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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. acheron2112 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    The Red Sox have the same number of games as the Nationals, both two compared with the Rangers’ three. Your first sentence should say “filled with the Yankees and Rangers”.

  2. jrod2go - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Way to go espn. Put the Angels on twice before the Cards. Not that it’s a huge surprise…

    Does anyone even remember who the Angels lost to in the playoffs last season??

    • jeffrp - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      The reason for watching the Cards now plays for the Angels.

      • chadh88 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        Wainwright, Carpenter, Garcia, Freese, Berkman, Beltran, Holliday, Molina…..seems like plenty of reasons to me.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        Non-Cardinal fans don’t watch those games to see any of those players except for maybe WW and Carpenter.

      • ramsfan1818 - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        I’d rather watch the Cards we have now than watch an overpaid Pujols trot only half way down the first base line on his many double plays that he hits into. The Cardinals are the champs and you have to get over yourself.

        I’d rather have the games on FSN than on ESPN anyway.

      • modman11957 - Jan 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        St louis is happy to see god hater pujols gone

    • amhendrick - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      The Cardinals are on opening night.

  3. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    The Phillies only get one game, and it’s against the Nationals? And the lowly Nationals get 2 games? What a joke!

    • natstowngreg - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Apparently, you haven’t been paying attention. The Nats aren’t that lowly anymore. Also, ESPN didn’t announce any games for June, or after mid-July. Plenty of opportunities for he Philles, Red Sox, etc. to get on.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Until they win something, they are still a doormat to the Phillies. If they win the division one day, then you have some smack to talk about, Greg.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        I won’t be as arrogant as ‘cepts, but I will say that the Nationals aren’t yet in the class of the Phillies, but I have said previously, that I believe the Nationals will be the next “non-Phillies” winner of the NL Least. It could be in 2013, especially if the Phillies lose Hamels.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        Have no concern, Chris. The Phillies will have a grip on the NL East for several years to come. Hamels ain’t going anywhere and the Phillies will continue to print money in the basement of CBP. The beast must be fed.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        Again, I’m afraid you’re missing something important. It’s not about the Nats overtaking the Phillies; it’s about improving. It’s about becoming an interesting team, with young talent learning how to win. It’s about becoming a team worth watching. Being a contender this season (at least, for the wild Card) would be a bonus.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        greg: I was simply responding to your quote that the nats aren’t that lowly anymore. I agree and they are improving. I think right now, they are the second best team in the division and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win the NL Least in 2013.

        cepts: I am not concerned about the Phillies in the regular season…they are once again going to cruise to the NL Least division title. Of course, once the playoffs start, I have zero confidence in their offense. They have to show me something this year come October. Just got back from Vegas, where I saw some funny crap. Phillies are 11/5 to win the NL championship…funny, considering they couldn’t get out of the first round last year. And now the Marlins are actually 2nd in the odds at 3/1 with the Giants and Cubs next at 4/1!!! Holy Overrated Batman. Marlins at 3/1??? Cubs at 4/1??? I thought I was in the Twilight zone when I saw those odds.

        Rest of the NL Championship odds…I threw $10 on the Pirates. Didn’t think there was anything else worth a nickel.
        Phillies 11/5
        Marlins 3/1
        Cubs 4/1
        Giants 4/1
        Cardinals 6/1
        Braves 6/1
        Dodgers 8/1
        Reds 8/1
        Brewers 10/1
        Diamondbacks 12/1
        Nationals 12/1
        Mets 12/1
        Rockies 18/1
        Pirates 30/1
        Padres 40/1
        Astros 75/1

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Chris,

        Those Vegas odds are a joke. They have the Marlins, Cubs and Giants ahead of the Cards and Brew Crew? The Cubs are rebuilding, the Giants can’t hit and the Marlins are an experiment. What were they smoking when the put those odds together?

        The $10 you put on the Pirates seems reasonable to me. I would put them ahead of the Cubs and the Marlins, anyways.

      • cintiphil - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        I think the Vegas odds makers are heavily influenced by the heavy betting on the Cubs by some of the faithful in chi town who think every years belongs to the Cubs. I think the actual odds should be about 400/1, not 4/1.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM

        No problem, Chris. I wasn’t responding to you, just to this new member of the Phillies infestation who seems to have just a little trouble with the concept of improvement.

      • tdurk34 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        When are some of you going to understand that betting lines have less to do about who Vegas thinks is going to win and more to do with leveling the amount of money wagered on the game to insure they don’t lose money? They don’t know who is going to win anymore then me and you do. But when a lot people bet one side of the game, or team for the season, they have to adjust the odds to counter the wagers. It’s that simple. Same with who plays on Sunday night, it is about market share and who they think will draw the biggest audience to draw the biggest advertising dollars, again, simple as that. some of you take this way too serious and personnel, this is about money, and when it pertains to money the networks “follow the money”

    • dwrek5 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      You cant complain your own team because those games are already on in your market. You’ll get it no matter what time/day it comes on.
      Its those that are STUCK watching a certain team that can complain.

      - Comment Police

      • foreverchipper10 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        Not always the case. I am an Atlanta fan that lives in Northeast PA. Even when they come to play in Philly I have DirecTV and not Comcast so I can’t see those games either. Fun stuff. :(

    • angrycorgi - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Ummm…the Phillies spent 3X as much as the Nats and wound up losing in the first round of the NLDS…typical team from Philadelphia…lots of show, no go…

      • xmatt0926x - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Yeah, because no fan would take their team winning 5 divisions in a row, a world series win in 2 world series appearances and 3 league championship appearances in 5 years. Yeah…that’s all show,no go. The Nats fans wouldn’t take that at all would they? They prefer jason Werth at $17 million a year and a basement finish. Makes sense…

      • natstowngreg - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

        Yup, I don’t want to spend a good chunk of my disposable income on a team that wins all the time. Just give me an occasional win over the Fightins’ or Bravos, and the joy of watching Jayson Werth swing and miss, and we can stay in the basement.

        What’s that you say, the Nats finished in 3rd place? Imagine that.

        (sarcasm button)

    • sumerduckman - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      The lowly Nationals were 10 and 8 against the Phils last year. That’s 10 wins to 8 losses.
      They were 9 and 9 against the Braves. 4 and 2 against the WS Cards.

      • cintiphil - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        Very good assessment. The Phills have not improved much this year, but the Nat’s have. don’t live in the past all of you Philthy phans.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Complaints about the schedule? I didn’t know Adrian Gonzalez is a friend of the blog! Whine away, big guy.

  5. dluxxx - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    I love how the only AL Central team in the first half of their schedule is the team that’s now in full on rebuild mode. I’m a Twins fan, but honestly, they couldn’t even get ONE game for Detroit? They won the division last year, and are early favorites this year. It isn’t like Detroit is a small market either…

    Of course, it looks like the N.L. West is getting shorted too. Ladies and gentelmen, your 3rd place L.A. Dodgers!!!

    One last one, (not like the N.L. East isn’t getting enough love) but I see that Miami isn’t on the schedule either. Seems like they would have some interest seeing as how they just spent a ton of money to improve their team…

    • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      Nationally, no one cares about the Marlins. And locally, they can’t even fill their stadium with 20,000 people.

      • sportsdrenched.com - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        But they’re a lot more compelling to me than the Phillies. The Phillies are a baseball team. The Marlins strike me as something Bill Veeck thought of.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      They’re probably waiting to see if that cocktail of Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Carlos Zambrano and Ozzie Guillen explodes the Miami Metro Area BEFORE committing them to the schedule.

      • jwbiii - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        The Marlins have signed with Showtime. The Ozzie and Hanley Show will get plenty of airtime.

    • kopy - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      The Brewers are missing from the list too. Division winners and NL runners-up… They aren’t in my market, and it would be nice to see them on TV at least once.

  6. rj88888 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    No parity in the league creates this bias schedule and average ratings.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      Yeah, the MLB should totally have the parity of the NFL where we can watch the Patriots win their 4th SB in the last 10 years, or the NBA to watch the Celtics/Lakers win numerous other Championships….

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        Yeah, because championships are the only thing that matters when it comes to parity, right? LOL. Come on church. The NFL has the most year-to-year parity of all the sports. Why? Hard Cap. Every year there is 50% turnover in the playoffs. More than that, every year there are teams that surprise you, with the latest being the 2011 49ers. Them making the NFC championship game would be like the Kansas City Royals up and making the 2012 ALCS. We both know that isn’t happening anytime soon. They will be lucky to be a .500 ball club. Why? Well, they haven’t made the playoffs in 27 years. Toronto hasn’t made the playoffs in 2 decades.

        Name a team who hasn’t made the playoffs in the NFL in more than 12 years…don’t both to look because you can’t. In the last 12 years EVERY team in the NFL has made at least 1 appearance in the playoffs. There are 5 teams in MLB that haven’t made the playoffs in more than 13 years…Tor, KC, Wash/MTL, Pitt, and Baltimore. But it isn’t just that. In the NFL, there aren’t any teams who are destined to suck, like a team like KC. That division hasn;t even been all that great, yet Kansas City continues to suck. Why? Well when they actually had some talent, they couldn’t keep it because of FA.

        Baseball zealots will continue with the Championship talk to prove parity, but the fact is that parity isn’t defined by Championships…it’s defined by whether a team’s fans have anything to be excited about. And for Pirates and Royals fans, there isn’t diddly squat to be excited about. Whereas, even a team like the Rams in the NFL played for the division in game 16 last year. And look at the Raiders/Broncos/Chiefs this year. Panthers are looking up. Vikings were 12-4 two years ago and they stink now. But their fans don’t have to worry about a 15 year drought for the playoffs. They will make it sometime in the next 3 years.

        Maybe with the added Wild Card, a team like the Pirates or Royals can make some noise. I sure hope so. Because it has to be pretty shitty to be a fan of the Pirates or Royals for the last couple decades.

      • kopy - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        As far as the NBA goes, small number of players on a roster and court means 1 player affects the overall talent of their team more than any other sport. This is how Cleveland can be terrible, draft LeBron, and then play in conference championships. Or how the Lakers can actually struggle in the early 90s until they trade Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant. Or how the Bulls can be largely irrelevant in the post-Jordan years until they draft Derrick Rose.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        The NFL has the most year-to-year parity of all the sports. Why? Hard Cap. Every year there is 50% turnover in the playoffs.

        Do you really think it’s the hard cap, which there isn’t one actually, is the reason for “parity” in the NFL and not the short season? The fact that in 16 games, you get lucky once or twice and you are 10-6 instead of 8-8 and make the playoffs?

        Biggest problem with MLB and “parity” is you can’t get lucky over a 162 game season. It’s too long, and the talented teams tend to rise to the top. The same reason why any team can beat any other team in a short 2/3/4 game series, but rarely do you see the royals or the astros beating a team over 18 games, let alone 162.

      • nategearhart - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        Not to mention more teams make the playoffs in the NFL. I like the arbitrary 12 year cutoff point though. How about we talk about the overall success rate of the Lions and the Browns over that 12 year span. We aren’t talking about teams that go 8-8 or 9-7 and just miss – these have been BAD teams. Every league has them.

      • Paul Zummo - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        The NFL has the most year-to-year parity of all the sports. Why? Hard Cap. Every year there is 50% turnover in the playoffs.

        Yeah, that’s a way higher turnover than the average turnover rate of MLB: 62.5%. Oh Wait. It’s lower.

        This highlights one of the great myths about sports: that football has so much more parity than baseball and other sports. Year in, and year out, baseball has comparable (and sometimes even better) playoff turnover rates. This past year there were five teams that made the playoffs that missed the post-season in 2010. In 2010, there were five teams that missed in 2009. I think the max number of repeat teams we’ve seen in recent years is 5. As for the NFL, it’s exactly a 50/50 split, which is basically what it is almost every year.

        And how are the 49ers making the NFC Championship game like the Royals doing the same? The 49ers are major market team that was the dominant franchise in sports not that long ago.

        Yes, there are a few absolute bottom feeders in baseball. But in your litany of teams from the NFL that you mentioned, you neglected to name the teams that haven’t even won a playoff game this century: Dolphins, Bills, Bengals, Browns, Chiefs, and Lions, plus a handful of others that have one playoff win. Meanwhile, there are seven baseball franchises that have not won a post-season series since the turn of the century, and there’s one fewer round and of course you have to win multiple games instead of just one.

        So in your effort to crow about football’s relative parity, you harp on the two or three teams that have been repeatedly awful, and in those cases it’s not about the money so much as it’s been front office incompetence. And yes, the Browns, Texans, Lions and Redskins get to make the playoffs once a decade or so. I’m sure the fans of those franchises really treasure those memories of being otherwise irrelevant. And ignore championships all you want, but a majority of baseball teams’ fans have at least one World Series title to cherish within the past 27 years (my personal frame of reference as a sports fan). That’s more than football.

        The only one of the major sports that is truly awful from a competitive balance standpoint is the NBA, where it’s really dominated by about 7 or 8 teams. Now that’s a sport where a majority of the fans have no hope.

      • nightman13 - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        How can anybody logically argue that MLB has the same or more parity than the NFL?

        First of all @Church, there is a hard cap in the NFL. Bonuses are exempt from the cap as long as the player is on the roster, but if you cut him then the bonuses not only count, but accelerate their hit on the cap. Second, it doesn’t matter if a lucky break here or there is responsible for parity or not. The NFL has parity and luck is one of the factors that contributes to parity.

        @Nategearhart

        The Browns were an expansion team that had to build from the ground up, so naturally they had some bad years followed by bad management. The Lions were managed at historically bad levels for years as well. However, the teams had the opportunity to compete, they were just run poorly. Now that the Lions have a good GM that makes intelligent moves, they went from 0-16 to making the playoffs in three years. They also have the ability to retain the players they build around once they hit free agency, unlike the Brewers and Prince.

        Parity in the NFL is created by the cap, revenue sharing, free agency, draft pick compensation and some luck, but it’s based on the fact that all teams are given equal opportunities to compete. If a team doesn’t compete for a long period of time it’s due to poor management, not financial or economic reasons.

      • Paul Zummo - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        How can anybody logically argue that MLB has the same or more parity than the NFL?

        I just did, citing facts that you chose to ignore.

        By the way, the Browns are an expansion team that came into the league in 1999. By way of comparison, the Marlins and Diamondbacks won championships in their fifth and fourth seasons respectively. The Rays came into existence a year earlier than the Browns, and after a decade of sucking are now one of the elite teams in baseball. So the expansion excuse is kind of pathetic to be using at this point.

        And the points about the Lions is also true of the Royals and Pirates. Sure, finances hurt them, but why have they been perpetually awful whiles teams like the A’s and Rays have had the ability to make the playoffs? Management counts, too.

    • xavier46 - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:51 AM

      @ Paul

      And ignore championships all you want, but a majority of baseball teams’ fans have at least one World Series title to cherish within the past 27 years (my personal frame of reference as a sports fan). That’s more than football.

      ***********************************************************************************************************
      That is a horribly weak argument. 1984-2011 (27 years) 18 different franchises won the WS, in that same period 15 different franchises won the SB. In MLB 24 different franchises made WS appearances, compared with 25 franchises making SB appearances.

      Since 1995 (WC era in MLB) 11 franchises have won a WS. NYY/BOS have won 7, the rest of MLB, 28 teams, have won 9 championships. Since 98, NYY/BOS have won 6, rest of MLB, 7.

      Take the period directly preceding that, 1969-1993, 7 AL East franchises and 7 NL East franchises won the WS, while 6 franchises from the NL East and 5 from the NL West won. This is parity.

      That’s the beef of most fans outside of NYY and BOS.

      If MLB had a salary floor (and ceiling), an extra WC slot, and non-guaranteed contracts similar to the NFL, parity would run rampant. Every year 8-10 MLB teams know they cannot compete for a WS. Every year 32 NFL teams and their fans feel they can make the playoffs.

      • modman11957 - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        Didn’t know nfl was a sport,with all the ped enhanced bodies I thougt it was something akin to rassling

  7. yankeesfanlen - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    The Yankees are ONLY on 3 times (so far)????Heresy!!!!
    Anyway, the Universe is set up to play afternoons on Sunday. As the clock strikes midnight and it’s the bottom of the seventh………

  8. rgledz - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Oh my God! only two Yankees/Red Sox games!? What will we do? In the minds of ESPN and Fox we all care about it so much and now we’re down to two games……..hopefully it will be the Fox Saturday game of the week on multiple occasions because I care so much about that rivalry. (laced with sarcasm)

    • cintiphil - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      But this is what you get when ESPN is located in Conn, and heavily influenced by major East Coast sports pundits. Yes, they have some color guys contributing who are not from N/East, but the entire show is controlled by New England and New York commentators. And most are good.

      • nightman13 - Jan 18, 2012 at 5:09 PM

        Whoa whoa whoa, most ESPN commentators are good?! Maybe on ESPN 8 the Ocho’s Dodgeball coverage. For football, baseball and everything else they are AWFUL.

      • cintiphil - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        Yes, they are very bad on Football. I was speaking about baseball. And, I don’t mean that I like them on a personal level. However, I meant that they are competent and know baseball.

  9. natstowngreg - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Two games for the Nats. with the potential for more if they can make it into the playoff race. Previously, they could only get prime time when Nats Park opened in 2008. ESPN is betting that the Nats will continue to improve this season, which is good to see.

    For those complaining about their team not being on the schedule, chill. ESPN announced fewer than half of the Sunday Night schedule.

  10. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Here’s another problem that I have with the schedule that I just noticed. The first (4) Sunday’s of the schedule are all American League games. What’s up with that? Seems a little fishy to me.

    • cintiphil - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Do I have to say again; they are controlled by the N/East (American League) Yankee and Bosox sports guys.

  11. Joe - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    I guess I’m glad that my favorite team owns it’s own TV network. I get to watch the Red Sox play all 162 games next year. I’m sure glad I don’t have to count on Sunday Night Baseball to come through for me.

  12. jehzsa - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    What? One Tampa Bay Rays game!

    But…but…but…they don’t have any fans! Real or imaginary.

    • jehzsa - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Forgot.

      Go Rays!

  13. cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Np Blue Jays? Typical anti-beaver propaganda.

    • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      ESPN does have Women’s College Softball on occasionally, so you can’t say with certainty what they are anti-beaver, can you?

    • foreverchipper10 - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      I am pro-beaver :)

  14. a125125125 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Wow…..an awful lot of anger over the ESPN Sunday Night schedule. Everyone realizes that your team will still be on TV in your local market when they play on Sunday afternoon, right? Failing that….MLB.TV has every game for everyone outside the market.

    I’m sure you’ll be able to avoid the Nationals and watch the Phillies at your leisure. (if you’re a Phillies fan, we can be sure that your work commitments at a hospital, law firm, or engineering firm won’t get in the way…..getting off your shift at Arby’s might prove more tricky)

    • umrguy42 - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Actually…. it’s been pointed out above I think, but there are plenty of us who AREN’T in the local markets for our teams. (I, for example, am a born and bred Cards fan, but here I am stuck in central NY, firmly Yankees country…)

      • akismet-e94e2dd5b966290bc3e91dd6e183caeb - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        Come on. It’s 2012. I’m on the road nearly every week for work. I have a MLB.TV subscription. Every game is available whenever you’d like.

        Does anyone really care about *watching* the ESPN broadcasts?

  15. psuravens19 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    The NFL is great at showcasing the Super Bowl champs by having them start the next season with Thursday Night Football. MLB should start considering this as well; it’s a great way to get the season started.

    • jwbiii - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      The Cardinals are opening in Milwaukee this season. The WS champion playing a division champion in a domed stadium so it won’t be snowed out. Nahh, that would have been too easy.

      • jwbiii - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        Ok, The Cardinals play one game in Miami. The first Sunday of the season, they will be in Milwaukee.

    • amhendrick - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      From the article:

      “ESPN’s 23rd season of Major League Baseball will also include five games April 4-6 highlighted by an exclusive Opening Night telecast when the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals visit the Miami Marlins, in the debut of Marlins Park, Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m”

  16. randygnyc - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Why would they bother featuring the phillies-nats? Or the nats-braves? Pretty sure nobody cares about these underachievers. I don’t. Should show an extra Yankee game and Angel game (maybe the new look marlins).

  17. randygnyc - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Kopy, why would espn care about the brewers? They will be a mere shell of what they were last year without fielder and brauns suspension. They were they only reason anyone would care to see.

    • nightman13 - Jan 18, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      Why weren’t they on at all last year when they were one of the best teams in the league?

  18. buffalomafia - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Baseball is good the first week of the season & September/October!

    Half the teams are out of it by end of May anyway?

  19. deathmonkey41 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Wow, has anyone called a Wahhhhbulence yet?

  20. hank10 - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    First, this isn’t the entire schedule as June 1 – July1 is TBD. Second, if you go the ESPN site, there is also a slate of games from July 22 to end of season that are TBD, which Craig somehow left off from the above list. So there are plenty of dates for your favorite, or not-so-favorite, team(s) to appear.

  21. raven410 - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Wait no Orioles games?

  22. nategearhart - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Wow, it’s not enough for some people to play armchair GM and manager, they gotta play armchair cable broadcasting scheduler now too? How boring can fantasy land get?

  23. scout144 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Glad they didn’t include the Brewers, would rather watch them on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

  24. sloozeronymous - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    The charges of “big-market” or “east-coast” bias do tend to ignore the reality that ESPN is simply predicting the highest-rated games and stories, so I’m with you on that, Craig. But at the same time, ESPN either doesn’t acknowledge (or doesn’t know) that it does not have a traditional supply-demand relationship with the market — companies that are THAT monstrously big also create demand to at least some extent. In theory, it could experiment featuring 1-2 smaller market teams consistently, and I bet fan interest in those teams would grow over time (assuming they can stay competitive for multiple years).

    I don’t expect ESPN to ever take advantage of their market power in that way, though, as there is no clear profit motive. I only point this out to acknowledge the fact that yes, the Sox and Yankees already had a bigger market than most teams, but ESPN is helping to lock that into a self-reinforcing loop as opposed to using its market might to take a tiny step toward leveling the MLB playing field.

    I do wonder about the aggregate ratings power of small-to-mid-market fans, and how much behavior change would be required for ESPN to take notice…

  25. raphenet - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    If your team isn’t on the list you win. Sunday baseball should be played in the sunshine. I won’t buy tickets to Sunday game in advance bc of ESPN. Sunday night baseball at 8pm is BS for east coast teams.

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