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Volume 26 No. 89
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Berman Still Sparking Talk Around HR Derby Despite Not Being On Call

The continued absence of longtime host Chris Berman from the T-Mobile Home Run Derby sparked more conversation last night on Twitter. Berman has not called the event since '16, and The Athletic's Chris Vannini wrote, "Say what you will, but I miss Chris Berman's excitement in the Home Run Derby. He hit moments. Some incredible performances tonight feel a bit flat." The Daytona Beach News-Journal's Zach Dean: "I can remember the 2016 Home Run Derby when everyone wanted to 'mute' Chris Berman. Now, he’s trending and it’s because everyone misses him!" Panama City-based WJHG-NBC's Joel Sebastianelli: "I hope everyone who complained about Chris Berman spends eternity in purgatory listening to announcers use indoor voices to deliver serious analytical breakdowns of the #HRDerby. You know, like tonight. But on a loop. Forever." Forbes' Maury Brown: "I know he’s got his fans, but I think I speak for many when I say that not having Berman do the HR Derby makes it much more enjoyable." Former AP sports writer Rusty Miller: "You know who wins the Home Run Derby? We all do, because we don’t have to listen to Chris Berman call it anymore." ESPN Radio St. Louis 101.1's Austin Huff: "Somewhere Chris Berman is exhausted, watching this Derby in his living room reclining his chair back back back back back back back." 

RATINGS ROUNDUP: ESPN and ESPN2 last night combined to draw a 4.5 overnight rating for the Derby, which saw Mets 1B Pete Alonso defeat Blue Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Last year, ESPN and ESPNews drew a 4.4 overnight for Bryce Harper’s win. Last year’s telecast also had TV competition around coverage of President Trump’s discussions with Vladimir Putin. Two years ago, with names like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the field, ESPN drew a 5.7 overnight for the Derby (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

ALTERNATIVE NATION: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes fans were "doing it wrong" if they did not watch ESPN2's Statcast coverage. The net featured Jason Benetti, Eduardo Perez and MLB Statcast analyst Mike Petriello "talking strategy and actually making sense of the competition." Rosenthal: "As someone who typically feels Statcast data should be used sparingly, lest the viewer drown in statistics, the graphics and the commentary were interesting. Plus, it was fun to hang with the Benetti-led combo" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 7/9).