Behind The Scenes

Road tripping with “Baseball Tonight”

If “Think Blue” is the motto of the Los Angeles Dodgers, then “Think New” may be the best axiom for ESPN’s MLB coverage this season.

Both were on display in Chavez Ravine on April 3, when ESPN presented the Dodgers versus the San Francisco Giants with new commentator teams and the debut of Baseball Tonight on the road.

The game included commentary by ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball team of Dan Shulman and analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine (along with reporters Wendi Nix and Buster Olney), and the new duo of Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton, calling their fourth game in four days, describing the action on ESPN Radio.

Baseball Tonight was in Los Angeles as well, with host Karl Ravech and analysts John Kruk and Barry Larkin, Sunday Night Baseball’s Hershiser and Valentine, and reporters Nix and Olney. The show’s set was positioned immediately outside of the venue. The show itself included highlights, news and information, along with a Sunday Night Baseball preview.

Baseball Tonight also introduced segments indigenous to Dodger Stadium, including a Larkin-led tour of the grounds. There was a closing segment with Kruk selecting the “best seat in the house” and choosing his favorite food from the ballpark menu (which happened to be a Doyer Dog). Kruk’s closing segment will be a staple of the road show throughout the season.

“It was an outstanding first week on the road for Baseball Tonight,” said Ravech, who is in his 17th season as host of the show. “We felt the energy of the crowd and were able to show the country what is special and unique about Dodger Stadium.”

The next stop for Baseball Tonight (12:30 and 7 p.m. ET) and Sunday Night Baseball (8 p.m.) is Boston, where the Red Sox play host the New York Yankees on April 10.

Ravech added, “We can’t wait to get to Boston, feel the vibe of Fenway, and translate that experience to the fan who may not have been there before. The Red Sox and Yankees showdown is a great follow-up to Dodgers and Giants.”

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