The MLB All-Star game is all about fun this year, now that the game won’t determine home-field advantage in the World Series, and that means nobody has to take the game too seriously.

Since the game is a meaningless exhibition, the league can experiment a bit with some fun new quirks. One of those quirks comes from Fox: The network is interviewing players while they’re playing.

The announcers have talked to outfielders on both teams who are wearing earpieces while standing in the field.

Sometimes, the conversations have been about baseball, giving fans an up-close look into players’ strategies during the game. Houston Astros star George Springer discussed what it’s like with new angles, and how he adjusts his sight lines.

Other times, the conversation had nothing to do with baseball. Joe Buck and Bryce Harper—a Dallas Cowboys fan who plays in Washington, DC—talked about Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Harper noted how weird the interview was in that clip—”I feel like I’m commentating on NFL Network,” he said—but he didn’t seem to mind the interviews.

As long as the players don’t mind the interviews, they’re pretty cool for an exhibition like this. Reaction on Twitter was fairly positive, too.

Networks do in-game interviews with players and managers in the dugout during the actual season, and those are almost universally terrible. The players and managers clearly don’t want to be talking during those interviews, and they almost never give interesting information. This is one of the few situations where in-game interviews can actually be interesting, so it’s good that they’re being used the right way.

[Fox]

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

  • Lyle Delp

    I listened to half the game on the radio. The difference between ESPN’s joyous celebration of baseball and the turgid Fox telecast was striking.

  • I dislike in game intervuews,

    But then I also liked it when the All Star Game mattered.

    • Carter_Burger67

      agree with you on both points.

    • Susan Corey

      I agree also, very distracting and took away from the game.

  • Chris Kopech

    I think that FOX did a lot of great things with the telecast last night that made it very enjoyable. The “third man in the booth” from the field was a nice quirk for an exhibition. I also enjoyed the candid Facebook Live 6th inning, which caught Joe Buck complaining that his “damn tie was too short”, and I lol’d.

    I also think Buck and Smoltz are great together, and found the whole event that much better now that the likes of Berman (HR Derby) and McCarver are gone….