By Ryan Berenz
ESPN’s 2011 coverage of Major League Baseball begins Thursday, March 3, at 1pm ET with the Spring Training game between the Detroit Tigers and the Atlanta Braves. The game features the debut of the new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine. ESPN and ESPN2 combine to televise 10 Spring Training games in 2011 (click here for additional Spring Training games on MLB Network). Here’s the release and schedule from ESPN:
ESPN’s New Sunday Night Baseball Team to Debut March 3
New Monday & Wednesday Night Baseball & ESPN Radio Squads Also to Debut During Spring Training
ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball team, comprised of play-by-play commentator Dan Shulman and analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine, will debut Thursday, March 3, at 1 p.m. ET, when the Atlanta Braves host the Detroit Tigers in a Spring Training game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. Shulman, Hershiser and Valentine will also provide commentary for a contest between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox on Monday, March 14, at 7 p.m. from Ft. Myers, Fla.
ESPN’s new Monday Night Baseball team – Sean McDonough and analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Aaron Boone – will provide commentary for Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs on Thursday, March 24, at 5 p.m. from Mesa, Ariz.; the Cubs vs. Texas Rangers on Saturday, March 26, at 4 p.m. from Surprise, Ariz.; and the Tigers vs. Yankees on Tuesday, March 29, at 1 p.m. from Tampa, Fla.
Dave O’Brien and analyst Nomar Garciaparra, ESPN’s new Wednesday Night Baseball duo, will call two matchups: Red Sox vs. Braves on Wednesday, March 16, at 1 p.m. from Orlando, Fla.; New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, March 23, at 1 p.m. from Jupiter, Fla.
ESPN Radio’s new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team – Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton – will call the Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, March 24, at 1 p.m. from Clearwater, Fla.
Additionally, Baseball Tonight’s Karl Ravech and analyst John Kruk will provide commentary for a pair of games – Red Sox vs. Phillies on Monday, March 21, at 1 p.m. from Clearwater, Fla., and Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, March 22, at 1 p.m. from Sarasota, Fla.
ESPN’s Spring Training telecasts will also be available on ESPN3.com. ESPN’s Spring Training schedule with commentator assignments:
Date Time (ET) Teams Network
Thu, March 3 1 p.m. Detroit vs. Atlanta
Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine, Buster Olney ESPN
Mon, March 14 7 p.m. N.Y. Yankees vs. Boston
Shulman, Hershiser, Valentine, Olney ESPN2
Wed, March 16 1 p.m. Boston vs. Atlanta
Dave O’Brien, Nomar Garciaparra, Olney ESPN
Mon, March 21 1 p.m. Boston vs. Philadelphia
Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Wendi Nix ESPN
Tue, March 22 1 p.m. N.Y. Yankees vs. Baltimore
Ravech, Kruk, Nix ESPN
Wed, March 23 1 p.m. N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis
O’Brien, Garciaparra, Tim Kurkjian ESPN
Thu, March 24 5 p.m. Chicago White Sox vs. Cubs
Sean McDonough, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone, Pedro Gomez ESPN2
Fri, March 25 1 p.m. Atlanta vs. Philadelphia
Jon Sciambi, Chris Singleton, Kurkjian ESPN
Sat, March 26 4 p.m. Chicago Cubs vs. Texas
McDonough, Sutcliffe, Boone, Gomez ESPN2
Tue, March 29 1 p.m. Detroit vs. N.Y. Yankees
McDonough, Sutcliffe, Boone, Olney ESPN