Big League Stew - MLB

My first reaction to ESPN's "Ball Tracker" was, "Why are they adding animated fireworks to the home runs? Ooh, that one's pretty (VIDEO)."

I also considered that Michael Bay might be directing the show, determined to entertain confuse viewers into believing asteroid debris was slamming into St. Louis. Just a little "Armageddon" — not the end of the world.

Finally, I realized: The NHL on Fox had taken over the broadcast and was making every fly ball glow like a hockey puck. No longer would fans lose sight of a white ball's trajectory as it streaked into the black night. Casual Canadian fans — already alienated as they rushed to convert "503 feet" into meters before the next swing — could now comfortably watch a baseball broadcast without wondering where the devil the puck ball disappeared to.

What did you think of the light show during the Home Run Derby?

Some of the homers Prince Fielder(notes), Albert Pujols(notes) and Nelson Cruz(notes) hit were the size of footballs and Volkswagens by the time they landed in Manhattan (above, left). My screen's full! They're all over the place!

How do fans of today's NHL get by without the glowing puck? Thanks to Fox TV back in the day, the puck heated up to 644 degrees (centigrade) whenever Sergei Fedorov would hit a slapper, such as this one in the '96 All-Star Game (above, right).

Ryan Howard(notes) watches himself watch himself watching himself hit a home run that is just on fire as it flies over the right-field fence.

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