A Little Night Music or How ESPN Ruined Sunday Baseball

Daniel McCarthyContributor IMay 2, 2010

   Every Sunday the national television audience is given the opportunity to watch two baseball teams that they usually won't be able to. ESPN will pick up a game to showcase to the nation. They will move it to eight o'clock on Sunday Night and give Joe Morgan and Jon Miller the keys.

   It all sounds great for fans: a chance to hear some different people call your game, a chance for your team to gain national television coverage. But it really, truly isn't.

  Long gone are the days of forty plus game days on an MLB schedule. Now, usually, Saturday and Sunday provide the only opportunities to see your team play a whole game in daylight. ESPN forcing the game into " prime time" not only nullifies that opportunity but gives a whole new meaning to the word excruciating.

   Today for example, the Mets and Phillies squared off at eight o'clock eastern time. Why? Most Mets and Phillie fans have something to do Monday morning, whether that be work or some form of education. Why keep them up at least an hour later (not including the extra TV time ESPN allocates for their sponsors)? 

   Jon Miller has been doing this for a long time. I'm sure when he does the broadcasts for San Fransisco Giants games he does a great job. He's in the hall of fame, he is a great announcer but, well, he makes those Sunday Night games a whole lot worse.

  As a Met fan, one thing pleasant about Carlos Beltran's current DL stint is I don't have to hear Miller continuously butcher his name (It isn't BelT-TRAN, it's one word Miller).Same thing with Joe Morgan, a great player no doubt and I'm sure a wonderful person but they just don't do their homework on the teams. It's like they are preparing a week before the game and then just look at the stat lines and see what they can with that. And that third broadcaster whether it be Steve Phillips (who, if he is on TV at all it should be in the studio not in the booth) or Orel Hershiser is always nothing more than something that takes up space. It's sort of like Frank Caliendo's impression of John Madden: they're only stating the obvious, over and over again.

  Again as a Met fan I don't notice it because the Mets are apart of the country's biggest market, but it appears that small market teams get no love for the people in Bristol. Whether or not you like what ESPN does with their broadcasts, again I don't, it still must be nice for the team to get shown on a national stage. It seems every week the game involves the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, or to a lesser extent the Cardinals. Major League Baseball has to look at what ESPN is doing to the Sunday games, and I know that it's a revenue source of the game but it's time to listen to what the fans are saying about Sunday Night Baseball.