It was a debate that mesmerized Major League Baseball and its fans — should Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig be playing in Tuesday’s All-Star game.
In the 36 games he has played since he was recalled from the minor leagues in June, Puig is batting .397 with eight homers and 19 RBI. He has energized a Dodgers team that was playing awful baseball and helped them climb within striking distance of first place in the
National League’s West Division.
Puig wasn’t on the All-Star ballot, but was a finalist for the last NL roster spot that the fans could vote on. But Puig didn’t make the cut. Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman won the vote.
Still, Puig stirred up conversation about whether or not he deserved to be even considered. While Puig has had a great start to his career, he has only played in the majors for just over a month.
That was a major topic of discussion during FOX Sports’ conference call for its MLB All-Star game coverage from Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The call was conducted Thursday afternoon and before the final results of the fan vote were known.
Analyst Tim McCarver, who will be calling his 22nd and final All-Star game — he’s retiring after the World Series — doesn’t think Puig deserves to be on the team. McCarver was adamant about it, but said he had softened his stance somewhat.
“I understand the sentiment. I understand the emotion behind Yasiel Puig’s inclusion in this year’s All-Star game,” said McCarver, who called last Saturday’s game between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. “But five weeks does not a season make. I think a guy like Freddie Freeman is more deserving because he’s played the whole first half, and not come up as late as June 3.
“However, in that game last week, we had a chance to see the impact, and the electricity and the buzz that Yasiel Puig presents in a game. He’s a fascinating baseball player with as much talent at first glance as anybody in recent years. But as far as an All-Star this year, I think he has All-Star appearances in the future.”
Play-by-play announcer Joe Buck respects McCarver’s opinion, but he was hoping to see Puig in the game. Buck believed Puig would have brought some excitement to the game.
“Maybe it’s from the television standpoint, maybe it’s from the baseball fans’ standpoint, maybe it’s from just somebody who wants to get more eyeballs to the television set to watch this game,” Buck said. “Puig’s an electrifying, don’t-get-something-to-drink, don’t-leave-your-seat kind of player. I think baseball needs more of those. When you get them, you have to hang on to them and ride them for dear life.”
The game will be seen in the Capital Region on FOX23 (WXXA) and FOX23 HD. WTMM-FM (104.5) will have the ESPN Radio call of the game.
Monday’s Home Run Derby will air at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN HD as well as WTMM.
Miller to WNYT
Ashley Miller, who has spent nearly five years as associate sports producer at YNN, will be joining NBC13 (WNYT) in a similar capacity, it was announced Thursday.
Miller, a Latham native, will replace Andrew Catalon, who is leaving the station for CBS Sports Network. Catalon’s last day is July 19. Miller will start five days later.
“She’s a terrifically talented young woman, and I’m very happy to have her join our sports team,” WNYT news director Eric Hoppel said. “And being from this area is a huge plus. She will help what is already a very strong local sports team.”
Giants, PYX renew deal
The New York Giants will be on WPYX-FM (106.5) for the next three years.
The Giants and the Clear Channel Albany radio station officially announced their deal on Thursday. The Giants have been a fixture on WPYX for several years.
The new deal will have WPYX not only carry all preseason, regular-season and playoff games, but a one-hour pregame show and one-hour postgame show, as well. Previously, WPYX carried just a 15-minute pregame show and part of the postgame show.
WOFX adds NBC shows
WOFX-AM (980) is associated with FOX Sports Radio, but it’s adding more programming from NBC Sports Radio.
Thursday night marked the debut of the “Amani and Eytan” show. The program, which runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., replaces “FOX Sports Tonight.” Former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer is the co-host.
Also, WOFX is adding some weekend programming from NBC Sports Radio. Saturday shows will run from 7:30 a.m. until noon, while the Sunday lineup goes from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Saturday shows are “Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison” (7:30 to 9 a.m.), and “The Clay Travis Show” (9 a.m. to noon).
The Sunday program is “The Jason Page Show.”
WOFX has been carrying “The Dan Schwartzman Show” from 1 to 6 a.m. for several months. It also has been airing NBC Sports Radio updates during “Big Board Sportstalk with Rodger Wyland.”
WOFX program director Josh Everett said the station has added NBC Sports Radio programming as part of its deal to carry the NFL and NCAA basketball tournament package through Dial Global, which is affiliated with NBC Sports Radio.
FOX23 and FOX23 HD will have the New York Mets-Pittsburgh Pirates game tonight at 7. CW15 (WCWN) and CW15 HD will have Sunday’s game at 1:30 p.m. . . .
MLB Network and MLB HD have the Boston Red Sox-Oakland Athletics game tonight at 10. . . .
NBC13 and NBC13 HD televise the final two rounds of the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament today and Sunday at 3 p.m. . . .
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will televise Sunday’s Utica Boilermaker 15k run at 7:30 p.m. YNN will have prerace and postrace coverage.