Baseball’s best — at least those that aren’t injured, haven’t pitched on Sunday or haven’t otherwise withdrawn — head to Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz., for the 2011 All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 12, at 8pm ET on FOX. USA Today reports that 83 players have been named to All-Star rosters, a new record, thanks to the surprising number of injuries and new rules that prohibit a pitcher who started on Sunday from playing in the All-Star Game. You can see the latest starting lineups at mlb.com and complete rosters here. The Phillies’ Roy Halladay has been named the starting pitcher for the NL, while the Angels’ Jered Weaver will do the same for the AL. Last year, the NL won its first Midsummer Classic since 1996, thanks to Braves catcher Brian McCann’s three-run double in the 7th sealing the 3-1 victory.
FOX again televises the game, but seems much more interested in promoting The X Factor and furthering the careers of former American Idol winners than they are in the game itself. They’re probably right. Press release and more details from FOX below:
WORLD PREMIERE PREVIEW OF “THE X FACTOR” DEBUTS DURING MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’S 82ND ALL-STAR GAME ON FOX
Brad Pitt, Jordin Sparks & Michelle Branch Contribute to Star-Studded Night
FOX Sports presents Major League Baseball’s 82nd ALL-STAR GAME, live and in high-definition from Phoenix’s Chase Field, Tuesday July 12 (8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT). MLB on FOX’s Emmy Award-winning broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and analyst Tim McCarver call the action.
Highlighting FOX Sports’ All-Star pregame coverage, which starts at 8:00 PM, is a special world premiere preview of THE X FACTOR, the highly anticipated singing competition debuting Wednesday, Sept. 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Sept. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Hosted by Steve Jones and featuring judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger, THE X FACTOR will award the next superstar solo artist or breakout musical group with a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.
In addition, Academy Award-nominated actor Brad Pitt narrates a special pregame open to air at 8:00 PM ET that pays tribute to past and present All-Stars and celebrates the game of baseball.
McCarver, a two-time National League All-Star catcher with the Cardinals (1966 & 1967), is calling the 20th All-Star Game of his Hall of Fame-worthy broadcasting career, the most by any broadcaster in history. The pairing of Buck and McCarver for 13 All-Star Games is also a record.
Grammy nominated platinum recording artist and American Idol-winner Jordin Sparks sings the U.S. National Anthem prior to the All-Star Game. Later in the game, Grammy Award-winning singer Michelle Branch performs “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch.
To bring viewers the sights and sounds of the first All-Star Game hosted by the city of Phoenix, more than 21 cameras and 80 microphones will be positioned throughout Chase Field. This year’s star-studded contest also features the FOX “X-MO” which will be used behind home plate. This specialty camera shoots at up to 500 frames-per-second. To bring viewers even closer to the action on the field, players for each league will be miked and in-game interviews with All-Stars, managers and coaches are scheduled throughout the broadcast.