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Fox TV and ESPN Radio make a winning team for World Series viewers

Fox TV and ESPN Radio make a winning team for World Series viewers
With a Fenway Park scoreboard handler looking on, the Dodgers' Chris Taylor gets into position in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series in Boston. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Hey Google: How do we wish Joe Buck and John Smoltz into the cornfield and bring on Dan Shulman?

Mute. Pursuit. Reconstitute.

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There’s hardly any trouble-shoot trauma in leaving the Fox TV coverage during the World Series and finding the ESPN Radio feed. Even if you’re not privileged enough to have YouTube TV (we’ll get to that later).

Though the Dodgers’ KLAC-AM (570) hometown feed is 15 to 20 seconds ahead of the TV transmission, the ESPN Radio broadcast via KSPN-AM (710) is the opposite, making it simple to pause the video and synch it up with new, improved audio.

Shulman, the longtime ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” play-by-play man who walked away from that job after the 2017 season to concentrate on his Toronto Blue Jays assignments, comes back to do the network’s national radio coverage with the agile ex-big-leaguer Chris Singleton and equally adept reporter Buster Olney.

The trade-off: TV may be showing, as it did during Game 1, Jack White in the Fenway Park stands for some weird reason or going back to some taped audio clip from Red Sox first base coach Tom Goodwin.

But on ESPN Radio, you’ll get Singleton, a former teammate of Cody Bellinger’s father, Clay, going in depth explaining the techniques of how to play the Fenway Park outfield (he has six major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore, Oakland and Tampa Bay), and Olney reinforcing the well-researched stories Shulman is telling between pitches like a seasoned pro.

Now the issue: The Lakers need KSPN for games Wednesday and Saturday. The Angels’ KLAA-AM (830), also an ESPN affiliate, carries Ducks games these days. Check our apps, satellite radio or other streaming methods to keep this as your wicked-cool alternative in case you’ve jaded yourself into thinking the Buck-Smoltz team just wore you out during the NLCS.

In case you’re wondering: Shulman and Singleton are high atop the Fenway Park press box calling the game, but often refer to the Fox TV feed for replays, bullpen action and dugout shots. With two out in the top of the ninth, while talking about the beard comparison of the Dodgers’ Justin Turner and the Red Sox’s Craig Kimbrel, a few moments later, Fox put a split screen of the two up.

“I like how Fox TV is listening to us,” Singleton said.

It’s the ESPN Radio bump that Fox may have needed.

Virtual monstrosity

The YouTube TV cord-cutting service that apparently again has title sponsorship of this Fox-controlled World Series apparently will get its money’s worth with some high-optic virtual reality signage on the Fenway Park Green Monster left-field wall and the center-field batter’s eye area, turning them into virtual movie screens.

The mound visit lulls now apparently can be bought and sold to companies, resulting in the live-action screen shrinking incredibly small and the sponsor product going up very large for about five seconds at a time.

A win-win situation

Vin Scully may not agree to join the Fox TV booth when the World Series returns to Los Angeles this weekend, but his voice-over work on the T-Mobile ads in which he narrates a family reunion (ads previously voiced by poet Maya Angelou) drew plenty of social media attention Tuesday night. The ads are soliciting hurricane relief donations.

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Predictions

Smoltz’s ability to suggest that a home run is coming was tested a couple of times Tuesday. The first, as the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp came to the plate in the top of the second inning, was teed up by Buck, trying to get Smoltz on another rant about how the game played today is different from his time.

Smoltz talked about how there were spots in the Dodgers’ lineup where a pitcher could go to get quick outs because of their swing tendencies. As Kemp came up, he was used as an example by Smoltz of someone who was more a contact hitter with a swing that hasn’t changed over the years, “a perfect example” of someone who doesn’t over-stride.

Kemp then homered to bring the Dodgers back to within 2-1.

In the bottom of the seventh as the Red Sox’s Edwardo Nunez came up to face the Dodgers’ Alex Wood, Smoltz mentioned that Nunez was “a dangerous bad-ball hitter.” It looked Tony Romo-esque to then see Nunez do just that against Wood and give the Red Sox an 8-4 lead.

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner talks about how the team feels after losing Game 1 of the World Series.
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