Weekly media column version 07.12.13: If Fox had fingered Freddie Freeman for this All-Star spot earlier …

What got in to this week’s attempt at media information gathering:

Obviously, Fox didn’t try hard enough to get Yasiel Puig into Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game. You have any better explanations? It’s a version of Thursday’s blog post, just not as finely decorated with pictures and such.

What didn’t:

courtney-force-nude-ESPN-body-issue-2013== Why is the current ESPN “The Body Iissue” important (other than the possibility of seeing 25-year-old NHRA driver Courtney Force without her flame-retarted jumpsuit)? Will Letch explains at SportsOnEarth.com.
espn-body-nake-issue-photos-courtney-force-570x721Still, ESPN’s drag racing broadcasters know better.

== Daron Sutton and Eric Karros call Fox’s coverage of the Dodgers-Rockies game from Dodger Stadium (Saturday, Channel 11, 4:15 p.m.). The game goes to 21 percent of the country (with 30 percent receiving St. Louis-Chicago with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, 21 percent getting Texas as Detroit, 11 percent see Washington at Miami and 10 percent receive N.Y. Mets at Pittsburgh.

== KSPN-AM (710) has the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday at 5 p.m. while you’re driving home from work, with Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton, plus reporters Peter Pascarelli and Tim Kurkjian.

== “If you’re not of the hardwood hardcore, you might have thought last week that ‘Howard’ was an extreme weather system originating in Los Angeles and threatening to head east,” writes ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsite in his latest installment of what’s going on at the World Wide Leader from an outsider’s point of view. “ESPN pro basketball cognoscenti such as Stephen A. Smith and Chris Broussard tracked every free-agent movement of Dwight Howard, the then-Lakers center, as if he were a storm center.”
Lipsite quoted Vince Doria, ESPN’s senior vice president and director of news, about the use of anonymous sources that seemed to keep changing their stories: “With a story like this, breaking on live television, you either make some decisions to trust sources that have been good in the past, or sit on the sidelines. Pretty sure we’d be equally criticized for doing the latter.”

== The Letterman “Top 10 List” of ESPN’s lowest rated shows:

== Former “DodgerTalk” co-host and current play-by-play man for the Albuquerque Dukes Isotopes Josh Suchon has a couple more appearances in L.A. coming up for signings of his new book, “Miracle Men” about the 1988 Dodgers: Monday at Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica (from 5-8 p.m., during the telecast of All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby); Tuesday at Brent’s Deli in Northridge (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Wednesday at Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach (7-8 p.m.). Suchon also reports that his former “DodgerTalk” co-host Ken Levine will be visiting him in Albuquerque on July 26-27. It was Levine, of course, who created the Isotopes name (for the local Springfield team) when he wrote an episode for “The Simpsons”

== The MLB Network has Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game at 6 p.m. from Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nevada, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Paul Severino, Darryl Hamilton and Baseball America’s Jim Callis call it with reporter Sam Ryan. 

== Year 21 of ESPN airing the Home Run Derby includes Chris Berman with Nomar Garciaparra and John Kruk, and also ties up  Buster Olney and Pedro Gomez by doing interviews and “reports” on the event. It’s Monday, 5 p.m.
Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia with some relief after he found out that Mike Trumbo would not compete in it this year (he did it last year): “I haven’t seen somebody come away from that derby and be a better player for it.”

== What you’re missing by not watching the TV coverage of the Tour de France (according to SI, not NBC Sports).

Frank-Deford-250x172== Congratulations to Frank Deford for that thing hanging around his neck, put there by President Obama as the latest recipient for a  National Humanities Medal.  from President Obama during a ceremony at the White House. Obama cited Deford “for transforming how we think about sports. A dedicated writer and storyteller, Mr. Deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love.

== Gus Johnson and Cobi Jones call the U.S. men’s national team against Cuba from Salt Lake City (Saturday, Channel 11, noon). During a pregame show, Johnson sits down with U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann for an interview in which he talks about his team’s World Cup chances next summer in Brazil and what Landon Donovan has to do to claim a spot.

== Should NASCAR consider staging mid-week races? What would the TV network say about it? “I think when ‘Monday Night Football’ ends, we should start ‘Monday Night Racing,'” says Jeff Gordon said. “But that’s just me.”

== And finally:
A 90-second promo for the Aug. 17 launch of Fox Sports 1 will be shown during the MLB All-Star game, and includes extensive staged footage at the Coliseum with athletes dressed in USC and Oklahoma uniforms and featuring Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, as well as a recreated San Francisco-Baltimore NFL game featuring Joe Flacco. Fox put out this behind-the-scenes video because of its own awesomeness in getting it done so fast:


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