Monday, July 14, 2008

Home Run Derby

Tonight marks the beginning of the fan festivities for baseball's All-Star Break, highlighted by the Home Run Derby (ESPN, 8 p.m.)

Thanks in part to the steroids scandal and the fact that some of baseball's biggest hitters don't participate, the event - at least for me - has lost a bit of its luster, especially as it gets a bit repetitive seeing batting practice home runs over and over again.

But it's still worth checking out if you are a baseball fan, especially with the All-Star Game taking place at Yankee Stadium for the final time. If it's one thing baseball does well, it's honoring its past. Who could forget the game in Fenway Park a few years ago when they gathered all of the game's living legends for one giant photo op?

Anyway, given the dimensions of Yankee Stadium, my money is on either Houston's Lance Berkman or Minnesota's Justin Morneau to win.

It's still a long way from the old "Home Run Derby" which aired in 1959 and was broadcast by Mark Scott. Those shows, which used to be broadcast on ESPN, included the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and others in their primes, battling for prize money that usually equalled $2,000 a show. (Aaron ended up winning the most money at $13,500 - thank you, Wikipedia).

The game will be followed by the celebrity softball game at 10 p.m.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: TNT returns its two most notable series with "The Closer" at 9 p.m., followed by "Saving Grace" at 10 p.m. Both Kyra Sedgwick of "The Closer" and Holly Hunter of "Saving Grace" are on the Emmy Best Actress short list, though I must confess I stopped watching both series about midway through their first seasons.

"The Mole" (ABC, 9 p.m.) returns tonight with a clips show to catch viewers up at 9 p.m., followed by the newest episode at 10 p.m.

The family hit "The Middleman" (ABC Family, 10 p.m.) airs a new episode tonight.

Finally, a couple of years ago, I highlighted a movie called "The TV Set," starring David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver, which I saw at the Austin Film Festival. It's a dark comic look at a writer trying to get his vision of his TV show on the air, and how the network provides "helpful" notes. It's been showing all month on Showtime, and you can catch it tonight at 8:30 p.m., preceding new episodes of "Weeds" and "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.


Jonathan said...

I'm still a casual viewer of the all-star game, but usually get sidetracked after the first few innings. Although considering how well my Cubbies are doing and the number of players they have on the team, I might pay a little more attention this year. You being a Braves fan must be ready for the NL to win one.

zodin2008 said...

Jonathan, though Phillip maybe afraid to admit this here, he's the Mets fan and I am the Braves fan. Either way, I ALWAYS root for the NL, even if my Braves are out of it.

Even better if Chipper and McCann are the stars tomorrow.

Phillip Ramati said...

Yes, I'm a Mets fan, so I'm pulling for the NL, though I'm not really sure if they are going to win another one in my lifetime. Pitching around Josh Hamilton might be a good start.

Anonymous said...

Josh Hamilton was spectacular last night. That movie will be out soon.