There’s a bit of pride in having your team chosen for a national broadcast, but maybe not when they’re the sacrificial lambs and you’d really just like to get it over with. The Dodgers completed a season sweep of the Mets last night, and Mets radio announcer Howie Rose voiced his frustrations with the start of the game being held up for ESPN.
National TV is a necessary evil (ESPN is paying MLB $1.4 billion a year for three games a week, including Sunday Night Baseball), but it’s not always the most fan friendly experience. Here’s Rose, waiting to call the game’s first pitch...and waiting...and waiting some more, for the “network stooge” to give the okay to begin play. Nobody can play until ESPN is ready:
To make matters worse, this was originally scheduled as a 1 p.m. game before being tapped for the national slot, so fans with tickets expecting a lovely weekend afternoon in the sun didn’t end up getting out until after 11. A silver lining, then, that the Dodgers scored early and often, winning 8-0 and moving to 79-32, one game off the pace of the 2001 Mariners. It was okay to leave early.