ESPN scheduling creates red-eye baseball

As I suggested after Sunday’s game ended just before 1 a.m. EDT in Boston, the Yankees would likely arrive in Arlington, Texas, sometime around dawn. Well, how does 5:30 a.m. CDT sound? Pretty close to dawn, right? It was almost 7 o’clock before the Yankees reached their hotel on the same morning they had a game scheduled against the Rangers 12 hours later.

Is this any way to run a professional sport?

Listen, we all love ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. It’s a cool way to end the weekend to settle in front of the flat-screen set and take in some ball. But the price some teams pay takes into question why that cable network can’t use some common sense in picking the games. Surely any Yankees-Red Sox matchup is a potential ratings winner, but did no one notice that one of those teams had a four-hour flight waiting afterward? Did no one entertain the idea that extra innings was a possibility?

Major League Baseball sold its soul to television years ago, so my complaint will fall on deaf ears. For several years, the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game before the All-Star break featured the Mariners at home, which forced Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson to fly all night from Seattle to get to the All-Star workout day in the host city on next to no sleep.

The minute Sunday night’s Yanks-Red Sox game was chosen for SNB, the commissioner’s office should have stepped in. The players gripe about the schedule all the time, yet every contract year the collective bargaining agreement is reached without this issue being settled so that players are not subjected to such a travel nightmare.

I’d like to see some TV executives face Yu Darvish in 99-degree weather on little sleep.

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