The Tampa Bay Rays and Sun Sports announced a schedule today for TV coverage of 150 games, starting with the April 1 opener.
Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson will be the booth, with Todd Kalas as the reporters for 145 games and in the booth for five. There will also be contributions from Orestes Destrade, Angela Jacobs and newcomer Laura McKeeman. There will be a 30-minute pre-game show for home games, and extended post-game coverage for all.
Here is the Sun Sports release:
SUNRISE — Sun Sports will produce and televise 150 Tampa Bay Rays games during the 2011 Major League Baseball season, with all games scheduled to be distributed in high definition. Coverage begins on Opening Day when the Rays host the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, April 1 at 7:00pm ET. Home game telecasts will also include half-hour Rays LIVE pregame shows and all will offer extended post-game coverage from site.
Dewayne Staats returns this year for his 14th season as play-by-play announcer for Tampa Bay Rays baseball on the regional network and will be joined in the TV booth by former MLB player Brian Anderson, who moves into the analyst role on a full-time basis. Staats enters his 34th year broadcasting baseball and just last season celebrated his 5,000th career telecast. Anderson enters his 3rd season providing analysis on Sun Sports and will also be a part of Rays LIVE pre- and postgame coverage.
Also in his 14th season, Todd Kalas serves as reporter on 145 games and will sit in the analyst position alongside Staats on five games. He will also host Rays LIVE pre- and postgame shows. Orestes Destrade, Angela Jacobs and newcomer Laura McKeeman round out the television talent lineup for Rays baseball on Sun Sports in 2011, appearing on and providing feature reports for Rays LIVE.
Going beyond just coverage of games, Sun Sports' partnership with the Rays provides fans with more opportunities to get to know the team and its players. Nine half-hour HD episodes of Sun Sports popular Inside the Rays are planned this year and will include player profiles, with rare behind-the-scenes stories and interviews, plus episodes offering inside access to other aspects of the team and its operations – all designed to bring the fans closer to their favorite team.
Complementing the network's live television coverage of games will be unique content on the network's website, www.foxsportsflorida.com, including reports, exclusive video, commentary and opportunities for fans to interact via both the website and social media at http://www.twitter.com/SunSportsRAYS and www.facebook.com/foxsportsfloridasunsports.
To help fans get ready for the upcoming season, Sun Sports will produce its annual Tampa Bay Rays Season Preview, premiering Sunday, March 21, at 6:30pm on sister network FOX Sports Florida.
In 2010, Sun Sports' production team, led by producer Kevin Patterson and director Thom Hastings, was awarded a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award for its coverage of Tampa Bay Rays baseball.
Highlights on the 2011 regional telecast schedule include 33 games against the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees including 12 over the final three weeks of the season.