League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award
The League Championship Series Most Valuable Player award is given in each of the two annual League Championship Series, for the American and National Leagues, to the player deemed to have the most impact on his team's performance. The award has been presented in the National League since 1977, in the American League since 1980. Dusty Baker won the inaugural award in 1977 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Frank White won the first American League award in 1980 with the Kansas City Royals; the eight Hall of Famers to win LCS MVPs include Roberto Alomar, George Brett, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, John Smoltz. Three players have won the award twice: Steve Garvey, Dave Stewart, Orel Hershiser. Incidentally, all three of these players won their two awards with two different teams. Seven players have gone on to win the World Series MVP Award in the same season in which they won the LCS MVP—all of them in the National League. Three players have won while playing for the losing team in the series: Fred Lynn played for the 1982 California Angels.
Two players have shared the award in the same year three times, all in the National League. Garvey and Albert Pujols hit four home runs in their winning series—Garvey in his first win. Adam Kennedy won the 2002 ALCS MVP for hitting 3 home runs in 5 games. David Ortiz had 11 runs batted in during the 2004 ALCS and Iván Rodríguez had 10 during the 2003 NLCS—the only two players to reach double-digit RBI in the series in the history of the award. From the pitcher's mound, Steve Avery threw 161⁄3 innings without giving up a run in the 1991 NLCS, John Smoltz amassed 19 strikeouts the following year. Liván Hernández won the 1997 NLCS MVP after winning his only start and earning a win out of the bullpen in relief. Daniel Murphy won the 2015 NLCS MVP after hitting home runs in six consecutive games, setting a major league record. Liván Hernández and his half-brother Orlando Hernández are the only family pair to have won the award; the only rookies to have won the award are Mike Boddicker, Liván Hernández, Michael Wacha.
General"Post-Season Awards & All-Star Game MVP Award Winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 5, 2009. Inline citations Lubbers, Jeff. "A New Way to Select Series MVPs". YardBarker.com. Baseball Daily Digest. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved 2011-10-30. Playoff and World Series Stats at Baseball-Reference
A. J. Hinch
Andrew Jay Hock Hinch is an American professional baseball coach and former catcher, the manager for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball. Prior to joining the Astros, Hinch played as catcher for the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, managed the Arizona Diamondbacks, was the vice president of professional scouting for the San Diego Padres, he won the 2017 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers as the Astros' manager. Hinch has a degree in psychology from Stanford University. Hinch lived in Nashua, until he was eight and moved to Oklahoma, he is a 1992 graduate of Midwest City High School, where, as a senior, he was the 1992 National Gatorade Player of the Year in baseball. He was drafted in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft but elected to attend Stanford University, where he was a third-round pick after his junior year in 1995, he decided to return to school and was again a third-round pick as a senior in 1996. While at Stanford he joined Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.
Hinch won a bronze medal for the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was named to the 1998 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. In an eight-season career, Hinch was a. 112 RBI in 350 games. Hinch was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft, but he did not sign, opting to attend Stanford University to play for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team, he was drafted again by the Minnesota Twins in the third round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft, but he opted to remain at Stanford for his senior season. Hinch was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the third round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, he signed with the Athletics in June 1996. He remained with the team through the 2000 season. In the 2000–01 offseason, Hinch was traded to the Kansas City Royals with Ángel Berroa as part of a 3-team trade that sent Ben Grieve from the Athletics to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Cory Lidle from the Devil Rays to the Athletics, Roberto Hernández from the Devil Rays to the Royals, Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to the Athletics from the Royals.
Hinch was released by the Royals after the 2002 season. He signed as a minor league free agent with the Cleveland Indians, but was purchased by the Detroit Tigers from the Indians in March 2003, he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2004 season, splitting the year between the majors and Triple-A. He spent all of 2005 with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate before retiring. After the 2005 season, Hinch was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks as their manager of minor league operations. While playing, he was planning his post-playing career, he went so far as to go to the 2003 general manager's winter meetings to look for future job opportunities and contacts. In July 2006, Baseball America named him one of baseball's "10 to watch" in the next 10 years for his promise as a farm director and future general manager. In August 2006, the Diamondbacks named Hinch director of player development. Hinch was named manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 8, 2009, replacing Bob Melvin though he had never managed or coached a team at any level.
Hinch, at age 34 years and 357 days, became the youngest person to be named manager of a Major League team since Eric Wedge. Hinch was fired from the Diamondbacks on July 2010, following a 31 -- 48 start to the 2010 season. Overall, Hinch compiled an 89–123 record in 212 games. His.420 winning percentage ranks as the lowest for a non-interim manager in Diamondbacks history. Hinch was hired by the San Diego Padres as vice president of professional scouting on September 21, 2010, he resigned from his position on August 5, 2014. Hinch was named manager of the Houston Astros on September 29, 2014, replacing Bo Porter, fired on September 1, 2014. In the 2015 season, Hinch led the Astros to an 86 -- a wild card berth, it was Houston's first playoff appearance since 2005. In the Wild Card Game, the Astros defeated the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium 3–0 to advance to the American League Division Series. In the ALDS, Hinch's Astros took a 2–1 series lead against the Kansas City Royals; the Astros led the Royals 6–2 in Game 4 going into the 8th inning before the Royals came back to win 9–6.
The Astros would go on to lose the series. In 2016, Houston began the season 7–17. Although the team's play improved during the course of the season, the Astros finished 84–78 and did not qualify for the playoffs. In 2017, Hinch led the Astros to a club record of 50 wins in 74 games and finished the regular season 101–61 while the team won their first division title in 16 years and first since joining the American League; the 2017 postseason began at home for the Astros. Hinch guided the team past the Boston Red Sox in four games, with his decision to have Justin Verlander pitch in relief in the deciding Game 4 receiving attention. In the 2017 American League Championship Series, he led the Astros against the New York Yankees in Houston's first championship series appearance in 12 years. After his team won the first two games at home, the Yankees rallied with three wins in New York, with Game 4's loss resulting from the bullpen giving up six combined runs in the 7th and 8th after he had taken out pitcher Lance McCullers Jr after only six innings.
With a pivotal Game 6 in Houston and Justin Verlander on the mound, the Astros won the game 7–1. In Game 7, he chose Charlie Morton as his starting pitcher and McCullers to pitch the final four in relief as the Astros shutout the Yankees 4–0 to clinch their first AL pe
Chris Guccione (umpire)
Christopher Gene Guccione is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He wears number 68. Guccione has umpired in both the American League and National League since 2000, although he was not promoted to the full-time Major League staff until before the 2009 season. Guccione has 22 total years of professional umpiring experience, having worked in the Pioneer, California and Pacific Coast leagues before reaching the MLB, he officiated in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Guccione gained his first playoff experience in 2010, umpiring the 2010 American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins, he has worked a total of six Division Series, three League Championship Series and the 2016 World Series. According to an analysis done by the website FiveThirtyEight, he was the most accurate umpire in the major leagues in 2014 Major League Baseball season based on the number of unsuccessful manager challenges. Guccione was chosen as the right field umpire for the 2011 All-Star Game.
He was chosen as one of the umpires for the one-game American League Wild Card Game playoff between the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers on October 5, 2012, again for the National League Championship Series held that month. Guccione was the first base umpire for Henderson Alvarez's no hitter on September 29, 2013. Guccione worked his first World Series in 2016 and was the home plate umpire in Game 2. During the 2018 Little League World Series, Guccione umpired two innings of an August 19 game between teams from Hawaii and Michigan. Guccione lives in Colorado with Amy. List of Major League Baseball umpires Major League profile Retrosheet
Dallas Keuchel is an American professional baseball pitcher, a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Houston Astros, he is a left-handed starting pitcher. He attended the University of Arkansas. Keuchel made his MLB debut in 2012. In 2014, he was awarded both the Fielding Bible Award; the next year, Keuchel was named the starting pitcher for the American League in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, won the Cy Young Award, in addition to his second Gold Glove and Fielding Bible Awards. In 2016, he was awarded a third straight Gold Glove Award, in 2018 he won it for a fourth time. Keuchel attended Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, where he led the baseball team to the state championship. Keuchel attended the University of Arkansas, where he played college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team, he registered a 5.88 earned run average as a freshman, a 4.58 ERA as a sophomore, a 3.92 ERA as a junior. During the 2009 season, Keuchel led the Razorbacks as the Friday-night ace.
Entering May, Keuchel had a 6–1 record before defeating Anthony Ranaudo and #4 LSU. Keuchel allowed only four runs; the following week, the Razorbacks lost with Keuchel taking the loss. The final regular season series was against # 9 Ole Miss at Baum Stadium; the Razorbacks committed four errors in Keuchel's last regular season start, he was tagged with the loss, ending the regular season with a 7–3 record. After his junior year at Arkansas, the Houston Astros selected Keuchel in the seventh round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft, he signed with the Astros and began his professional career with the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League, where he had a 2.70 ERA. He began the 2010 season with the Lancaster JetHawks of the Class A-Advanced California League. After posting a 3.36 ERA, the Astros promoted him to the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League in July, where he had a 4.70 ERA for the remainder of the season. He began the 2011 season with Corpus Christi, after pitching to a 3.17 ERA, received a promotion to the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League, where he struggled with a 7.50 ERA.
Keuchel began the 2012 season with Oklahoma City. Keuchel made his MLB debut on June 2012 against the Texas Rangers, he threw a complete game in his second start. Keuchel finished the 2012 season with a 5.27 ERA in 16 games started, while allowing more walks than strikeouts. He pitched to a 5.15 ERA in the 2013 season. In 2014, Keuchel had a 9–5 win-loss record and a 3.20 ERA at the All-Star break, was a finalist for the final American League roster spot in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. He finished the season with a 12–9 record and a 2.93 ERA. For his strong defense, Keuchel won both Fielding Bible Award. In April 2015, Keuchel pitched to a 3–0 record and a 0.73 ERA in five games started. He was named the AL's Pitcher of the Month for April 2015, he was honored as the AL Pitcher of the Month for May 2015, in which he pitched to a 4–1 record and a 2.62 ERA in six starts. Keuchel was selected for the AL roster in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, was chosen as the AL's starting pitcher, he won his third AL Pitcher of the Month Award for August, after pitching to a 4–1 record and a 1.94 ERA in six starts.
Keuchel finished the 2015 season with a 15–0 record at Minute Maid Park, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to finish with an undefeated record at home with at least 14 wins. His overall record for the year was 20–8, he had a 2.48 ERA and 216 strikeouts. Among major league pitchers, he gave up the lowest percentage of hard-hit balls, he threw 3,492 pitches, more than any other major league pitcher. Keuchel won the 2015 American League Wild Card Game on three days' rest. On October 11, he followed up by beating the Kansas City Royals, 4–2, in Game 3 of the AL Divisional Series, to move the Astros within one game of advancing. In Game 5, Keuchel was brought in for a relief appearance on just 2 days of rest in the 8th inning and surrendered a 3-run home run as the Royals extended their lead to 7–2 which they held on to win the game and the series. Following the season, Keuchel won the Cy Young Award, the Gold Glove Award, the Fielding Bible Award, the Warren Spahn Award, given to the best left-handed pitcher in MLB.
Keuchel became the third Astro to win a Cy Young Award, Mike Scott and Roger Clemens having won the National League honors in 1986 and 2004 respectively. Keuchel began the 2017 season by winning his fourth career AL Pitcher of the Month Award in April, after posting a 5–0 W–L and 1.21 ERA over six starts. He allowed six runs over 44 2⁄3 IP, he became the first Astros pitcher to win four. Keuchel joined Bartolo Colón, Félix Hernández, Justin Verlander as active pitchers who had won at least four, he proceeded to start the season with a 7–0 record and a 1.84 ERA. On June 8, 2017, Keuchel was again placed on the disabled list due to continuing neck woes, he was selected to play in the All-Star Game, held at Marlins Park in Miami. It was his second career selection. Keuchel finished 2017 making 23 starts with a 14–5 record, a 2.90 ERA. The Astros won the American League West division with a 101–61 record, won the 2017 World Series. In 2018, Keuchel compiled a 12–11 record with a 3.74 ERA in a career-high 34 starts.
He had the highest ground ball percentage among major league pitchers, the lowest fly ball percentage. He won his fourth
John Andrew Smoltz, nicknamed "Smoltzie" and "Marmaduke," is an American former baseball pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1988 to 2009, all but the last year with the Atlanta Braves. An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was part of a celebrated trio of starting pitchers, along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who propelled Atlanta to perennial pennant contention in the 1990s, highlighted by a championship in the 1995 World Series, he won the National League Cy Young Award in 1996 after posting a record of 24–8, equaling the most victories by an NL pitcher since 1972. Though predominantly known as a starter, Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, spent four years as the team's closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002, he set the NL record with 55 saves and became only the second pitcher in history to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season, he is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 150 saves.
Smoltz was one of the most prominent pitchers in playoff history, posting a record of 15–4 with a 2.67 earned run average in 41 career postseason games, was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NL Championship Series. Smoltz led the NL in wins, winning percentage and innings pitched twice each, his NL total of 3,084 strikeouts ranked fifth in league history when he retired, he holds the Braves franchise record for career strikeouts, the record for the most career games pitched for the Braves since the club's move to Atlanta in 1966. Smoltz left the Braves after 2008 and split his final season with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Since retiring as a player, he has served as a color analyst on television, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. John Smoltz was an All-State baseball and football player at Waverly High School in Lansing, before the Detroit Tigers selected him in the 22nd round of the 1985 amateur draft, he was the 574th selection of the draft.
Smoltz played for the Class A Lakeland Tigers minor-league team, moved on to the Class AA Glens Falls Tigers in 1987, posting records of 7–8 and 4–10. On August 12, 1987, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves, where he played on their Class AAA Richmond Braves; the 1987 Tigers were in a three-team race, chasing the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL East division lead. While Alexander did help the Tigers overtake the Blue Jays for the division title, he was out of baseball by 1989. Smoltz, on the other hand, became one of the cornerstones of the Braves franchise for the next two decades. Smoltz made his major league debut on July 23, 1988, he posted poor statistics in a dozen starts. In 29 starts, he recorded a 12–11 record and 2.94 ERA while pitching 208 innings, was named to the NL All-Star team. Teammate Tom Glavine had his first good year in 1989, raising optimism about the future of Atlanta's pitching staff. Over his career, Smoltz threw a four-seam fastball, clocked as high as 98 miles per hour, a strong, effective slider and an 88–91 mph split-finger fastball that he used as a strikeout pitch.
He used a curveball and change-up on occasion, in 1999, he began experimenting with both a knuckleball and a screwball, though he used either in game situations. Smoltz began the 1991 season with a 2–11 record, he began seeing a sports psychologist, after which he closed out the season on a 12–2 pace, helping the Braves win a tight NL West race. His winning ways continued into the 1991 National League Championship Series. Smoltz won both his starts against the Pittsburgh Pirates, capped by a complete game shutout in the seventh game, propelling the Braves to their first World Series since moving to Atlanta in 1966. Smoltz had two no-decisions against the Minnesota Twins, with a 1.26 ERA. In the seventh and deciding game, he faced Jack Morris. Both starters pitched shutout ball for seven innings, before Smoltz was removed from the 0–0 game during a Twins threat in the eighth. Atlanta reliever Mike Stanton pitched out of the jam, getting Smoltz off the hook, Morris pitched a 10-inning complete game victory.
The next year, Smoltz won 15 regular season games and was the MVP of the 1992 National League Championship Series, winning two games. He left the seventh game trailing, but ended up with a no-decision as the Braves mounted a dramatic ninth-inning comeback win. In the World Series that year, Smoltz started two of the six games in the series, with a no-decision in Game 2 and a win with the Braves facing elimination in Game 5. Before the 1993 season, the Braves signed renowned control pitcher Greg Maddux, completing – along with Smoltz and Glavine – what many consider to be the most accomplished starting trio assembled on a single major-league team. Smoltz again won 15 games, but suffered his first postseason loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS despite not allowing an earned run. Smoltz had a 6–10 record in the strike-shortened 1994 season, during the break, had bone chips removed from his elbow. Returning as the Braves' No. 3 starter, he posted a 12–7 record in 1995. Smoltz had shaky postseason numbers, avoiding a decision despite a 6.60 ERA.
But Smoltz and the Braves won the franchise's only World Series in Atlanta, thanks in great part to Maddux and Glavine, who had begun to overshadow Smoltz. The next season, 1996, was the best of Smoltz's career, he went 24
2017 Boston Red Sox season
The 2017 Boston Red Sox season was the 117th season in the team's history, their 106th season at Fenway Park. They finished with a 93–69 record, the same as their previous season, two games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees, it was the team's first season in 15 years without David Ortiz, due to his retirement. The Red Sox won their second straight American League East championship, the first time the team has won the division in consecutive years. In the postseason, they lost four games in the American League Division Series to the eventual 2017 World Series champions, the Houston Astros. On October 16, general manager Mike Hazen left the Red Sox for the Arizona Diamondbacks. On November 3, Brian Bannister was promoted to vice president of pitching development, in addition to his role as assistant pitching coach. On November 4, bench coach Torey Lovullo left the Red Sox for the Arizona Diamondbacks to take over as manager. On November 11, the Red Sox appointed Gary DiSarcina, former Lowell Spinners and Pawtucket Red Sox manager, as their new bench coach.
On November 15, DH David Ortiz retired. On December 6, the Red Sox traded 3B Travis Shaw with prospects RHP Josh Pennington, SS Mauricio Dubon and a player to be named to the Milwaukee Brewers for reliever RHP Tyler Thornburg; the Brewers received $100 instead of the PTBNL. On December 6, the Red Sox traded prospects 3B Yoan Moncada, RHP Michael Kopech, CF Luis Alexander Basabe and RHP Víctor Díaz to the Chicago White Sox for starter LHP Chris Sale. On December 8, the Red Sox acquired Josh Rutledge in the Rule 5 draft from the Colorado Rockies. Rutledge played parts of the 2016 seasons with Boston. On December 8, the Red Sox signed free agent 1B Mitch Moreland to a one-year, $5.5M deal. On December 20, the Red Sox traded RHP Clay Buchholz to the Philadelphia Phillies for 2B Josh Tobias. Reigning AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello made his first opening day start of his career, going 6 1⁄3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits in the win; the Red Sox bats could only get one hit off of Pirates starter Gerrit Cole through 4 2⁄3 innings but strung together six 2-out hits.
Jackie Bradley Jr. started the rally with a triple of the right field wall, Pablo Sandoval legged out an infield single, Sandy León laid down a bunt down the third base line, Dustin Pedroia with a single down the middle, which plated Pablo Sandoval, Andrew Benintendi with a three-run shot in the Pirates bullpen and Mookie Betts reached second on another infield single and a throwing error by the shortstop Jordy Mercer. Hanley Ramírez made Cole's day was over. Pittsburgh got to Porcello in the seventh, where he gave up three hits and three runs, two of them inherited by Matt Barnes. Barnes got out of the inning. Neither team would score in the remainder of the game and Craig Kimbrel closed out the game on one hit and one hit batsman. April 3–6, vs. Pittsburgh In his Red Sox debut, Chris Sale struck out seven Pirates batters in his 7 shut-out innings, he received no run support until a three-run walk-off shot by Sandy León in the 12th inning. Game three of the series was postponed and rescheduled for April 13.
Red Sox won the series 2–0 April 7–10, in Detroit In the series opener, Steven Wright gave up four runs in 6 2⁄3 innings. Down by four runs going into the eighth, the Red Sox put a five spot on the board, including a three-run shot by Pablo Sandoval, only to have the bullpen give up two more runs to win it for the Tigers. In game two, Boston took an early 1 -- 0 lead. Detroit dropped two games in a row. With several players down with the flu, Andrew Benintendi threw up during the sixth inning in the outfield but could finish the game. Rick Porcello gave up eleven hits but the Tigers could only push four players across the plate. In late game heroics, Boston scored four times to take the lead in the eighth. Craig Kimbrel gave up one run but closed the game. Chris Sale went 7 2⁄3 innings, striking out 10 Tigers and allowing only two runs in the final game of the series, but, enough for Detroit. Boston only scored once on a bases loaded, nobody out situation against Justin Verlander in the second inning.
Red Sox lost the series 1–3 April 11–12, vs. BaltimoreDrew Pomeranz went 6 innings of one-run ball in his season debut. Boston up by one run, scored three runs each in the seventh and eighth inning to put the game out of reach. In the second game of the odd two-game series against a division rival, Steven Wright was pulled after 1 1⁄3 innings, giving up 8 runs on as many hits; the bullpen allowed four more runs over the course of the game. A rally in the middle innings, where Boston scored 5 runs in three consecutive innings, fell way short. Red Sox tied the series 1—1 April 13, vs. Pittsburgh In the makeup game from the opening series of the season, Eduardo Rodríguez allowed two first innings runs before settling in. Down by two runs coming into the eighth, the Pirates allowed three men to reach with one out, two via base on balls. Mookie Betts scored the go-ahead run from first on a Hanley Ramírez double, but the close play at the plate was challenged. Xander Bogaerts drove in Hanley and Craig Kimbrel shut the door.
Red Sox won the series 1–0 April 14–17, vs. Tampa BayRick Porcello was shelled for 8 runs in 4 1⁄3 innings, the most since April 19, 2015 vs. Baltimore. Down by 8 runs coming into the ninth, the Red Sox rallied for three, but, all they could get; the doubles streak of Mitch Moreland ended after seven consecutive games. Chris Sale won hist first game of the season, he allowed just t
Fox Major League Baseball
Fox Major League Baseball is a presentation of Major League Baseball games produced by Fox Sports, the sports division of the Fox Broadcasting Company, since June 1, 1996. The broadcaster has aired the World Series in 1996, 1998 and every edition since 2000, the All-Star Game in 1997, 1999, every year since 2001, it has aired the National League Championship Series and American League Championship Series in alternate years from 1996 to 2000, both series from 2001 to 2006, again in alternate years since 2007, with the NLCS in years and the ALCS in odd years. Under its current contract with MLB, Fox Sports will continue to carry MLB telecasts through at least the 2021 season, with national broadcasts on Fox and cable sports network Fox Sports 1. On November 7, 1995, Major League Baseball reached a television deal with Fox and NBC, allowing the former to obtain MLB game rights. Fox paid $575 million for the five-year contract, a fraction less of the amount of money that CBS had paid for the Major League Baseball television rights for the 1990–1993 seasons.
Unlike the previous television deal, "The Baseball Network", Fox reverted to the format of televising regular season games on Saturday afternoons. Fox did, continue a format that The Baseball Network started by offering a selection of games based purely on a viewer's region. Fox's approach has been to offer three regionalized telecasts; the initial deal gave Fox the rights to broadcast the 1996, 1998 and 2000 World Series, the 1997 and 1999 All-Star Games, as well as coverage of the League Championship Series and five Division Series games each year. When Fox first began carrying baseball, it used the motto "Same game, new attitude." To promote the telecasts, used to promote the network's National Football League coverage when it began in 1994. Fox's primary goal when it first began airing Major League Baseball games was to promote their weak prime time schedule. Fox Sports president Ed Goren said, "We'll use the World Series and League Championship Series to spur our shows". Like its predecessor NBC, Fox determined its Saturday schedule by which MLB franchise was playing a team from one of the three largest television markets – New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago.
If there was a game which featured teams from two of these three markets, that game would be aired on the network. In September 2000, Major League Baseball reached a six-year, $2.5 billion contract with Fox that allowed it to retain rights to Saturday baseball games, included rights to the All-Star Game, select Division Series games and exclusive coverage of the League Championship Series and World Series. 90% of the contract's value to Fox, which paid Major League Baseball $417 million per year under the deal, came from the postseason, which not only attracted large audiences, but provided an opportunity for the network to showcase its fall schedule. The contract protected Major League Baseball in the event of a labor dispute. If some of the games were cancelled as a result of a strike or lockout, Major League Baseball would still be paid by the network, but had to compensate Fox with additional telecasts. On the other hand, a repeat of the 1994 league strike would have cost Fox well over $1 billion.
Under the previous five-year contract, Fox paid $575 million for the Major League Baseball rights, while NBC only paid $400 million. The difference between the Fox and the NBC contracts was that the deal implicitly valued Fox's Saturday "Game of the Week" telecasts at less than $90 million for five years. Before NBC decided to part ways with Major League Baseball on September 26, 2000, Fox would have had to pay $345 million for the contract, while NBC would have paid $240 million. With the exception of the three-year absence from 1990 to 1993, NBC had carried Major League Baseball broadcasts since 1947. NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer stated regarding its decision not to renew its contract, "We have notified Major League Baseball that we have passed on their offer and we wish them well going forward." Under the new deal, Fox would now pay an average of $417 million a year, an 45% increase from the previous deal that Fox, NBC and ESPN contributed together. CBS and ABC were not interested in buying the rights at the prices being offered by Major League Baseball.
When asked about the new deal with Fox, Commissioner Bud Selig said, "We at Major League Baseball could not be happier with the result. They have been a good partner and an innovative producer of our games." Neal Pilson, who served as the president of CBS Sports when the network had the exclusive television rights for Major League Baseball said of Fox's $2.5 billion deal: Some observers believed that gaining the relative ratings boost from the League Championship Series and World Series meant more to Fox than the other broadcast networks. This was because Fox had suffered