Over the last week, ESPN and the New York Yankees were involved in a bitter feud after ESPN scheduled the Yankees for ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ on July 8. However, the Yankees had a legitimate reason for not wanting to be in the national spotlight.
The Yankees have a day/night doubleheader scheduled against the Baltimore Orioles on July 9, and the doubleheader was announced before ESPN initially slotted the Yankees for primetime. The team argued that the ESPN game would present a risk to players since they would be more prone to injury; the Yankees would have to play three games in a span of 24 hours which could cause exhaustion. However, ESPN wouldn’t budge and insisted the Yankees play to give their broadcast–and All-Star preview show–ratings.
That was when the Yankees decided to fight back.
On Monday afternoon, the Yankees announced that if they were forced to play the ESPN ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ broadcast, they would prohibit interviews from ESPN personnel during the course of the broadcast. They would also de-credentialize all ESPN employees and reporters for the remainder of the season.
MLB and the Players Association are negotiating to change the #Yankees July 8 game from Sunday night. The Yanks have also threatened to de-credential all #ESPN reporters and bar their access for the rest of the season if the game is not moved.
After the first game of the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, David Robertson, who is the Yankees player representative, was vocal about wanting to move the game from 8:05 back to the originally allotted 1:07 p.m. start time.
Yankees player rep David Robertson hopeful ESPN Sunday Night July 8 game at Toronto will be changed back to day game leading into July 9 doubleheader at Baltimore. In this particular case, ”I feel like we’ve been mistreated a little bit with the changing of the schedule.”
It was a long week for both sides, but on Tuesday afternoon ESPN blinked first and decided to move the Yankees game back to it’s original start time. With the Yankees moving back to their 1:07 p.m. start time, they now have more time to go through customs, and fly to Baltimore without compromising their sleep and safety.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Dodgers will fill the July 8th “Sunday Night Baseball” slot instead.