Vin Scully prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on April 4 before the season home opener at Dodger Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY)
In a recent column for the Chicago Tribune, Paul Sullivan listed seven things he’d like tinkered with to improve the 85th annual MLB All-Star Game, which Fox will televise on Tuesday from Minneapolis (Channel 11, 4:30 p.m.).
Skipping down to No. 7: Have Vin Scully call the game for Fox. We get enough Joe Buck on baseball and NFL games all year. It’s time to honor the best there ever was.
Buck, in a refrain he’s sang several times before when this topic has come up, would be among the first one to second that emotion.
“Personally, I could consider (yielding to Scully) a career highlight,” Buck said this week. “I once did a radio game with Ernie Harwell when I was about 3 years old, did a game with my dad (Hall of Famer Jack Buck) when I was 4. Getting a chance to say I was a part of a broadcast with Vin and hand over my headset … you’re talking to a guy who gets it and knows that generation of broadcasters. I’m in that age bracket. I realized back when I heard him and Joe Garagiola do the Game of the Week, and I realize now how brilliant the man continues to be to this very day. It would be awesome today (to have Scully come into the Fox booth), but I don’t get the sense he’s jumping to get involved.”
True enough. And that’s what we’ve focused on for the column we’ve pieced together for Friday’s editions.
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET: FIFA WORLD CUP: Final: At Rio De Janeiro, Sunday at noon, Channel 7
What kind of heck is going to break loose if host country Brazil meets up with rival Argentina in an all-South American final for Match 64 of this month-long carnival ride? They’ve faced each other more than 100 times since first squaring off for the first time 100 years ago. Argentina hasn’t been to the Final Four since 1990 when Diego Maradona was the big kicker wearing No. 10. Brazil, with Pele’s presence in its midst, is nearly assumed to make it all the way to the final. “Argentina and Brazil consider each other as the cream of South American football and that fuels huge sporting rivalry,” Raul Bernal-Mezza, professor of international relations at Buenos Aires University, told the Malay Mail, Malaysia’s English-language media organization. “All Argentinians want Brazil to lose and all Brazilians want Argentina to lose.” The two soccer giants may have seven World Cup titles between them – Brazil won it in 1958, ’62, ’70, ’94 and 2002, while Argentina has ’78 and ’86 – they’ve never reached the semifinals in the same World Cup before this. “To win the final with Brazil at the Maracanã is something like the ultimate dream for any Argentine fan,” said Ezequiel Fernández Moores, one of Argentina’s best-known sportswriters, in an interview with the Washington Post. “It would trump all World Cups and be an eternal postcard image.” Added Newton César de Oliveira Santos, author of the 2009 book “Brazil-Argentina: Stories of the World’s Greatest Football Rivalry,” when asked by the Post: “The Argentines would love to play football as fancy as the Brazilians, and the Brazilians would love to play with the drive and will that the Argentines have. The rivalry exists, but it hides a big admiration that each has of the other.”| The semifinals: At Belo Horizonte, Brazil: Germany vs. Brazil, Tuesday at 1 p.m., ESPN At Sao Paolo, Brazil: Argentina vs. Netherlands, Wednesday at 1 p.m., ESPN
The third place game: Saturday at 1 p.m., ESPN
Also this week:
Clayton Kershaw works against the Colorado Rockies in a July 4 game in Denver, where he pitched eight scoreless innings. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Clayton Kershaw has 36 innings down and 24 to go to pass Orel Hershiser for the MLB record of consecutive scoreless innings, and the streak is on the line when Kershaw faces San Diego in the first of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday (7:10 p.m., SportsNet L.A.). This is after the Dodgers stop in Detroit to play two against the Tigers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more of Play it Forward at this link.