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Sunday MLB on TBS Returns July 10 with Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets at 1 p.m. ET

Coverage Continues July 17 – Texas Rangers vs. Chicago Cubs – at 2 p.m. ET

MLB on TBS Analysts Cal Ripken, Jr. and Ron Darling Share Perspectives
on Opening Months of 2016 MLB Season

Sunday MLB on TBS will return July 10 with the first place Washington Nationals and reigning National League Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper visiting the defending National League Champion New York Mets and Yoenis Cespedes at 1 p.m. ET.  Three-time Sports Emmy Award winning commentator Ernie Johnson will provide play-by-play for the game, seen locally in the New York market, alongside veteran MLB on TBS analyst Ron Darling.

The following week, Sunday MLB on TBS will feature an Interleague match-up of current division leaders as the Chicago Cubs with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo host the Texas Rangers and Ian Desmond and Adrian Beltre on July 17 at 2 p.m., with the telecast shown locally in Texas.  Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. will join Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Darling in the broadcast booth.

TBS is entering its 9th consecutive year of live MLB regular season game coverage, with a lineup featuring 13 regular season Sunday afternoon telecasts and an extensive MLB Postseason schedule including the exclusive presentation of the American League Wild Card Game, both American League Division Series and the American League Championship Series in 2016.

MLB on TBS analysts Ripken and Darling offer their reflections on the upcoming Nationals/Mets matchup, some first-half storylines and a look ahead for the season’s stretch run:

Darling on the Washington/New York match-up:
“I’m so excited to have this game since I think the Nats and Mets are due to battle each other all summer for the division title.  You add in the fact that it’s the defending pennant winner and the current first place team in the division and I think these are the perfect teams to start up the TBS coverage for 2016.”

Ripken on the team that has been most impressive to this point:
“The Cubs have picked up exactly where they left off last season.  [Manager] Joe Maddon’s not afraid to be creative and his success makes him a little bolder to make some unconventional moves.  I like Joe’s innovation and how he thinks about the game and the players respond really well to him.”

Darling on which teams have been the best stories in the season’s first half:
“It starts with the Cleveland Indians.  Every place manager Terry Francona has gone, he makes his teams better.  On the heels of the Cavs winning the city’s first title in over 50 years, the Indians are the best story of the baseball season’s first half, with the best one-two-three starting pitching punch in the majors.

“In Miami, it starts with Don Mattingly coming into an organization that has to face two very talented teams within their division.  Mattingly and hitting coach Barry Bonds have come together to form sort of an All-Star coaching staff and the team has played well to stay right in the thick of the race.”

Ripken’s analysis of the East’s first place teams:
“The Orioles have been interesting and I have a chance to see them a little bit more.  They are a powerful, home run hitting team that you knew had that kind of potential, but now you are seeing it play out.  You can’t only slug your way to a title, you need pitching and especially your starting pitching to give you a chance to win, but they have been pretty impressive and Buck Showalter has managed his bullpen very well as he normally does.

“Dusty Baker coming in has made a difference for the Nationals.  He’s a laid back player’s manager who lets people relax and do their jobs.  He’s always had that ability and it seems that it's just what they needed.  They’ve always been a really talented team and you think that they’re going to have a chance to win each and every year.  The Mets pitching staff is still as formidable as anyone’s, but the Nats have positioned themselves as maybe the team to beat in that division.”

Upcoming Sunday MLB on TBS Schedule

July 10, 1 p.m. ET: Washington Nationals @ New York Mets
Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst)

July 17, 2 p.m. ET: Texas Rangers @ Chicago Cubs
Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Darling and Cal Ripken, Jr. (analysts)

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