clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

TCB talks with the voice of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Dan Shulman

Shulman talks about the upcoming Astros-Red Sox matchup on Sunday Night Baseball.

Allen Kee / ESPN Images

The national cameras will again turn their focus on the Houston Astros with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcasting the Astros-Red Sox game.

The man with the dulcet tones you’ll listening to if you watch the broadcast will be the voice of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Dan Shulman.

Shulman has been the play-by-play broadcaster for Sunday Night Baseball since 2011. He talked with The Crawfish Boxes about returning to Minute Maid Park and his preparation process.

What are you looking forward to most with this Astros-Red Sox matchup Sunday?

On the Red Sox side, seeing David Price pitch. It’s been a difficult year for him on multiple fronts. I’ve always enjoyed watching him pitch.

From an Astros point of view, Houston has three stars in Altuve, Correa, and Springer. I love watching all of them play. They are all incredibly talented guys.

Altuve has been one of my favorite players since he got up to the majors. Correa’s ceiling is limitless, and Springer has had a breakthrough season. Springer has become a star this season, in my opinion.

(The Astros) are fun. They’re deep, they score a lot of runs. They play with a lot of enthusiasm. I like watching Houston play.

Any offbeat storylines or anything for Father’s Day planned for the coverage on Sunday?

We’ll talk about things for Father’s Day. But I don’t think we don’t plan the offbeat stuff.

I know (Buster Olney) is going to talk about the great young shortstops in the game. (Xander) Bogaerts being one and Correa being the other. What’s our poll question of the week: “Who is the best young shortstop in the game?”

We didn’t have anything offbeat come up in our conference call yesterday.

Sunday Night Baseball hasn’t been to Minute Maid Park since the offseason changes to center field. Are you looking forward to seeing the changes to Minute Maid Park with Tal’s Hill gone?

I’ve seen on T.V. this year (without the hill). But I kind of enjoyed the hill. I never had to run up on it and make a catch or anything like that, but I like different things in different ballparks.

It’s a little more conventional of a ballpark now. But I really enjoy going there. I love a lot of ballparks, But (Minute Maid Park) is near the top end for me. Its got a lot of personality. I hope there is a good crowd Sunday night, it should be with the Red Sox in town and Houston playing as well as they are.

I’ll miss the hill a little bit.

I had talked with Aaron Boone previously about his preparation process, but I know play-by-play presents its own unique challenges. What goes into your process for preparing for a game each week?

It starts with the trip home from the previous game, checking to see who the starting pitchers are for the next game. They could pitch on Monday or Tuesday depending on if the teams have an off day. I try to watch the starting pitchers in their previous start, get information on them.

You try to watch as much as you can of the two teams on T.V. leading up to the game. A lot of internet stuff, going to the newspapers of the two towns to gather the information. We have great research people who are providing us information.

Really, starting Tuesday, I’m following each team on daily basis. What did they do in their last game? Who’s healthy? Who’s injured? Has the lineup changed? How’s the bullpen being used? Climbing on board with each team starting Tuesday.

We have our conference call on Thursday. Saturday is just an informal get-together, could just be over dinner. We talk about what's gone on in the last couple of days. We have the production meeting Sunday morning and go out to the ballpark. Talk with managers, visit with players. Read the game notes and away we go.

You’ve always come across as one of the best objective play-by-play broadcasters. How would you describe your style as a play-by-play man?

I’m not very good at describing myself, to be honest with you. I leave that to other people. But I guess I’m down the middle. I just try to be prepared and give people a good show with a little information and entertainment.

I try to set up my analysts as best I can. I try to work with everyone on the crew to make sure what I’m saying works with the graphics and replays. I think I try to not make too complicated.

At the end of the day, I want me, people, to say I enjoyed that game. I think of myself as the point guard and it's my job to set other people up.

I would be remissed if I didn’t get a chance to ask you about some hockey as a Toronto native. What do you think of the NHL Final?

I didn’t see a second of the Finals. May five minutes of it. I love the Maple Leafs. I try to watch as much of the Leafs as I can. I don’t tend to watch hockey every night of the week if the Leafs aren’t going anymore.

I think it's cool that Pittsburgh won again and I love the energy from the crown in Nashville. I thought was great to see a non-typical hockey market with all that energy in the building.

But between Sunday Night Baseball and the Blue Jays, I didn’t get much chance to see the finals.