MLB on FOX previews 2012 season

From FOX Sports –

FOX SPORTS STEPS TO THE PLATE FOR 17th SEASON THIS SATURDAY

McCarver: A-Rod Poised for “Monster” MVP Season

Karros: Magic Has Support from Dodgers Fans but Now Players Need to Produce

Quotes & Replay from Today’s MLB on FOX Season Preview Press Call

The 2012 MLB on FOX season opens this Saturday, April 7 at 3:30 PM ET with a grand slam lineup featuring the Boston Red Sox with new manager Bobby Valentine visiting the Detroit Tigers and new slugger Prince Fielder. The last two World Series champions are also slated Week 1 as the St. Louis Cardinals head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in an NLCS rematch, while the San Francisco Giants go on the road against the NL West Champion Arizona Diamondbacks. Fans can also catch the incomparable Albert Pujols in his new uniform as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim host the Kansas City Royals.

Coverage begins with the FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL PREGAME SHOW, a full 30-minute program, originating live from MLB Network’s state-of-the-art Studio 3 in Secaucus, NJ. It’s hosted by longtime FOX Sports and MLB Network broadcaster Matt Vasgersian who is joined by analysts Harold Reynolds and Kevin Millar this week.

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers (43% of nation)                                 
Joe Buck, Tim McCarver & Ken Rosenthal
Comerica Park – Detroit, MI
MARKETS INCLUDE:  Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Tampa, Washington, West Palm Beach
Probable Pitchers:  Josh Beckett, RHP (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. TBA

St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers (27% of nation)                
Thom Brennaman & Eric Karros
Miller Park – Milwaukee, WS
MARKETS INCLUDE: Birmingham, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa
Probable Pitchers: Adam Wainwright, RHP (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. Zack Greinke, RHP (0-0, -.– ERA)

Kansas City Royals at Los Angles Angels (17% of nation)                  
Kenny Albert & Mark Gubicza
Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA
MARKETS INCLUDE:  Austin, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle
Probable Pitchers:  Luke Hochevar, RHP (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. TBA

San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks (12% of nation)     
Daron Sutton & Eric Byrnes  
Chase Field – Phoenix, AZ
MARKETS INCLUDE:  Albuquerque, Denver, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco
Probable Pitchers:  TBA vs. TBA

PLAY BALL – BUCK, KARROS, MCCARVER AND SHANKS PREVIEW 2012 SEASON — During today’s MLB on FOX season preview press call, play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, analyst Eric Karros, analyst Tim McCarver and FOX Sports Media Group Co-President & COO Eric Shanks looked ahead at some of the stories of the 2012 season.

MCCARVER ON HIS EXPECTATIONS OF ALEX RODRIGUEZ: “The Yankees are entering the season with a lot more question marks than they thought they would have. This is going be a last hurrah year for Alex Rodriguez. He’s going to have a monster year and he’s got a good shot at being the MVP. He’s healthy and he has that look of determination that I haven’t seen for the last two or three years. He’s happy, in a good spot, and a guy I would pick as an MVP candidate.”

KARROS ON THE IMPACT MAGIC JOHNSON’S GROUP PURCHASE OF THE DODGERS HAS ON THE TEAM: “Now, there’s more focus on the team. Last year, a lot of the media were more concerned with ownership and what was going on there. The players didn’t use that as an excuse but a lot of things that went on, on the field the media didn’t focus on. The honeymoon for Magic will last as long as the fans feel that he and his group are doing everything they can to support this team. The community’s patience with some of the players is a different story. There are some guys who’ve had big expectations. These are big years for Andre Ethier and James Loney. That will garner more attention than in the past. Support of Magic won’t waver for a while, but patience with the team on the field may be a bit different.”

BUCK ON SCRUNITY NEW CARDINALS MANAGER MIKE MATHENY WILL FACE IN REPLACING HALL OF FAME MANAGER TONY LA RUSSA: “For as great a career as Tony La Russa had and the two world championships he won there, I don’t know if he was ever fully embraced by people around there.  He got an inordinate amount of criticism even in the wake of tremendous success.  The jury is out on Mike Matheny because he’s never done it at any level, but he came in with instant credibility in the clubhouse. If you asked anybody around the front office, they’d tell you he was their favorite player that’s come along in the last 20 years. Once the bullets start flying – you’re in a game, getting guys up in the bullpen and managing, we’ll see how he does. He’s a little bit more lenient than La Russa with some of the young guys but he’ll get the benefit of the doubt for the majority of the year.”

MCCARVER ON ALBERT PUJOLS’ IMPACT ON THE AL: “Albert Pujols is going to put the Angels on his shoulders like he did the Cardinals for so many years garnering two world championships in a decade. Everybody knows about his base running prowess, his defense, the things he can do without coming to the plate and the American League hasn’t seen a player like this in a long, long time. That’s why I pick the Angels. Pujols is going to be a difference maker with that team.”

MCCARVER ON WHAT BOBBY VALENTINE BRINGS TO THE RED SOX: “The Red Sox have already gotten out of Bobby Valentine what they wanted in the early going. Before a pitch has ever been thrown, there’s been more emphasis on a Red Sox manager than there ever was on Terry Francona and Francona won two World Series. But that’s what the Red Sox needed – the attention diverted to someone other than the players after that horrible, ridiculous finish they had in 2011. They’ve got a few problems like every team – but the emphasis this spring has been on Valentine and that’s what the Red Sox owners wanted. They wanted Red Sox Nation to forget about how last season ended and for the most part they have. It’s very, very important for the Red Sox to get off to a good start.”

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