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

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Week That Was: July 7, 2019

Welcome back to The Week That Was, where nothing is made up but you can still argue that some of the points don't matter.


Bob Costas
called the 450th national MLB telecast of his career on Tuesday, July 2, in a Subway Series game between the Mets and Yankees. He's the 11th person to hit that plateau. The mark also comes in his 442nd game as a play-by-play announcer, matching Dizzy Dean for fifth-most on record. Analyst Jim Kaat and reporter Tom Verducci were on hand for the historic moment.

Tom Verducci, meanwhile, made his 350th national MLB appearance on Saturday in the Angels-Astros tilt. He becomes the 20th person to hit that mark, doing it with 186 games of color commentary and 164 games as the field reporter. Play-by-play man Don Orsillo and reporter Jon Morosi rounded out the telecast.

(We may again have as many as four milestones in this space next week, despite the All-Star Break.)

Database Updates:

In the process of scrubbing our MLB database to remove games that were scheduled but never played, we have removed four rainouts.

  • August 21, 1954: Phillies-Dodgers on ABC (Dizzy Dean, Buddy Blattner) 
  • July 13, 1957: Reds-Dodgers on CBS (Dizzy Dean, Buddy Blattner)
  • September 23, 1961: Orioles-White Sox on CBS (Dizzy Dean, Pee Wee Reese)
  • May 6, 1962: Dodgers-Pirates on NBC (Bob Wolff, Joe Garagiola)
This drops Dean's total from 442 play-by-play games to 439 and from 445 total games to 442. Garagiola's figures fall by one, to 390 color and 645 total. Reese also decrements a single game to 335 appearances.

This Date In History:

Wednesday, July 10 saw two teams carry no-hitters into the seventh inning on national MLB telecasts in 2016. The Mets' Stephen Matz went 7.1 innings without allowing a National to reach safely on TBS; that evening, Madison Bumgarner blanked the Diamondbacks for 7.1 innings in Phoenix.

This week also has two no-hitters broken up in the ninth: Nolan Ryan on July 13, 1979, in a Yankees-Angels game on ABC, and five Padres pitchers against the Dodgers on July 9, 2011, on Fox.

This Week in the Tennis Section:

Second-week action at Wimbledon. The Big Three of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal lead the men's field, which is guaranteed an American in the quarterfinals. Six of the top 11 seeds are left on the women's side where the story has been 15-year-old phenom Coco Gauff.

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 8
No official national telecasts. Wimbledon round of 16 on ESPN and ESPN2. Home Run Derby on ESPN.

Tuesday, July 9
8:00a -- ESPN and ESPN2 -- Wimbledon: women's quarterfinals
10:00a -- ESPN and ESPN2 -- Wimbledon: women's quarterfinals
8:00 -- Fox -- MLB All-Star Game

Wednesday, July 10
8:00a -- ESPN and ESPN2 -- Wimbledon: men's quarterfinals
11:00a -- ESPN and ESPN2 -- Wimbledon: women's quarterfinals

Thursday, July 11
8:00a -- ESPN -- Wimbledon: women's semifinal
10:00a -- ESPN -- Wimbledon: women's semifinal
8:00 -- ESPN -- Astros at Rangers

Friday, July 12
8:00a -- ESPN -- Wimbledon: men's semifinal
11:00a -- ESPN -- Wimbledon: men's semifinal
7:00 -- ESPN -- DC United vs. Revolution
9:00 -- UniMas and UDN -- Dynamo vs. LAFC
11:00 -- UniMas and UDN -- Galaxy vs. Earthquakes

Saturday, July 13
9:00a -- ESPN -- Wimbledon: women's final
4:00 -- FS1 -- White Sox at Athletics
7:15 -- Fox -- Dodgers at Red Sox
7:15 -- Fox -- Giants at Brewers
7:15 -- Fox -- Nationals at Phillies

Sunday, July 14
9:00a -- ESPN -- Wimbledon: men's final
1:00 -- TBS -- Nationals at Phillies
4:00 -- ESPN -- Sounders vs. Atlanta United
6:30 -- FS1 -- Red Bulls vs. NYCFC
7:00 -- ESPN -- Dodgers at Red Sox

Monday, July 1, 2019

Wimbledon Schedule: July 1, 2019

32 men's singles first-round matches (88 hours)
32 women's singles first-round matches (53.3 hours)64 matches (141.3 hours) of tennis
17 initial warmups (2.8 hours)
47 changes between matches (15.7 hours)

159.8 hours of court activity
(Wimbledon does its post-match interviews off court.)

Men's singles: 16 seeds, 4 Americans
Women's singles: 16 seeds, 12 Americans

Weather: Sunny changing to cloudy by lunchtime. High of 70.

Sunset: 4:21 p.m. EDT

TV: ESPN, 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

My guesses as to ESPN's featured matches:

6 a.m. - Keys/Kumkhum
8 a.m. - Djokovic/Kohlschreiber
10 a.m. - Zverev/Vesely
(Osaka/Putintseva if needed to fill a gap here)
1 p.m. - V.Williams/Gauff