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The MLB All-Star Game is back after a one-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic last season, and it’s being ushered in with a bit of history, thanks to breakout star Shohei Ohtani.

The Los Angeles Angels phenom is the first player in MLB history named as an All-Star as both a position player and a pitcher. There were a number of two-way players in the Negro Leagues that most certainly would have been All-Stars had they been allowed to play in the majors, including three Hall of Famers: “Bullet Joe” Rogan, Martín Dihigo, and Leon Day.

Ohtani will get the start for the American League, and will face off against Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who edged out Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler as the National League’s starter. Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto is also on the National League’s All-Star roster as a reserve player.

» READ MORE: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith offers full apology for ‘insensitive’ comments about Angels star Shohei Ohtani

Calling this year’s Midsummer Classic for FOX is longtime announcer Joe Buck, who is hated by many Philadelphia sports fans for various reasons even though his stat guy grew up in Roxborough and graduated from Villanova. It’s Buck’s 22nd time calling the All-Star Game, alongside Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz for the fifth straight season.

Buck and Smoltz will interview Ohtani midgame through a translator, one day after ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith was forced to apologize for saying the star’s language skills are a hindrance to the league’s popularity.

FOX Sports is also looking to juice up its broadcast with tech upgrades, including broadcasting the All-Star Game for the first time in 4K. FOX is also deploying a pair of the “Megalodon” cameras that drew praise from fans and critics during the NFL season.

As far as TV ratings, FOX is hoping for a turnaround from 2019, when the broadcast drew an estimated 8.14 million viewers, the lowest audience ever for the All-Star Game. According to Sports Media Watch, the event has set record low TV audience ratings in seven of the last ten seasons.

» READ MORE: The rise of Phillies ace Zack Wheeler, from a Georgia high school to baseball’s All-Star Game

  • Where: Coors Field, Denver

  • TV: FOX (Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal, Tom Verducci)

  • Spanish: FOX Deportes (Adrian Garcia Marquez, Carlos Alvarez, and Edgar Gonzalez)

  • Streaming: FOX Sports app (requires cable authentication), FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, AT&T Now (all require a subscription).

FOX Sports kicks off its live coverage at 7 p.m. with a pregame show hosted by Kevin Burkhardt alongside analysts Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, David Ortiz, and Tom Rinaldi. The crew will be on-site at Coors Field, another step toward a return to post-pandemic normalcy.

Check out Inquirer.com/Phillies for all our coverage, and sign up for Extra Innings newsletter, written for Phillies fans by Matt Breen, Bob Brookover, and Scott Lauber.

» READ MORE: Opinion The Phillies’ COVID-19 limbo is a helpful reminder that athletes aren’t any smarter than the general population

Starting Lineup

  • C: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

  • 1B: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

  • 2B: Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh Pirates

  • 3B: Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals

  • SS: Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres

  • OF: Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves

  • OF: Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds

  • OF: Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds

Reserves

  • C: J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

  • 2B: Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

  • 3B: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

  • SS: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants

  • 2B: Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres

  • 3B: Eduardo Escobar, Arizona Cardinals

  • 1B: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SS: Trea Turner, Washington Nationals

  • OF: Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • OF: Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates

  • OF: Kyle Schwarber, Washington Nationals (injured)

  • OF: Juan Soto, Washington Nationals

  • OF: Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers

Pitchers

  • Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

  • Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres

  • Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

  • Kevin Gausman, San Francisco Giants

  • Germán Márquez, Colorado Rockies

  • Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins

  • Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies

  • Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers

  • Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers

  • Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs

  • Mark Melancon, San Diego Padres

  • Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals

Starting Lineup

  • 1B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR)

  • SS: Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

  • OF: Mike Trout (LAA) (injured)

  • OF: Teoscar Hernández (TOR)

Reserves

  • OF: Michael Brantley (HOU)

Pitchers

  • RHP: Shane Bieber (CLE) (injured)

  • RHP: Nathan Eovaldi (BOS)

  • LHP: Aroldis Chapman (NYY)

» READ MORE: Reggie Jackson’s All-Star Game home run, 50 years later, still defines his Reggie-ness



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