Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Less postseason baseball coverage on Sportscenter? Yes please!

Here's some good news: ESPN and MLB are stuck in a feud that could mean less postseason baseball coverage on the worldwide leader and more football coverage. ESPN scooped TBS by announcing the All Star games this year before TBS's supposedly exclusive, rain delayed special. Major League Baseball responded by limiting Baseball Tonight's access to AT&T Park at all times during All Star weekend except the Home Run Derby.

The latest standoff is over ESPN's refusal to air commercials promoting postseason games on Fox and TBS. ESPN's stance is that they are not contractually obligated to promote what essentially is a competing product, like they and TNT are for postseason NBA coverage. ( mentions that the Monday Night Football booth mentioned "the NBA on TNT" six times Monday when Charles Barkley was in the booth.) Baseball could potentially mete out a punishment similar to the All Star game, which, I hope and pray, could mean less fluff analysis from John Kruk and Dusty Baker, both of whom make Joe Theismann look insightful.

It really shouldn't surprise me that Major League Baseball continues to make petty, myopic decisions like this one, but it does. Seriously, how does daring Sportscenter to rein in their baseball coverage make sense when it's in your interest to promote your product? But this little jihad makes me happy; I would prefer hearing Ed Werder relaying unnamed sources in the Bears' locker room in a Grossman piece over Karl Ravech trying to turn a five second clip of Joe Torre praising a set up guy into a five minute piece by a factor of infinity.

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