This week’s All-Star Game festivities hit full swing over the next two days with the 2015 Home Run Derby slated to run tonight at 8p on ESPN, while Tuesday will see FOX offer the All-Star Game at 7p, with play-by-play announcer Joe Buck joined by analysts Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci in the booth, while Pete Rose makes his return to baseball where he will work pregame, among other duties. ESPN’s coverage of the Home Run Derby will see Chris Berman join John Kruk and Aaron Boone in coverage, while the channel’s Baseball Tonight comes from Great American Ball Park for three hours of coverage leading in to the Home Run Derby with host Karl Ravech joined by Curt Schilling (Sunday Night Baseball) and reporters Buster Olneyand Tim Kurkjian.
Talent from both ESPN and FOX Sports discussed the state of the game last week, with Rose’s return being a hot topic among reporters.
Pete Rose on the possibility of reinstatement: Just having him [Commissioner Manfred] review my status, I’m happy. I’m looking forward to sitting down one-on-one with Mr. Manfred and discussing the situation. I’ll be as honest as I possibly can about my life in baseball. I’m elated and I’m genuinely happy that Mr. Manfred is willing to reconsider my status. I’ve never met him before, but hopefully I can introduce myself soon. When you’re in my situation, you’ll be happy with pretty much anything. I’m just happy that he’s willing to review my status, and we’ll go from there.”
Joe Buck on the evolution of the All-Star Game: As somebody who’s about to do their 17th one of these, I can tell you the evolution of how it started and where it is now. How crazy would it be to play and manage a game to win? That’s supposed to be a bad thing? In 2002, Barry Bonds would take two at-bats and be out of the game and be out of the stadium and on a jet home. If you’re upset because you don’t play, despite getting a jersey with your name on your back, the fanfare, and you get to be in the locker room with other stars, then be better next year and get more votes. This game was irrelevant and MLB made it relevant again. At least now you get a game worth watching. There’s a reason they put a carrot at the end of the game for these guys to play for. In the extra inning New York game the starters who were long out of the game were still in the dugout cheering on their teammates. I completely disagree with people who say this is a mistake to make this game count for something.
Aaron Boone on Rose’s involvement in the on-field All-Star Game ceremonies: I’m fine with it. I think on this level he should be allowed to participate in things on a limited basis. I think teams like Cincinnati and maybe even the Phillies in controlled situations should be allowed to have him be a part of their organization, part of their marketing, whatever. I think it’s time that we celebrate him in his accomplishments in a limited way. But I also don’t believe that he should be allowed all the way back into the game. I think that the violations that he’s ultimately committed, I think, has been very clear, and I don’t think he should be allowed to be in decision making situations anymore in the game. But I absolutely believe there is a place for him in the Hall of Fame. I believe there is a place for him certainly with the Cincinnati Reds organization and certainly at this AllStar Game.
Curt Schilling on the future of the Home Run Derby: I think it has potential to be openended as far as life span goes. I think what you’re seeing – I tell you what, for the duration of Rob Manfred’s tenure it will be here because Rob has shown a willingness to act quickly, which I think you have to do in certain situations. And I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a fan say, wow, I went to the Home Run Derby and it was horrible. It’s fun. It’s a unique event. I think that they’re trying to address the one major issue, everybody is, which is the length of time.