESPN; Joe Morgan was at the Hall of Fame induction.

This Week in the Tennis Section:

The BB&T Atlanta Open, in exactly the city you'd expect to host the Atlanta Open.

This Week on the Playoff of Dreams:

The 1910 League Championship Series get underway with the Giants meeting the Cubs and the Athletics facing the Tigers.

The Week That Will Be:

Monday, July 22
7:00 -- ESPN -- Red Sox at Rays

Tuesday, July 23
12:30 -- YouTube -- Indians at Blue Jays

Wednesday, July 24
8:00 -- ESPN -- Yankees at Twins

Thursday, July 25
7:00 -- MLBN -- Red Sox at Yankees

Friday, July 26
7:00 -- MLBN -- Red Sox at Yankees
7:30 -- FS1 -- NYCFC vs. Sporting KC
10:00 -- ESPN -- LAFC vs. Atlanta United

Saturday, July 27
4:00 -- FS1 -- Yankees at Red Sox
7:00 -- FS1 -- Astros at Cardinals
10:30 -- FS1 -- Timbers vs. Galaxy

Sunday, July 28
1:30 -- TBS -- Dodgers at Nationals
7:00 -- ESPN -- Yankees at Red Sox

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Week That Was: July 14, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where we'd like to remind you that you aren't supposed to eat the little packets of silica gel that come in your shoes.


A pair of ESPN commentators hit milestones this week on the same games as Matt Vasgersian and Buster Olney double-dipped (Thursday and Sunday) for ESPN. Thursday night, the Astros visited the Rangers, and Sunday night, the Dodgers met the Red Sox. Jessica Mendoza and Alex Rodriguez were the analysts in both cases.

Vasgersian called his 275th and 276th national MLB telecasts, passing Josh Lewin (274) for 15th place and Vin Scully (275) for 14th among known play-by-play men. (Please note that Matty V did not pass Vin Scully on the Being Vin Scully scale, just ... numerically.)

Olney handled field-reporter duties for his 240th and 241st MLB games, tying and then passing Bob Harwood of OLN and Versus for the 12th-most field reporter credits among the four major U.S. sports.

In between those appearances, Eric Karros pulled into a tie for 13th among MLB color commentators on Saturday. The White Sox-Athletics game he called with Justin Kutcher was his 223rd, matching Bob Brenly and Jeff Torborg on that list.

From the Department of Round Numbers: the Thursday game was the Rangers' 600th national TV appearance and the Saturday game was the Athletics' 700th.

Database Updates:

The Padres-Phillies game on May 21, 1983, was rained out. Bob Costas and Tony Kubek are no longer credited with this appearance.

The Royals-Yankees game on July 21, 1983, was also rained out. We have removed that from the database, but it does not affect any top-16 lists.

This Date In History:

Tuesday, July 16 is the 25th anniversary of Joe Buck's network telecast debut. He called a Cardinals-Rockies game on this date in 1994, pairing with Dave Campbell on an ABC regional game. His first NFL game was that fall.

This Week in the Tennis Section:

The Hall of Fame Classic at Newport, Rhode Island. (For the next two weeks, we're claiming home-court advantage and tracking U.S.-based tournaments that don't fit our usual criteria.)

This Week on the Playoff of Dreams:

The 1910 League Championship Series get underway with the Giants meeting the Cubs and the Athletics facing the Tigers. (This is last week's summary as well. We got sort of tied up watching tennis.)

The Week That Will Be:

Monday, July 15
7:00 -- ESPN -- Dodgers at Phillies

Tuesday, July 16
7:00 -- MLB Network -- Dodgers at Phillies

Wednesday, July 17
7:00 -- ESPN -- Rays at Yankees

Thursday, July 18
12:30 -- YouTube -- Dodgers at Phillies
7:00 -- MLB Network -- Rays at Yankees
8:00 -- ESPN -- FC Cincinnati vs. DC United
10:00 -- ESPN -- Timbers vs. Orlando City

Friday, July 19
10:00 -- ESPN -- Galaxy vs. LAFC

Saturday, July 20
4:00 -- FS1 -- Mets at Giants
7:15 -- FS1 -- Nationals at Braves

Sunday, July 21
1:00 -- TBS -- Rockies at Yankees
4:00 -- ESPN -- Atlanta United vs. DC United
7:00 -- ESPN -- Nationals at Braves
7:30 -- FS1 -- Orlando City vs. Red Bulls
9:30 -- FS1 -- Timbers vs. Galaxy