Posted by Irregaahhdless
I got this e-mail from my buddy Marc. Since it involves plenty of bitterness, swearing and a “Bull Durham” reference, I thought it’d fit in well here.
Seriously? I mean … seriously?
So let me get this straight. Though I complained, I could have at least understood sticking the Phillies with two midweek mid-afternoon games this week — after all, no one cares about the Rockies. Fine, I get it. Of the eight teams in the playoffs, the Rockies matter the least (in terms of a national following) and will naturally be stuck with the worst times to play.
But just look at Sunday’s schedule. It’s a quadruple-header — each series will be in action — and of course MLB has to figure out a way to get them all on the same TV network without going head-to-head against the NFL, because baseball will lose, and lose badly. So the Red Sox play at noon ET (awfully early for Angels fans out west) to avoid bumping into a key Pats game that kicks at 4 p.m. Yanks-Twins are at 7 p.m. because, well, it’s the Yankees and they get the primetime slot, while avoiding conflicts with the Giants (1 p.m.), Vikings (1 p.m.) and Jets (Monday night).
Which leaves the NL with Cards-Dodgers at 3:37 p.m. ET and the Phils-Rocks at (oh my holy God) 10:07 p.m. Why? Probably because the Broncos have a 4:15 p.m. ET kick at home, and it would make a real mess out of downtown Denver to have 75,000 people filing into one stadium and 50,000 in another a mile away (while it’s snowing, mind you). So, OK, I get it.
But, as Hubie Brown would say, You’ve got eight playoff teams. Two play in the pacific time zone, one in mountain, two in central and three in the east. It isn’t going to work out for everyone. But baseball has backed itself into a corner by putting all its eggs in the TBS basket. The games have to be scheduled so they won’t overlap, which of course they will anyway because playoff baseball games do not take three hours to complete.
As it turns out, the same thing happened two years ago (also a Phillies-Rockies series), where the silver lining to the Phillies getting swept was not having to watch a Game 4 that would have started at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night. In the old days I recall TBS and ESPN splitting the division series, partially to avoid this exact scenario — the games could be staggered an hour or two apart, sort of like NCAA tourney games, while the networks alternate coverage throughout the day. Now, instead we get TBS’s shockingly mediocre coverage (camera two! camera two!) that can’t even figure out how to overcome some measly solar activity.
When you add it up, three of the first four games of the Phils-Rocks series will be played out of prime time in the Eastern Time zone. Even tomorrow night’s Game 3 (9:37 p.m.) is pushing it, but at least that’s on a Saturday. But first pitch after 10 p.m. in the east on a Sunday? Really? That’s a middle finger to Philadelphia, the No. 4 TV market in the country, the defending World F. Champions. That’s saying, “We don’t care if you can’t watch your team.” As Crash Davis would say, fuck this fucking game.
To be honest, I find it sort of refreshing that other people are flipping off Philadelphia. As for the rest of the rant, um, whatever.
It seems to me that the late time slot is the only one that would have worked for Phils-Rockies. You can’t have a playoff game at noon ET in Colorado. If the Phillies had the 3:37 p.m. start, Marc’s mail would have bitched about the unfairness of having to choose between the baseball game and the end of the Eagles game. Putting the Phillies at 6:37 p.m. would have pissed off both New York AND Minnesota — which represent a bigger market share than Philadelphia. So, welcome to the 10:07 p.m. slot, Philadelphia! Them’s the breaks sometimes.