ESPN used to be the pinnacle of sports television. Those days are far in the past.
A prime example of this came during their first Sunday Night Baseball game of the season. They had given up any pretext of actually trying to call the game over the later innings, instead spending their time interviewing guest and discussing the NBA and NFL. At one point, they even said the game did not matter because it is early in the year.
Just take Major League Baseball from ESPN
Baseball fans certainly cared about the game. The Rangers had not been on Sunday Night Baseball in a decade and had completely overhauled their roster in an effort to contend. The Phillies are the defending National League champions. This game was a good early test to see how much the Rangers had actually improved.
This was the type of game a baseball fan could enjoy. It was a well played 2-1 contest lasting two hours and 24 minutes. But that was boring for the broadcast booth, who would rather focus on the NBA. This makes sense in a way – ESPN only cares about the NBA and NFL when it comes to their broadcasts. And they would rather give bloviating idiots such as Stephen A. Smith and Chris Russo air time than actually have actual sports programming.
It is unfortunate. There was a time when ESPN was an actual sports network, giving coverage to every league. Their Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts were solid and insightful, even if there were the occasional grumblings about some of the announcers. However, it was clear that they cared about the game and loved what they were doing. Now? The network couldn’t care less.
ESPN used to be more than just an entertainment network. These days, they cannot even pretend to care about Major League Baseball.