Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The (Not So) Game of the Week

Before we get too far from the weekend, I'd like to comment on our national game viewing options, courtesy of Fox Sports and ESPN, for 23 and 24 June.

23 June: Yankees visited Pac Bell Park to play the Giants.
24 June: Indians visited the Ted to play Atlanta.

On the day of the games, here is their respective positions in their respective divisions:

Yankees - second in AL East, 10.5 games behind Boston.
Giants - Last in NL West, 11 games behind Arizona. Oh, and on an 8-game losing streak.
Indians - second in AL Central, 1 game behind Detroit.
Braves - third in AL East, 3.5 games behind the Mets.

In the meantime, Boston is playing San Diego. The best team in the AL against the second best team in the NL by percentage points. NONE of these games were seen on prime TV.

When Boston plays New York, the powers that be have no problem shoving THAT smarm-fest down our throat. God forbid when, a possible world series preview is in progress, those games be shown nationally.

Saturday's game in San Diego should have been on FOX at 1:05p. Not on local TV at 7:05. Sunday's game should have been at night on ESPN.

Did I mention that Sunday's game was 9-1 Jake Peavy against 10-1 Josh Beckett. Last time two pitchers with W-L records that good faced each other was 1997 (11-1 Clemens against 9-1 Denny Neagle; also an interleague game, coincidentally). Time before that? 19-friggin-hundred.
And the two are only the front-runners in their respective leagues for this year's Cy Young.

That doesn't happen very often, does it? Think that game would merit a national telecast?


The other thing I don't get is, Bos/SD was a West Coast game. It could have shifted to an afternooon start and still fit the regional telecast business model blindly practiced by today's sports programmers.

I'm sure there's a perfectly infuriating explanation for this, like the TV contract MLB signed with their broadcast partners doesn't allow changing games/start times until August. Or some such crap.

All I know is, one of the marquis series of the regular season (based on how the teams have played so far) was trumped by games involving the barely relevant Braves and the completely irrelevant Giants.

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