Daily Sports: NL Central Focus On Wednesday

The venues of the NL Central are the focal point of Wednesday’s TV daily sports schedule, with matinee action in the afternoon and then prime-time on ESPN. Baseball fans can tune into the MLB Network at 12:30 PM ET for a getaway game between the Oakland A’s and Cincinnati Reds.

Then ESPN takes over at 8 PM ET—note that it’s one hour later than the normal start time—for the Dodgers-Cardinals from Busch Stadium. All four teams are on a pace to make the playoffs, all four are in hot races, so it adds up to a good baseball TV day.

The high-quality baseball action becomes even more necessary when you consider that the NFL Network will spend the day foisting reruns of the Hard Knocks look at the 2012 Miami Dolphins. These reruns go from 2 PM ET to 7 PM ET, which amounts to five hours that humanity will never get back.

If you want to avoid baseball that badly, stick with a college football rerun, with last year’s Orange Bowl matchup of Florida State-Northern Illinois going on ESPNU. While the Seminoles controlled this game and eventually blew it open, NIU hung around deep into the third quarter.

NBA-TV continues its great showing this week of classic games. At 2 PM ET, it’s Game 7 of the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics nipped the 76ers by two, completing a comeback from 3-1 series deficit, with none of the three wins by more than a bucket.

Then at 8 PM ET, it’s another moment from Celtics lore. In Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals, the Lakers looked on the verge of taking control of the series. Then Kevin McHale clotheslined Kurt Rambis, and the momentum seemed to shift, with Boston ultimately winning the championship. The McHale hit on Rambis would be recalled twenty years later when Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek popped Alex Rodriguez in the face and a then-lifeless Red Sox team seemed to come together at the point en route to a title.

Here at TheSportsNotebook today, we’ve got college football coverage on the brain. The SEC preview posted yesterday and now we’re on to the Big 12 today.