On the discussion /debate/ diatribe in today’s media column (linked here) over whether there’s network pressure to put on Major League Baseball to get Stephen Strasburg included in the July 13 All Star Game in Anaheim, Fox play-by-play man Joe Buck says:
“This guy is one of the best pitchers in the game, he’s dominant. He’s already set the record for the most strikeouts over his first four Major League starts with 41. I compare this to LeBron James and tuning into NBA games to watch him play, if he’s injured I’m probably not going to tune into the Cavaliers.”
You see, somehow it all circles back to LeBron’s world.
And other stuff we think you’d like to know:
== ESPN2 decided Thursday to add the Galaxy’s game Sunday (7:30 p.m.) against Seattle to its schedule, trying to cash in on viewership interest on Landon Donovan (and teammate Edson Buddle). Glenn Davis and Kyle Martino will call the game.
== NBC has the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon (Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Channel 4) with Tom Hammond, Ato Boldon, Lewis Johnson and Dwight Stones. Sunday, the network has Paul Sunderland and Dain Blanton calling matches from the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball event in Norway (1:30 p.m., Channel 4)
== No real surprise that TNT rehired Steve Kerr as a game analyst in the weeks after he resigned as general manager of the Phoenix Suns. A multi-year agreement includes putting Kerr on the TNT Thursday night doubleheaders and its NBA All-Star weekend and playoffs. Kerr was at TNT four seasons (2003-07) before leaving to join the Suns.
== Not to be confused with the ESPN theatrical project where Robert De Nirois on tap to play the role of Vince Lombardi that’ll be out in 2012, HBO has been working with NFL Films to produce a documentary called “Lombardi” that will debut on Dec. 11, the network said. Interviews include Lombardi’s son, Vince Lombardi Jr.; daughter Susan Lombardi; brother Harold Lombardi; John Madden, biographer David Maraniss and former NFL players such as Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, Willie Davis, Jerry Kramer, Bart Starr and Sonny Jurgensen.
== Starting with Thursday’s Montreal game at Saskatchewan, the NFL Network has decided to do 14 regular season Canadian Football League games. There will be three games on Saturdays this month. NFL Network commitments to air every NFL exhibition game in August means moving CFL games to Fridays in September, October and November. The games will be produced by TSN in Canada.
== NBC’s John McEnroe, with Wimbledon winding down (Channel 4 has the women’s and men’s final on Saturday and Sunday starting at 6 a.m.), on how this year’s event will be remembered: “Well certainly that Isner-Mahut match is something that will never happen again. That was free multi-million dollar advertising for our sport about how fit we are and how tough we are, physically and mentally, so that was a great thing. That will long be remembered despite the fact it was a first round match. If (Andy) Murray were to win this that would be huge, and if (Rafael) Nadal were to win it, doing it for him to be able to get back after what appeared to be life-threatening injuries would be really important for our sport. There are a lot of good things still to come. The unpredictability of what’s gone on in this event is something that I haven’t experienced in the 33 years that I have been part of this tournament.”
Asked to recall his epic five-set final against Bjorn Borg, McEnroe said: “That match has stuck with me my entire career. It changed me as a person. It gave me respect among the players, the press, the fans. I felt like for one of the few times in my life I was a part of something historic. I knew what was happening.
“It was like when Isner was playing Mahut, they knew that this is the same thing that will always be in the record books. I’m proud to say that that match is still talked about. A couple weeks ago Bjorn and I got a chance to go out and play on Court 18, which ironically is where Isner played Mahut, and play in sort of an anniversary match. It certainly brought back a lot of memories and I look forward to seeing Bjorn in a couple days.”
== John Isner didn’t need 11 hours to do a Top 10 list on CBS’ “Late Night” with David Letterman earlier this week:
== AND FINALLY:
Pssst: Lakers forward Lamar Odom and spouse Khloe Kardashian are getting their own spin-off reality series with E!, according to a gossip website.
The network already follows Kardashian and her sisters on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” but this one will drag on about Odom and Khloe “trying to get pregnant, being a stepmother to her Los Angeles Laker hubby’s children and then furnishing their new home,” according to something called GossipCop.com (linked here).
As a follow up, a story on BleacherReport.com (linked here) makes it clear that Odom, who married Kardashian last September, is doomed.
“Many Hollywood insiders believe the Kardashian clan plants their own salacious tabloid rumors to keep their names in the headlines.
The latest with Kardashian and Odom have centered around a quickie divorce and a baby on the way.
The pair have both said the divorce rumors are a hoax.
As for the baby, Kardashian said Tuesday that she actually took a pregnancy test and there’s no bun in the oven.
That’s good news for Lakers fans, who are hoping that Odom sheds the E! reality star over the summer and comes back focused on finishing his career by finally living up to some of the promise of his early days.”