Back before cable channels and games on TV every night on regional outlets, a Saturday afternoon broadcast network game was one of the few ways to see regular-season baseball outside of the ballpark back in the “old days” of the 1960s through most of the 1980s.
According to my friend, Chris Byrne, and his excellent “Eye on Sports Media” blog, FOX Sports’ schedule for its’ “FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week” was released yesterday, and the Orioles will be seen just once in 2009 in FOX’s regional three-game setup each Saturday during the regular season – Saturday, July 18, when they visit the White Sox.
FOX is allowed by contract with MLB a maximum of nine appearances per team, and the network will be up to that limit with the White Sox, Angels, Twins, Dodgers and Cardinals. The Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Braves and Indians have eight scheduled appearances, while the Red Sox lag slightly behind with seven.
In fact, the defending American League champ Tampa Bay Rays will have five games televised on FOX, The Orioles have one more appearance in ’09 than the only AL East team not to be seen on FOX’s schedule this year – Toronto.
The final two Saturdays of the regular season are designated as “wild card” dates, allowing FOX Sports to choose up to three games of significance each day.