Ratings: MLB All-Star Game Audience Improves on 2019 by 1%

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TVLine 14 July, 2021 - 11:12am 12 views

What time does the MLB All Star Game start tonight?

The finale of 2021 All-Star weekend, the 2021 MLB All-Star Game, is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 13. Expect first pitch to take place just after 8:00 p.m. ET as the pre-game ceremonies and All-Star announcements will take up a decent amount of time beforehand. Sporting NewsWhat time does MLB All-Star Game start? TV schedule, channel to watch 2021 AL vs. NL game

Who won the MVP in the All Star Game?

'Dreams come true': Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins MVP, AL claims eighth straight MLB All-Star Game. DENVER — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is just 22 years old, yet already well-versed in fulfilling destinies. USA TODAY'Dreams come true': Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins MVP, AL claims eighth straight MLB All-Star Game

Who is pitching in the All Star Game?

DENVER — The MLB All-Star game will be on Tuesday evening, with plenty of stars from the two Southland clubs set to take the field. From the Angels, Shohei Ohtani will play both ways, serving as the American League's starting pitcher and designated hitter, batting leadoff. Los Angeles TimesLive coverage of Shohei Ohtani at the MLB all-star game

What network is the MLB All Star Game on?

FOX will once again carry the All-Star Game, as it has since 2001. Sporting NewsWhat channel is the MLB All-Star Game on today? Time, lineups for 2021 AL vs. NL game

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Over 8.2 million fans tuned into the contest, which was started by Ohtani and Max Scherzer. Ohtani also served as a the leadoff hitter for the American League. 

That figure is up slightly compared to 2019, the last time the event was held. 

Despite the excellent young talent on display, there was no guarantee the All-Star Game would see higher ratings in 2021. After the league decided to move the game away from Atlanta due to Georgia's voter restriction laws, some Republicans announced they would boycott the sport.

If Twitter replies are to be believed, other fans vowed to join in on that boycott. If they did, the ploy wasn't as effective as they might have hoped. Baseball simply has too much young talent to keep fans away, and Ohtani and Guerrero — among many others — are hugely responsible for that.

The Blue Jays phenom completely stole the show on Tuesday, socking a massive 468-foot dinger and becoming the youngest ever MLB All-Star Game MVP.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is now the youngest MVP in All-Star Game history.

A Sho-case performance? Ohtani had all eyes on him in Denver during MLB's All-Star events.

Baseball extended Bauer's leave a second time as it awaits more information on the case.

David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyerand Maddie Lee discuss and react to Willson Contreras' comments on the Cubs' effort, and those made by manager David Ross and other Cubs players.

MLB released a video of unaired commentary from Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani during the first round of the Home Run Derby.

With the first half of the season in the books, the Giants passed with flying colors.

Rob Manfred doesn't think the runner-on-second rule or seven-inning doubleheaders are here to stay.

Israel wants foreign aid to Gaza disbursed through a voucher system, as a safeguard against donations being diverted to bolster the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers and their arsenal, a government minister said on Tuesday. Humanitarian agencies put the latest reconstruction costs for the impoverished Gaza Strip at $500 million following 11 days of cross-border fighting in May. Qatar bankrolled more than $1 billion worth of construction and other projects in Gaza, some of it in cash, after a war in 2014.

Fisher was the butt of jokes after being fired by the Rams. But it wasn't all bad during his Titans tenure.

Now this is an All-Star team!

A second Miami-Dade commissioner tested positive for COVID-19 this week, as the virus continues to spread through the legislative body’s staff as well.

Jimmy Johnson knows the challenge facing friend and former colleague Urban Meyer as the latter makes the jump from college to the NFL.

In a meeting intended to reflect the importance of U.S.-German ties, Kamala Harris will hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel at the vice president’s residence Thursday, the first time she has hosted a foreign leader at the Naval Observatory since taking office. At their breakfast meeting, Harris intends to emphasize the need for the allies to confront an array of global challenges, from the coronavirus pandemic and climate change to the threats posed by Russia and China. “It underscores the special nature of this partnership and America’s special role in the world that she is able to host her at her home," said Phil Gordon, the vice president's deputy national security advisor, told The Associated Press.

Picking a winner can be a tough task, so instead of looking at who can win, we're looking at full tournament head-to-head matchups.

Ohtani was aggressive on both sides of the ball, swinging at the first two pitches and set the NL down in order in the bottom of the first.

UPDATE, with video announcement CBS’ daytime show The Talk announced that frequent guest host Jerry O’Connell is joining the show as a permanent co-host. “It’s fun, and it works, and we’re going to have a lot of fun,” the actor said on today’s episode as the announcement was made. Watch the announcement below. O’Connell will […]

An in-state prospect in the Class of 2022 has flipped from a Big 12 program to Arkansas. Gage Wood, a right-handed pitcher from Batesville, was previously committed to Kansas State, but announced Wednesday night that he would instead stay home and play for the Razorbacks. Before last summer, his fastball was just 82-84 mph, but he has transformed his body by attacking the weight room, according to his travel ball coach, Kevin Bohannon.

(Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Alan Estevez, a former Pentagon official, to be the U.S. Commerce Department's undersecretary for industry and security, a key post in the U.S.-China tech battle. The post in the Commerce Department's once-obscure Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) gained attention in recent years as Washington has escalated its use of export controls to keep China from obtaining U.S. technology. During the Trump administration, the bureau restricted U.S. sales to China-based Huawei Technologies.

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2021 MLB All-Star Game as it happened: Shohei Ohtani gets the win for American League

USA TODAY 15 July, 2021 - 02:13am

Shohei Ohtani is the AL's starting pitcher and leadoff hitter, showcasing his generational talent in the Midsummer Classic.

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While there are many contentious debates currently taking place in baseball there is one thing that everyone can agree on: The new All Star jerseys are terrible. USA TODAY

The American League extended its MLB All-Star Game winning streak to eight, getting home runs from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Mike Zunino with starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani picking up the win in a 5-2 victory over the National League on Tuesday at Coors Field.

Ohtani retired all three batters he faced and went 0-for-2 at the plate. The AL opened the scoring in the second inning and didn’t look back, giving Ohtani the win in his first All-Star Game. Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes took the loss and White Sox closer Liam Hendriks got the save.

Guerrero Jr. hit a monstrous solo home run in the third inning and added another RBI in the fifth to earn MVP honors.

The White Sox closer worked around a leadoff single (while mic'd up for the Fox broadcast for some reason) and picked up the save for the AL. It's the eighth consecutive win for the AL, which now holds a 46-43-2 advantage in the series.

Boston's Matt Barnes gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases – bringing the go-ahead run to the plate – with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Kris Bryant's sinking line drive to left on a 3-0 pitch was caught on a nice sliding play by Jared Walsh to end the threat

Jared Walsh saves this one! pic.twitter.com/o3o0va94ma

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Chris Bassitt's pitch skipped away from catcher Mike Zunino allowing Manny Machado to score for the NL.

The Tampa Bay Rays catcher is an All-Star (with a .198 average) but flashed the power that got him to the game, hitting a solo home run off Mets right-hander Taijuan Walker in the top of the sixth.

Mike Zunino is good. #AllStarGamepic.twitter.com/6uA55UOXHB

The Phillies catcher hit a solo home run off Tigers lefty Gregory Soto in the bottom of fifth to cut the NL's deficit to 4-1. Realmuto got the All-Star start after elected story Buster Posey suffered an injury last week that kept him out of the game.

The NL is on the board, courtesy of @JTRealmuto. #AllStarGamepic.twitter.com/xU8ZhNq6s7

The AL jumped out in front in the second inning on Marcus Semien's RBI single, got a solo homer from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s in the third and then added two more in the top of the fifth.

AL pitchers – Shohei Ohtani, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson and Nathan Eovaldi – limited the NL to two hits in the first four innings.

Facing Corbin Burnes in the top of the third inning, Guerrero hit a monstrous home run to left field – while Tatis Jr. was being interviewed at shortstop.

WELCOME TO THE #ALLSTARGAME, VLADDY. pic.twitter.com/h3c93bBMn2

Leading off the game, Ohtani grounded out on a ball that required a nice backhanded play by NL second baseman Adam Frazier. In the bottom of the first, Ohtani set the NL down in order, retiring Fernando Tatis Jr. (fly ball), Max Muncy (ground ball) and Nolan Arenado (ground ball).

He was replaced on the mound for the second inning by Kyle Gibson. Ohtani came to the plate again in the second inning and grounded out to first base on the first pitch.

Filth. pic.twitter.com/qM6UoP3taH

The much-maligned All-Star Game uniforms made their official on-field debut but ... they actually don't look that bad?

Max Scherzer: 7-4, 2.66 ERA, 134 strikeouts in 98 innings

Shohei Ohtani: 4-1, 3.49 ERA, 87 strikeouts in 67 innings

Here comes the classic afternoon rain storms! It’s getting breezy and sprinkling outside Coors Field ahead of the All Star Game pic.twitter.com/HQLaZXJTu3

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. arrived at the MLB All-Star Game with distinctions befitting kings and have exceeded even the most lofty expectations assigned to them. 

"You can’t live your life by what people say or expect you to do," Tatis said. "Every time I go out there to the field, I’m just the same kid playing the game I love and just enjoying it every single time."

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© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

Opinion: 'Simply thankful' Shohei Ohtani calls MLB All-Star Game the most memorable experience of his career

USA TODAY 15 July, 2021 - 02:13am

Angels' Shohei Ohtani wasn't named the MVP, but was still the star of the MLB All-Star Game after starting the game as a pitcher and batting leadoff.

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DENVER –  He wasn’t voted the MVP, that honor went to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

He didn’t get a hit, or even get the ball out of the infield in two plate appearances.

He pitched a 1-2-3 inning, but didn’t strike anyone out.

It didn’t make a lick of difference.

The All-Star Game, won by the American League for the eighth consecutive year, 5-2, still belonged to Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.

Ohtani, the winning pitcher with his one inning of work, was the one who received the loudest ovations throughout Tuesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 49,184 at Coors Field.

“I was simply thankful,’’ Ohtani says, “for all the cheers and support I got.’’

He was the one who drew all of the oohs and aahs with his back-to-back 100-mph fastballs against Nolan Arenado, the fastest recorded pitch since his first start of the season, in his 1-2-3 first inning.

“I was only throwing one inning,’’ shrugged Ohtani.

He was even cheered wildly for his two groundouts, one that was hit smack into the shift.

“I always hit it right to them in the shift,’’ Ohtani said, laughing.

Ohtani, who arrived into town Sunday night, leaves Denver completely exhausted, but couldn’t stop from smiling during his 72-hour binge.

“Definitely it was a lot more tiring compared to the regular season,’’ Ohtani says, “but I had fun.’’

Let’s see, he hit six home runs over 500 feet in the Home Run Derby on Monday night, taking Juan Soto to double overtime, before going out in the first round.

He grounded out to second baseman Adam Frazier in the first inning.

He went to the mound and retired all three batters he faced, throwing six of 14 pitches at 97-mph or faster.

He grounded out to first baseman Freddie Freeman in the third inning.

And he spent the fourth inning standing outside the American League clubhouse, surrounded more than 100 reporters, saying how he had the absolute time of his life.

“I think so far [in my career],’’ Ohtani said, “this has been the best experience, the most memorable.’’

He was nervous, but felt immediately accepted walking into the American League All-Star clubhouse, flanked by his heroes he watched growing up in Japan, including Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

“Before I talked to them,’’ Ohtani said, “they were kind of intimidating. But once I talked to then, everyone was all great. I had a great time meeting everybody.’’

“We were all asking for his autograph,’’ Minnesota Twins All-Star DH Nelson Cruz said. “I got two autograph pictures myself.’’

The Hall of Fame Baseball Museum did even better.

They received his All-Star game cleats, hand guard and foot guard.

The All-Stars spent all weekend marveling over Ohtani, unable to fathom how he’s leading the majors leagues with 33 homers and slugging percentage .698, striking out 11.69 batters per nine innings as a pitcher.

Says Yankees All-Star pitcher Gerrit Cole: “It’s just so marvelous to watch. He’s showing anything’s possible.’’

MIDSUMMER CLASSIC:American League takes eighth straight MLB All-Star Game

OHTANI:Angels All-Star pitches a perfect 1-2-3 inning

SAY WHAT?All-Star uniforms draw pointed comments on social media

If anyone saw this coming, it was Daike Obara, who has known Ohtani since they were eight years old. They grew up together, played baseball together, and were on the same high school baseball team together at Hanamaki Higashi High School in Iwate, Japan.

Obara even has a video on his cell phone showing Ohtani hitting a towering home run at the age of 11, remembering the game that Ohtani once hit four homers off him.

Now, he knows the most popular man in all of Japan, wondering how in the world he could even walk the streets in Japan this winter without being swarmed by fans.

“It’s going to be crazy,’’ Obara tells USA TODAY Sports. “There’s no one bigger in Japan. Every morning in Japan, the day starts with Shohei. Their game is ending by the time we wake up, so everyone turns on the TV and the internet to see how Shohei did. And then everyone spends the day talking about him.’’

And, oh, how they will have someone to talk about Wednesday morning knowing that Ohtani made history by becoming the first player to start a game as a pitcher and a position player.

You’ve got to be awfully special for MLB to change the rules just for him, permitting Ohtani to stay in the game as a DH even after leaving the game as a pitcher following the first inning.

“This was the biggest game in Japan since the ’64 Tokyo Olympics,’’ Obara said. “It means so much to everyone back home.’’

It just adds to the legend, Obara says, even topping that moment at their high-school dormitory when Ohtani woke up late. He rushed out, but at 6-foot-4, his head slammed into the lower door frame.

Ohtani was just fine, and kept running out.

The door frame was completely cracked.

“The crack in that door frame is still there,’’ Obara says. “‘It’s almost an historical landmark now.’’

The legend is just getting started.

“He’s creating the wave, right?’’ Cole says. “He’s in front of the wake. I’m a dreamer. People looking up to Shohei, and seeing how he’s been able to do it and blow past expectations, proves that anything is possible.’’

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© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

Sho-case: Shohei Ohtani gets All-Star win for AL, bats, too

Lebanon Democrat 15 July, 2021 - 02:13am

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Mostly sunny skies. High 91F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph..

Partly cloudy. Low 71F. Winds light and variable.

DENVER — A Sho-case for Shohei Ohtani became a grand stage for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., too.

Ohtani unleashed his 100 mph heat while pitching a perfect inning for the win in becoming baseball’s first two-way All-Star, Guerrero rocked Coors Field with a 468-foot home run and the American League breezed 5-2 Tuesday night for its eighth straight victory.

Near and far, the sport’s entire focus was on Ohtani from the very start in this All-Star Game.

Players on both sides climbed to the dugout rails to watch him, and the Japanese sensation went 0 for 2, grounding out twice as the AL’s leadoff man and designated hitter.

Jared Walsh, Ohtani’s teammate on the Los Angeles Angels, got a save — with his glove. He made a sliding catch in left field on Kris Bryant’s tricky liner with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning.

So even with the teams decked out in new uniforms that social media deemed a strikeout instead of a home run, it was a familiar result. Mike Zunino also connected for the AL as it improved to 46-43-2 overall in the series.

Guerrero, at 22, became the youngest MVP in All-Star Game history.

J.T. Realmuto homered for the National League on a mile-high night at Coors, baseball’s ultimate launching pad.

A 27-year-old right-hander in his fourth big league season, Ohtani has dazzled. He leads the major leagues with 33 homers and is 4-1 in 13 starts as a pitcher, a two-way performance not seen since Babe Ruth in 1919 and ‘20, before the Bambino largely gave up the mound for slugging.

“This has been the best experience, most memorable,” Ohtani said through translator Ippei Mizuhara. “Obviously, I’ve never played in the playoffs or World Series, so once I do that, that’s probably going to surpass it. But this has been the most memorable.”

Ohtani was a double triple-digit threat in Denver, hitting a 513-foot drive during Monday night’s Home Run Derby and throwing a 100.2 mph pitch to Nolan Arenado.

“He was as good as advertised,” Arenado said. “His fastball had a little cut and he’s a really good player. Just incredible.”

Following a full day, Ohtani slept until 10:30 a.m.

“It was a lot more tiring compared to the regular season, but if everyone had fun I’m good with it,” he said.

Ohtani retired Fernando Tatis Jr., Max Muncy and Arenado, a Colorado fan favorite, in order in the bottom half of the first, throwing 10 of 14 pitches for strikes.

Major League Baseball even made a special rules tweak for Ohtani, allowing him to be replaced as a pitcher and to remain in the game as the DH after he was done pitching. He grounded out twice — Pittsburgh second baseman Adam Frazier ranged to make a nice backhanded pickup that prevented a hit against Max Scherzer starting the night.

Ohtani was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the fifth. Shohei’s shoes, meanwhile, were headed to the Hall of Fame, which collected his cleats, hand guard and foot guard for display in Cooperstown.

Ohtani combined with Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Nathan Eovaldi, Gregory Soto, Chris Bassitt, Andrew Kittredge, Matt Barnes and Liam Hendriks on an eight-hitter.

A win started by a Japanese pitcher ended with a save by an Australian and an MVP for a Dominican. Hendriks was helped by a lucky bounce off the backstop that turned what would’ve have been a wild pitch into an out at second.

“It’s a world game now,” Hendriks said. “There’s a lot of us over here and hopefully there’s more to come with the exposure that Shohei and guys from the DR and Venezuela can bring to this game.”

Hendriks wore a microphone on the mound for the television broadcast and heard cursing loudly after an errant slider to Omar Narváez.

In another season of record strikeouts that have alarmed baseball’s leadership, AL batters whiffed 12 times while NL hitters fanned just three strikeouts.

The AL has now won 20 of the last 23 All-Star Games with one tie thrown in.

While everything is measured with precision these days, Guerrero’s third-inning drive against Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes was jaw-dropping even before Statcast revealed it went 468 feet, the longest since All-Star Games were wired in 2015.

As the ball landed at the top of the left-field seats under the huge video board, Tatis — the NL shortstop and another of the “juniors” among a record 42 first-time All-Stars — turned slowly and put both hands over his head.

“It was a moonshot,” he said. “He’s been doing it all year. Why not show it off here?”

Guerrero and Tatis are tied for second in the majors with 28 homers behind Ohtani — by the way, Ohtani also is tied for the AL lead in triples with four.

Guerrero’s homer was the 200th in All-Star history and he followed in the bat path of his father, Vladimir Guerrero, who homered off Brad Penny in the 2006 game at Pittsburgh. They joined Bobby Bonds (1973) and Barry Bonds (1998 at Coors) and Ken Griffey Sr. (1980) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1992) as the only father-son duos with All-Star homers.

“Dreams do come true,” Vlad Jr. said through a translator. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve been thinking about this moment.”

His helmet and batting gloves are going to Cooperstown.

Guerrero added an RBI grounder in the fifth against Miami’s Trevor Rogers, and Boston’s Xander Bogaerts followed with an RBI single for a 4-0 lead. Both runs were unearned after shortstop Brandon Crawford misplayed Teoscar Hernández’s grounder for an error.

Toronto’s Marcus Semien had put the AL ahead with an RBI single in the second off Burnes, who took the loss.

Realmuto homered in the fifth off Soto, a more pedestrian 430-foot drive that was the first by a Philadelphia All-Star since Mike Schmidt in 1981.

Zunino cracked a 433-foot shot in the sixth against Taijuan Walker and allowed a run-scoring passed ball in the bottom half.

A crowd of 49,184 filled Coors Field, a stark contrast to the 2020 regular season played in empty ballparks because of the pandemic and many games with limited fans in the first half of this season while vaccinations became more prevalent.

Ohtani became the second straight Japanese pitcher to win the All-Star Game after the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka two years ago. Last year’s game was canceled when the season’s start was delayed by the pandemic to late July.

The AL’s winning streak is its longest, three shy of the record set by the NL from 1972-82.

“Unfortunately, I’m a part of three of them,” NL manager Dave Roberts said. “Not the thing I’m most proud of.”

DENVER — Among the many things lost to the coronavirus pandemic last year was the annual mee…

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MLB All-Star Game viewership gets slight bump from 2019's record low

Sportsnaut 14 July, 2021 - 09:01pm

Tuesday night’s midsummer classic, televised by Fox, recorded an average of 8.24 million U.S. viewers. That marks a slight bump compared to the previous All-Star Game in 2019, which posted a record-low 8.14 million tuning in.

The audience figure halted what has become an annual viewership slide for MLB. Audience numbers normally topped 20 million during the 1990s and 10 million less than 10 years ago. Tuesday’s figure still failed to match the 2018 game, which saw 8.69 million watch.

The American League defeated the National League 5-2, with the Los Angeles Angels star Ohtani earning the victory after throwing a scoreless inning on the mound while also batting leadoff as the designated hitter.

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