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ESPN announces the Sunday Night Baseball schedule

Jan 18, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

old TV

It’s that time of year: the time when (a) ESPN announces its Sunday Night Baseball schedule, filled with the Yankees, the Red Sox and other big market teams; and (b) people complain about ESPN’s big market and/or east coast bias.

And yes, in an ideal world everyone should get a turn in the spotlight and we’d all enjoy a couple of Seattle-Oakland Sunday night matchups. But ESPN is in the business of drawing viewers and making money, so these complaints, while understandable on one level, are rather pointless on all the levels that matter to ESPN.

I’ll also note that, as an employee of a company which has an all-sports network, it’s something I can’t criticize with any level of intellectual honesty. We know what pays the bills. If the NBC Sports Network had Sunday Night Baseball rights and I was in charge of it, you can bet your bippy I’d feature the highest-rated games possible. The key would be to make coverage of those games interesting and insightful for fans of those teams as well as non-fans, and to not forget that 28 other baseball teams exist too.  ESPN doesn’t always do this, of course.

Anyway, it’s just the first half schedule — they release the second half one after the season is underway and people know what’s what — and ESPN sells it this way:

The Sunday Night Baseball schedule will feature the Los Angeles Angels and offseason acquisition Albert Pujols visiting the New York Yankees and Derek Jeter on April 15; two rivalry matchups between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (April 22 and July 8); multiple appearances by the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals (May 20 and July 15, in addition to Opening Night April 4); and three appearances by the Texas Rangers – the defending AL pennant winners – April 8 and 29 and May 13.

Here’s the whole schedule.  Please lodge the inevitable complaints in the comments.

Date Teams (all telecasts at 8 p.m. ET)
April 8 Chicago White Sox at Texas
April 15 L.A. Angels at N.Y. Yankees
April 22 Yankees at Boston
April 29 Tampa Bay at Texas
May 6 Philadelphia at Washington
May 13 Angels at Texas
May 20 St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers
May 27 Washington at Atlanta
June 3-July 1 TBD
July 8 Yankees at Boston
July 15 St. Louis at Cincinnati
  1. APBA Guy - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    You guys should at least be thanking ESPN (which stands for Eastern Sports Network-really, it does) for NOT showing those A’s v. Mariners games Craig mentioned. Unless they were on a Saturday afternoon. Then the welcome nap starting just after lineups are announced…Maybe Fox will broadcast some of those games regionally. I know after my long Saturday morning run by the Bay I’m ready to get a couple of hours, and there is no better inducement than watching the A’s “hitters” flail away in a futile attempt to contact a ball traveling much faster and with more movement than they’ve evidently ever previously beheld. And the quiet of the stadium…very peaceful…very relaxing…

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    The only reason I ever want my Brewers on ESPN Sunday night is because then I can wait till the evening to get hammered watching them instead of having to start at 1pm. The ESPN crew sucks. My ears bleed listening to them.

  3. airedale1950 - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Childish bickering about whose team gets how much screen time…it’s Bulls^*t and doesn’t make any difference to the little whiners anyway…
    ….all of them, and half of the rest of the children in America will have to be in bed by the second inning anyway. Just like the playoffs starting at 8:48 eastern…kids can’t watch baseball anymore.

  4. honkerdawg - Jan 19, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    I’m surprised the Angels are on every Sunday, what better way to pander to AP and that’s what ESPN is the BEST at

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