Monday Night Football tackles Cliff Lee vs. Andy Pettitte
The premier TV sports matchup Monday is not the pairing of premier southpaws from the Rangers and Yankees, it's the ALCS against Monday Night Football.
On Monday night, national television is bringing sports fans one of the classic matchups.Skip to next paragraph
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But it’s not the pairing of two premier southpaws, the Texas Rangers’ Cliff Lee, who is 6-0 in post-season appearances, against the New York Yankees’ Andy Pettitte, who has won more post-season games (19) than anyone in history.
No. It’s Monday Night Football against Monday night baseball.
The head-to-head matchup has sports bloggers and analysts frothing.
“There are probably more Yankee fans than Titan and Jaguar fans combined,” says professional baseball blogger Matthew Cerrone in an email. “It’s simple, Andy Pettitte and the Yankees against Cliff Lee and the Rangers is significantly more entertaining and dramatic fun than [the Tennessee] Titans vs. [the Jacksonville] Jaguars, who are just two average football teams.”
Football blogger Jason Maloni says he doesn’t think the NFL is worried. “The story lines in football are vivid and apparent and more easily discernible than the story lines in baseball,” says Mr. Maloni, who is head of sports and entertainment at Levick Strategic Communications, a crisis management firm, in Washington. “Football is like pizza – when it’s great, it’s awesome, and even when it’s not, it’s pretty good.”
Normally, the two professional sports try not to compete against each other. Last year, for example, the Philadelphia Phillies hosted a World Series game in the evening after the Eagles trounced the New York Giants.
“This year, both baseball and football knew the schedule, and nobody blinked,” Maloni says.
Part of the problem for baseball is the difficulty of taking Mondays off in order not to compete with football. Major League Baseball is already criticized for starting the post-season so late, players run the risk of throwing snowballs instead of baseballs.
It’s easy to understand why Monday Night Football is willing to give a straight-arm to baseball.