Network TV baseball choices play it safe

If there’s a network TV baseball game on the tube, chances are it involves the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, or some combination thereof. I know that New York rules the media world — I worked in Manhattan for a certain worldwide wire service for five years — but the air and cable time the Yankees get is way out of proportion to what most fans in most places want.

At right is my Florida Marlins cap, which I was given by the coach of my son’s ball team a few years back in thanks for the photos of the players that I took and distributed to the team families. How often do the Florida Marlins appear on network TV? I cannot recall seeing them even once this season.

Every time I turn on ESPN, I see Tony Larussa contemplating his next move from the Cardinals’ dugout. Or there’s A-Rod and the gang in pinstripes. Or it’s the hulking Green Monster at Fenway Park, sheltering the BoSox.

I admit, a mid-season tilt between the Padres and Pirates doesn’t exactly bring fans en masse to the TV. But I would occasionally like to get a look at Jody Gerut or Ryan Doumit or some other new talent who at present is only a name in a box score.

Would I like to see the Marlins? Sure. They’re hanging in there in the NL East this season, and I’d like a look.

This Marlins cap has a fun little side story. A friend from Miami was in New York for a visit during the 2003 World Series between the Yankees and Marlins. We went into Midtown Manhattan on a Saturday afternoon, and I wasn’t even aware that the cap I had chosen was that of the opposition Marlins. A few New Yorkers good-naturedly got after me because of it, and I said, “Hey, it’s from my son’s Little League team.” My friend had asked to borrow a cap, so I lent him — naturally — my Yankees cap.

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