Remember those teams who played in the World Series just a few months back?
Over at Hardball Talk, Craig Calcaterra threw up the first month's worth of broadcasts on ESPN, including their quadruple-header Opening Day coverage and the first five Sunday Night Baseball matchups. While the large-market Giants find themselves on the Worldwide Leader in Sports on Opening Day--thanks in no small part to the fact that they play opposite just one other team at 10:00 PM Eastern--neither of the participants in the 2014 World Series will be featured on Sunday Night Baseball, the marquee game of each week.
A quick glance at the docket yields little in the way of surprises, as the Yankees and Red Sox are featured twice in the first five weeks because ESPN is nothing if not slavish to their in part self-created cash cow, the tired New York / Boston rivalry. After all, what would ESPN have to do if they were not promoting the sport's only two teams? Never mind that these two teams failed to make the playoffs last year, that the Yankees are now two full seasons from their last playoff berth, that Derek Jeter retired--WHAT?!?--or that the Red Sox went from World Champs to sixth-worst team in baseball. America HAS to have this game. Twice.
The first of the five announced Sunday Night games features the Cardinals at the Cubs because why not? After the following week's first foray into the tedious world of YankSawxdom, the Cardinals play host to the Reds. Really. Who's up in week four? Well, that's the Yankees and Mets in Yankee Stadium. The next week? Yankees at Boston.
Of course, all of this means that Royals fans don't have to suffer through coverage in which the broadcast crew struggle to identify players on a team they've systematically ignored the greater part of three decades in dedication to the greater cause of paying heed only to the five most popular teams (who are popular largely because they're always on TV) while letting the rest wither on the vine.
As for the rest of the country, they can simply wait until the 23 seconds of Royals highlights buried in the 47th minute of the Baseball Tonight broadcast to glimpse the reigning American League Champions.