Cleat Geeks

The New York Yankees vs ESPN

Let me be clear starting out here, I do not care for the New York Yankees nor do I have an affection for the supposed world wide leader in sports ESPN. So, when I read about these two mighty powers fighting, I had to know more and write about it. Therefore, lets look at and make an argument for both sides in this big power struggle in MLB.Image result for espn logo

As most of you know ESPN has paid for the rights to both Sunday and Monday Night Baseball. Part of the agreement with paying for those rights is that ESPN can basically name the game they want with reasonable advance warning. For the Sunday night game on July 8th ESPN was requesting that the Yankees move their scheduled time of the Toronto Blue Jays at the New York Yankees from the original start time of 1:07 EDT to 8:07 EDT so they could then broadcast that game on their Sunday Night format. I would think the Yankees would consider that an honor, especially knowing that the Blue Jays have had the largest reduction in home game attendance in baseball so far this season. ESPN believes the Yankees are that big of a draw that they will equal a large viewing audience despite the obvious decline in the Toronto product shown by their fans.

But the Yankees refused to accommodate the ESPN request. That Sunday afternoon game is the final of a three game series between the Blue Jays and the Yankees. Then, because of a rain out on May 31st of the scheduled match-up between the Orioles and the Yankees, the Yankees are now scheduled to play a double-header in Baltimore with the start time for the first game being at 4:05 EDT and the second game to follow soon after the conclusion of the first game in a traditional double-header. The Yankees did not like the idea of playing basically 3 games in a 24 hour time span, in two different cities and told ESPN they were going to fight them on the time change.

I guess I understand the Yankees’ point of view. But MLB now allows both teams involved in a double-header to add a 26th player for that day only, and Baltimore is a short plane ride from Yankee Stadium. However, ESPN paid for the right to be able to move any game on the schedule to their primetime spot and broadcast the game on their Sunday Night format. ESPN is not breaking any contract rules, or anything, so I also see their point as well.

Image result for new york yankees espnThe Yankees had even threatened to boycott ESPN reporters if they were forced to play three games in two cities over a 24-hour span. The team also reached out to the Players Association and the Commissioner’s Office for assistance in settling the dispute. Honestly, I don’t see the big issue with the time change. Especially when you factor in the schedule for most of the players. The Yankees play those 4 games in 3 days in Baltimore, then they make another short flight to Cleveland for the final four games of the first half of the season. Most of the Yankee players will get 4 straight days for the All-Star Game beginning on the following Friday. And again, that is a short trip to Washington D.C.

The Yankees won this dispute as ESPN has decided to have the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels be featured as the national Sunday Night Baseball telecast. Personally, I don’t think it was an outlandish request of ESPN. I think the Yankees should take it as an honor to be asked to move to primetime and most importantly, ESPN pays for the rights to these games on these days and should granted the request of moving the time to fit their schedule and audience.

I am curious to know our fan’s thoughts on this matter. Who do you think should have won this dispute; the Yankees or ESPN? Leave your comments in the section below.

One Comment

  1. Vinny

    June 8, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Screw the fans who bought tickets specifically for the 1pm start, right? Or the fans who rented a charter bus so they could get to the game, then arrive home at a decent time. Very few fan friendly Sunday afternoon games. Screw ESPN and MLB. I’m tired of reasonable requests like this.

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