LEADING OFF: MLB sees how All-Star Game shows in TV ratings

National League's Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) catches a hit by American League's Kansas City Royals Salvador Perez (13), during the second inning at the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Former player and TV commentator Alex Rodriguez, left, speaks with National League's Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28), during the first inning at the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
American League's New York Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances (68), reacts to a pitch, during the third inning at the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
American League's New York Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances (68), delivers a pitch, during the third inning at the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
FILE - In this June 17, 2016, file photo, the crowd on Pride Night at Tropicana Field watches during the fifth inning of a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the San Francisco Giants in St. Petersburg, Fla. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is willing to wait - to a point - for the Rays and Oakland Athletics to get new ballparks. Tampa Bay and Oakland are the only two major league teams currently seeking new stadiums. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
FILE - This Feb. 5, 2016, file photo shows Overstock.com Coliseum, also known as the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, home to the Oakland Athletics, in Oakland, Calif. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is willing to wait - to a point - for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Athletics to get new ballparks. Tampa Bay and Oakland are the only two major league teams currently seeking new stadiums. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

A look at what's happening all around the majors Wednesday:

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WHO WATCHED?

A year after the All-Star Game drew its lowest TV rating ever, Major League Baseball will see how this telecast fared.

Fox tried a few new things: Bryce Harper and George Springer wore microphones while playing the outfield and bantered with the broadcasters, and leadoff men Jose Altuve and Charlie Blackmon did interviews just seconds before they stepped into the batter's box.

Also, at a time when MLB is worried about the slow pace of play, Alex Rodriguez strolled around the infield during an early break between innings to visit with Daniel Murphy, Zack Cozart and Nolan Arenado.

COOLING OFF

Yadier Molina, Salvador Perez and most every All-Star now can use a couple days off to catch up on rest — the real games resume Friday night.

Yankees reliever Dellin Betances might benefit from the break, too. He walked two, threw two wild pitches and struck out two in his one inning Tuesday night, keeping up his often-shaky pattern from the first half of the season. So far this year, in 28 1/3 innings for New York, he's walked 26 and struck out 53.

STILL WAITING

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is hoping to see progress soon on new ballparks in Tampa Bay and Oakland. Manfred said this week that he wants to keep the Rays and Athletics in their current cities, and he's holding off on beginning expansion talks until those teams get new stadiums. He won't wait forever, though. "I am not going to indefinitely leave a club in a market without a major league quality facility," he said.

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