LEADING OFF: MLB sees how All-Star Game shows in TV ratings
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
A year after the All-Star Game drew its lowest TV rating ever, Major League Baseball will see how this telecast fared.
Fox tried a few new things: Bryce Harper and George Springer wore microphones while playing the outfield and bantered with the broadcasters, and leadoff men Jose Altuve and Charlie Blackmon did interviews just seconds before they stepped into the batter’s box.
Also, at a time when MLB is worried about the slow pace of play, Alex Rodriguez strolled around the infield during an early break between innings to visit with Daniel Murphy, Zack Cozart and Nolan Arenado.
Yadier Molina, Salvador Perez and most every All-Star now can use a couple days off to catch up on rest — the real games resume Friday night.
Yankees reliever Dellin Betances might benefit from the break, too. He walked two, threw two wild pitches and struck out two in his one inning Tuesday night, keeping up his often-shaky pattern from the first half of the season. So far this year, in 28 1/3 innings for New York, he’s walked 26 and struck out 53.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is hoping to see progress soon on new ballparks in Tampa Bay and Oakland. Manfred said this week that he wants to keep the Rays and Athletics in their current cities, and he’s holding off on beginning expansion talks until those teams get new stadiums. He won’t wait forever, though. “I am not going to indefinitely leave a club in a market without a major league quality facility,” he said.