Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs home to score a run on a two run single by A.J. Ellis in the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium.
On Friday, ESPN announced they are picking up the broadcast rights to the Dodgers' game versus the Reds in Cincinnati on September 8th for Sunday Night Baseball. This will be the Dodgers fourth game on ESPN this year, and third in six weeks starting from August 11th.
At a glance this is just another game where you turn to Prime Ticket to see horse racing or a random college athlete biography, and have to flip through the channels trying to find the game. But, it really shows the national appeal this team brings.
41 wins in 49 games, 24-3 since the All-Star Break, 9 wins in a row? It is just ridiculous, then you mix in the star-power of this roster, Puig, Hanley, Kemp, Ethier, Gonzalez, Crawford, with the possibility of Kershaw or Greinke on the mound, and you have an game advertisment that writes itself for ESPN.
Last week the Dodgers were featured on Sunday Night Baseball against the Rays. The 8-2 victory, featuring Clayton Kershaw on the mound for LA, was the top rated baseball game on cable of the week with 1.7 million viewers nationwide.
The Dodgers are now slated for two more Sunday Night games, August 25th at home against the Red Sox, and September 8th in Cincinnati against the Reds.
This is the way it was supposed to be all along this year. Baseball fans across the country are supposed to groan at seeing the Dodgers picked for yet another national broadcast, "Aw, man! I have to watch the stinkin' Dodgers again tonight?! I hate these guys!" Ah, the sweet sound of jealous, whining fan-bases around the country.
For years it has felt like ESPN is always showing a Red Sox-Yankees game, and fans are always complaining about always having to watch them, but those are consistently the highest rated games on cable. That just goes to show you the draw that two of the biggest names in baseball have to viewers nationwide.
Well, in seven weeks of Sunday Night games, there will be only one game not featuring either the Dodgers, Yankees, or Red Sox. Feels good to have the Dodgers up there with two of the most loved/hated franchises in baseball.
The only downside to these national broadcasts is that we lose the chance to hear Vin Scully for a couple of games, and that is quite the sacrifice.
Tweets From Anti-#Dodger Nation
Let's just say that, not everyone was happy about ESPN picking up another Dodger game!
Screw espn and the dodgers.
— Ellis Coffee (@_Mr_Coffee) August 16, 2013
Yankees and Dodgers plastered all over ESPN not shocking.
— #juhpower (@Jasinjuh) August 17, 2013
ESPN suddenly notices Reds are part of the NL Central race, gives us Sunday Night game. (Of course, it's against the Dodgers.)
— Church of Baseball (@churchofbasebal) August 16, 2013