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Props to ESPN: Red Sox-Tigers tilt to be shown tonight

May 29, 2011, 4:23 PM EDT

Josh Beckett AP

When the Tigers opted to schedule a split-doubleheader with the Red Sox on Sunday following Saturday’s rainout, they left the second game to fall under MLB’s blackout rules.  ESPN has exclusive coverage of Sunday night games, and since they were showing Atlanta-Cincinnati, no one was going to get to see what figured to be a pretty outstanding Josh Beckett-Justin Verlander matchup.

ESPN, though, has given both FOX Sports Detroit and NESN permission to air the game.  We imagine there was some cash involved in the deal, but who cares?  ESPN deserves plenty of credit for giving fans the choice to switch broadcasts tonight.

  1. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - May 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Thank you ESPN wouldn’t want miss a couple of the best pitchers in the game go head to head , Big Papi coming up clutch in game one .

  2. cup0pizza - May 29, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    espn is still an awful network, but GO SOX

    • royalsfaninfargo - May 29, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      the “awfullest” network!

  3. adenzeno - May 29, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    I generally refuse to watch ESPN, the NFL/NBA network, but Props to them for this!! Well done! Thank you!

  4. aceshigh11 - May 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Man, the Sox could not POSSIBLY be more on-fire.

    They are winning in all sorts of different ways: blowouts, dominant pitching, clutch late-inning heroics…everything is working for them now.

    I NEVER expected them to recover from their awful start so quickly to be up two games in the East at this juncture. They’ve been saved by the fact that no one has been playing particularly great in that division thus far.

    There’s still a long way to go, and they’ll cool off sooner rather than later, but this is a time to savor for Sox fans.

    Tonight should be a great match-up.

    • frankvzappa - May 29, 2011 at 5:03 PM

      I really don’t see them cooling off much. They are simply head-and-shoulders above every other team in the league. Our pitchers are slow starters and we had our main hitters coming off injuries and relocations to start the season, there is no reason to expect them to start trailing off now. ESPN should show the Sox/TIgers game everywhere, nobody wants to see a schwaggy Atlanta/Cincinnati matchup.

      • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - May 29, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        No, what nobody wants is to hear all you Chowds going on about how great the Sox are. Where were you in April when they were getting their arses kicked every night? Are they a good team? No doubt. But, head and shoulders above every other team in the league? Let’s not go crazy now, spanky. You still have the 10th ranked pitching staff in the AL, and no 4 or 5 starter, and a shallow bullpen.
        There is nothing worse on this planet than a Boston sports fan whose team is on a win streak…..

      • frankvzappa - May 29, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        Where was I in April? I was here telling everybody that it was an aberration and only a moron would think they won’t finish in first. And I really don’t think your rankings matter at all, since we have already established that they are slow starters. To cite evidence of April as if it means anything at all to the argument at hand is ridiculous.

      • frankvzappa - May 29, 2011 at 6:28 PM

        And nothing worse on this planet? You don’t know much about Amerikan politics, do you?

      • aceshigh11 - May 29, 2011 at 7:28 PM

        Well, I refuse to get cocky after our miserable start.

        Every team goes through ups and downs multiple times in a season.

        Was the early season an aberration? Probably, but there was never any explanation for it, which worries me.

        As good as we’re playing now, we could go into some inexplicable tailspin just as easily, so let’s stay cool and just enjoy how they’re playing now.

  5. seeingwhatsticks - May 29, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    “By manipulating the time-space continuum ESPN, using the latest broadcasting technology, is now able to broadcast up to 245 Red Sox games per season to a national audience. ‘We think this is a big step forward for our network and our audience and we’re incredibly proud of the NASA scientists who were able to help us find a way to broadcast more games than are actually taking place,’ said ESPN President George Bodenheimer Sunday morning. ‘All credit really goes to these incredible people who have made this advancement possible. For years we’ve recognized that all Americans, with the exception of a few hundred thousand Yankees supporters, are Red Sox fans, but due to the Red Sox being unavailable to them either in person or on tv, they’ve been forced to support their local teams. We at ESPN are very proud that we are now able to let fans watch the team they really love.’

    “The move has already ruffled feathers at Yankee stadium, where Hank Steinbrenner insists that the team America wants to see most are his Yankees. ‘We are the most storied franchise and we play in the largest city in the world. The idea that Americans would rather watch games in a decrepit stadium in that second rate city is offensive to all free thinking people and we’ve already contacted both ESPN and the commissioner’s office to voice our displeasure.’ Bodenheimer and Commissioner Bud Selig refused to comment on Steinbrenner’s statement and it is unclear at this time exactly what action the Yankees are able to take.”

    In all seriousness, does anyone really think ESPN would be so quick to pick up the Reds and Braves if the Sox and Tigers had originally been scheduled for tonight? I think not.

    • JBerardi - May 29, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      People act like it’s some sort of conspiracy by ESPN to broadcast nothing but Sox and Yankees games. Guess what? They draw the most viewers. Who’s fault is that?

      • seeingwhatsticks - May 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM

        It’s not a conspiracy but it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the message sent is that only the Sox and Yanks matter, and you send it enough times, it starts to sink in and become reality. It’s good for the Sox and Yanks and it’s good for ESPN but it’s bad for baseball in the long run.

      • JBerardi - May 29, 2011 at 9:04 PM

        Yeah, it’s all ESPN’s fault. These teams certainly aren’t popular because they’re loaded with talent and win 90+ games a year as a matter of course.

        Also, why is the popularity of the Sox and Yankees bad for baseball? When have popular marquee franchises ever been seen as a problem in any other sport?

      • seeingwhatsticks - May 29, 2011 at 9:37 PM

        In the short term it’s not bad for baseball, but in the long term its potentially a disaster. How do you get people to shell out money on tickets and merchandise, or sit around watching games on tv, when the team never has a chance to win? When every decent player they get ultimately ends up leaving because the team can’t afford them? If you want teams outside of Boston and NY to make money they have to be at least periodically competitive, otherwise lack of interest will lead to lack of money which will lead to lower franchise valuations which will lead to an inability to find owners willing to lose money on them which will lead to contraction. The NFL is strong because people love football, but it’s also strong precisely because it doesn’t have 2-3 marquee franchises that win 50-75% of the time. Every team gets to make the playoffs at least once every few years and just about anyone can win the Super Bowl. The Sox and Yanks already dwarf most of the rest of major league baseball in terms of interest and financial power and if the gap keeps growing fewer and fewer teams will ever have a chance to win.

      • JBerardi - May 29, 2011 at 9:59 PM

        “The NFL is strong because people love football, but it’s also strong precisely because it doesn’t have 2-3 marquee franchises that win 50-75% of the time.”

        I can only assume you’re referring to the Giants and Rangers here.

        Stop spouting conventional wisdom and try to actually observe at the world around you. The NFL wishes it had the kind of parity that MLB does right now.

      • seeingwhatsticks - May 29, 2011 at 10:13 PM

        MLB has at least 4 teams that haven’t made the playoffs in at least 15 years (it’ll be 5 after the Orioles fail to make the playoffs next year). Do you know how many NFL teams have failed to make the playoffs in the last 15 years? Zero. MLB’s claim to parity is a joke. Just because the Sox or Yanks don’t win the World Series every single year doesn’t mean there’s meaningful parity in the league.

  6. marinersnate - May 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    “Props to ESPN”

    Yup. Except someone forgot to tell Directv. In spite of paying $200 a year for extra innings so I can watch most any game, it was still blacked out here. Every time I attempted to tune in NESN, all I got was an error message on my screne explaining “this program is not available in your area”.

    When phoning Directv, just try to find someone there on a holliday weekend who even understands what you are talking about. I did recieve three different lectures on how “ESPN has exclusive rights on Sunday night games”. Thank you. I know that.

    Not a big thing. But with what you have to pay for extra sports programming, it still ticks me off a little.

    • seeingwhatsticks - May 30, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      So why didn’t you just watch the game on ESPN?

      • marinersnate - May 30, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        “So why didn’t you just watch the game on ESPN?”

        I did. But that wasn’t my point, was it?

      • seeingwhatsticks - May 30, 2011 at 7:34 PM

        Remind me gain, what was your point?

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