It was reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday that the A’s would televise two Spring Training games and 144 regular season games on Comcast Sportsnet California. The two Spring Training games being televised are the March 13 game against the Colorado Rockies at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona and the March 28 game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The national television schedule has not yet been made official and usually gets figured out sometime during the season according to Slusser.
There are a couple positives from this announcement and a couple disappointments. Going against the grain I’ll start with the positives then get into the negatives.
Positives: The A’s are playing their final season at Phoenix Municipal Stadium before moving onto HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ in 2015. The A’s have spent 33 seasons in Phoenix and though it is not on the scale of a complete move of a team from their regular season home, it is still a relatively big deal. 33 years in one Spring Training spot is a long tenure. The A’s one broadcast here will be a somewhat emotional one potentially reflecting on the past 33 years and the highlights of that time.
The next positive is that the A’s kept the same number of televised regular season games that they did last season. This may not seem like a huge deal, but that means two things. The first is that the A’s have raised their attendance enough to stabilize their television broadcasts. Any A’s fan should be happy about that. The second is that this leaves the A’s open to potentially having some nationally televised games. While they will never have the same amount of games nationally televised as the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, a couple of games on Fox or ESPN would be a nice perk coming off of back-to-back AL West championships.
Negatives: As I mentioned this is the A’s last season in Phoenix and I think CSN CA could’ve done a couple more games from there to highlight the team’s tenure there. The team even created a special logo to be sold on all merchandise there to signify their 33 years there. Three games from Phoenix would have been better than one.
CSN CA will be broadcasting 144 regular season games, and while that is great I find it curious that after back-to-back AL West championships and an increase in attendance over the last two seasons that CSN CA couldn’t have broadcasted more than that. 18 games not broadcasted for a defending division champion is an oversight in my opinion. Eat some of the money now and be repaid later by an excited fan base.
Overall this news is disappointing if you’re an A’s fan. It’s great, but a fan would expect more publicity and air time for a team coming off a great season that ended in a postseason berth for the second consecutive year and a team that is poised to make another run in 2014. Hopefully when the nationally televised games are announced the A’s will be mentioned more than one time.