Friday night was set to be a good night for baseball, with the Detroit Tigers going to the Bronx to play the New York Yankees. Then the Tigers went and swept the Cleveland Indians four straight to blow open the AL Central. The Yanks lost consecutive series to the Padres and White Sox and made even getting the second wild-card seem wildly optimistic.
So even though Tigers-Yanks is available at 7 PM ET on MLB Network, and even though I normally go into full-scale resistance mode at the notion of elevating NFL preseason games to a higher status on TV’s daily sports docket, it looks like Friday is a night that belongs to pro football.
NFL Network has a doubleheader that starts at 7:30 PM ET with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, the teams that met in the 2004 Super Bowl. Ironically, it’s a game between the two teams with the most significant offseason problems.
The Patriots had the Aaron Hernandez murder charge and the Eagles had the recent display of Riley Cooper being caught on YouTube shouting racial obscenities at a rock concert. At this rate, one half expects to see Alex Rodriguez walk to the podium in either a Pats or Eagles jersey.
Following that game will be a 10:30 PM ET telecast from the West Coast, as the Dallas Cowboys visit the Oakland Raiders. And if you’re not in the Arizona or Green Bay market, but want to see Cards-Packers from Lambeau, NFL Network will replay that at 1 AM ET.
While the NFL might own Friday night, golf owns the day, and TNT will carry the PGA Championship from 1 PM ET to 7 PM ET. Tiger and Phil are both struggling, and the networks—including CBS, which has coverage over the weekend—can’t be happy.
TheSportsNotebook hit hard on NFL analysis yesterday, with our AFC East preview, and that followed up an early week emphasizing college football coverage. Today we’re back to baseball, with a look at the National League playoff landscape and a TBD feature coming out of that landscape.