|Show Name:||Baseball Tonight|
|Runtime:||20, 30, 40, 60, or 90 minutes|
|First Aired:||March 19, 1990|
|Num Seasons:||18th Season|
|Related:||Sunday Night Baseball|
Monday Night Baseball
Wednesday Night Baseball
Baseball Tonight is a Sports Emmy Award-winning program that airs on ESPN, and is the only nightly highlight show devoted to Major League Baseball. The show, which recapitulates the day's Major League Baseball action, has been on the air since 1990.
Baseball Tonight usually appears nightly on ESPN throughout the baseball season at 10:00 p.m. ET and 12:00 a.m. ET (the show may air on ESPN2 when there are conflicts with college football or the NBA). Following the cancellation of The Trifecta in late 2006, the 12:00 a.m. run of Baseball Tonight was expanded to a full 40 minutes. The show has permission from Major League Baseball to show in-progress highlights. The show is also seen at 12:30 p.m. ET and 7:00 p.m. ET on Sundays, the later show leading up to the Sunday Night Baseball telecast. The late-night edition on Sundays is usually just a re-air of the 7:00 show, with a SportsCenter anchor providing highlights of the Sunday night game in place of a game preview segment that airs during the live broadcast. The midnight edition usually re-airs at 12:00 p.m. ET the following day (excluding Saturday, when the show is usually a full-hour in length).
The show also appears live at events throughout the year, such as spring training, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the World Series sites, at ESPN the Weekend, and occasionally has remote stunts, i.e. shows from rooftops at Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in 2005.
In 2000, the segment "Web Gems" was coined and created by then-producer Judson Burch. The segment originally featured great defensive plays followed by viewer internet voting on the "web." The phrase "web gem" is now common vernacular in baseball broadcasts and circles to describe outstanding glove-work.
In 2002, the home run segment "Going, Going, Gone", complete with the immensely popular "screaming baseball" animation was replaced with a tamer segment "Touch 'Em All" sans screaming baseball.
Beginning with the 2005 season, Baseball Tonight has been broadcast in high-definition on ESPNHD from the opposite side of the studio used for Sunday NFL Countdown, NBA Shows and College Football Scoreboard shows, albeit with a baseball demonstration field laid on top of the NFL floor. Airing begins in March during spring training and ends after the World Series in October.
In 2006, Baseball Tonight introduced new graphics. The opening sequence features players on baseball cards moving and a ball going from one to another via a throw or off a bat. A much longer variation of this is also used to open ESPN's live game broadcasts. The theme music also was updated from the normal orchestral treatment to a livelier rock vamp.
In 2007, a new segment entitled "That's Nasty!" was introduced. The new segment featured top pitching performances of the day, including the best individual pitches. These clips often include extremely high velocity fastballs, 12 - 6 curveballs, or change-ups that completely fool the opposing batters. Prior to the 2007 All-Star Game, a modified version of the opening sequence was used which featured various San Francisco landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge.
In 2008, they replaced Roger Clemens with Josh Beckett in the baseball card opening sequence.
Baseball Tonight often features the following people:
|rowspan=5||Hosts||Chris Berman||1990-present||hosts on select Sunday nights|
|Steve Berthiaume||2004-2005 and 2007-present||various nights|
|Mike Hill||2008-present||fill-in host|
|Karl Ravech||1996-present||John Kruk reported he signed an extension in 2006|
|Dari Nowkhah||2008-present||weekday fill-in|
|rowspan=9||Analysts||Orestes Destrade||2005-present||signed a multi-year extension with ESPN on March 6, 2007.http://media.espn.com/ESPNToday/index.jsp?content=content.html|
Often appears on Friday and Saturday shows.
|John Kruk||2004-present||lead analyst since 2004|
|Steve Phillips||2005-present||signed a five-year extension with ESPN in June 2006.http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com/archives/shots/harold_reynolds_speaks_i_never_even_went_to_outback.php|
|Buck Showalter||2001-2002, 2008-present|
|2008-present||rowspan=4||Reporters||rowspan=1||Peter Gammons||1990-present||rowspan=1||signed a three-year extension with ESPN on March 6, 2007.http://media.espn.com/ESPNToday/index.jsp?content=content.html|
|rowspan=2||Correspondents||Pedro Gomez||2004-present||has covered San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds and his home run record|
|rowspan=6||Hosts||Rich Eisen||1996-2002||Lead host for NFL Network.|
|Brian Kenny||2003||Hosts SportsCenter; formerly hosted The Hot List on ESPNEWS from 2003-2006.|
|Chris Myers||1991-1995||Reporter for FOX Sports.|
|Scott Reiss||2006-2008||Studio host for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.|
|rowspan=14||Analysts||Dusty Baker||2007||Manager of the Cincinnati Reds.|
|Larry Bowa||2005||Third-base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.|
|Jeff Brantley||2002-2006||Analyst for the Cincinnati Reds on television and radio.|
|Dave Campbell||1990-2004||Lead game analyst on ESPN Radio.|
|Rob Dibble||1998-2004||Television analyst for the Washington Nationals on MASN; also hosts show on XM Radio with Kevin Kennedy.|
|Ray Knight||1998-2003||Studio analyst for the Washington Nationals on MASN.|
|Harold Reynolds||1996-2006||Commentator on MLB.com, TBS, and SportsNet New York.|
|Rick Sutcliffe||2002-2003||Analyst on Wednesday Night Baseball; was the former analyst on Monday Night Baseball from 2002-2007.|
|Bobby Valentine||2003||Manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan's Pacific League.|
Baseball Tonight is split into a number of segments, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of baseball. These segments include:
One featured running gag on the show is the spoof segment "Name That Molina", where one of the personalities has to guess which of the three Molina catcher brothers - Bengie, Jose, or Yadier - is being shown.Another running gag is the Umpire Fantasy League in which "owners" of umpires in this fictitious league are rewarded for their umpires ejecting players or coaches.