Jan 18, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT
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|
- The Yankees, A-Rod resolve their dispute over the $6 million milestone bonus 24
- Yankees donate $150,000 to charity to get Alex Rodriguez his 3,000th hit ball 16
- Mike Scioscia says Josh Hamilton should apologize to Angels owner Arte Moreno 78
- Settling the Scores: Thursday’s results 53
- Breaking: Cardinals fire their scouting director, likely due to the Astros hacking scandal 61
- Bryce Harper is naked in ESPN’s “Body Issue” 54
- Today is the day: Marlins ace Jose Fernandez returns from Tommy John surgery 4
- A-Rod, the Yankees and the union in talks to direct his $6 million home run bonus to charity 29
- Settling the Scores: Sunday’s results (99)
- Mike Scioscia says Josh Hamilton should apologize to Angels owner Arte Moreno (79)
- What Yasiel Puig being a pain in the butt means. And what it doesn’t mean. (78)
- Report: Jerry Dipoto “definitely out” as Angels GM (77)
- Brian Dozier is the best second baseman in baseball (72)