You might have heard this apocalyptic news and run for the hills already, but ESPN will choose to momentarily acknowledge the existence of the Kansas City Royals this year by featuring them on Sunday Night Baseball for the first time since 1996.
Meanwhile, of the 12 games announced so far, the Yankees and Phillies each figure into three of them, while several other teams make repeat appearances.
The decision to repeatedly feature the same marquee teams reminds me of how many people grocery shop: we like to think we are open to a wide variety of things, but each time we shop is a separate event, and each time we usually end up buying the same old tried-and-true items. While some would argue for a more diverse featuring on the sports' weekly premiere showcase in order to expose the nation to more of the league's lesser-known players, on any given weekend, Yankees/Red Sox will be a winner (up to a saturation point), while Royals/Orioles is bound to be a bomb.
Another view from the Stew:
The cynic in me — sorry, Conan — is claiming that ESPN will have their trucks out west for the Cubs-Dodgers game the following week anyway. It would also seem that it doesn't mind burning a spot on the Royals since the game falls on Independence Day and ratings are likely to be very low no matter who's playing that night.