The news broke yesterday that ESPN will not be bringing back Baseball Tonight for the 2019 season. This comes as a bit of a surprise to many fans, including me. The 2018 season was a success for ESPN in terms of viewership because of the addition of Alex Rodriguez in the booth for Sunday Night Baseball. With all of that, the network decided to cancel Baseball Tonight.
Does this really matter?
Maybe? Honestly, this probably doesn’t matter to a lot of people. Maybe it will surprise me with the number of people who actually care as I do. It could just be a nostalgia factor, but Baseball Tonight was one of my favorite shows. Show? I guess you could call it a show. It’s as much of a show as SportsCenter is.
As far as the show itself, there are a couple of things that I will miss. First and foremost is Tim Kurkjian. A great baseball guy who’s passion and charisma warmed the hearts of so many. The next thing that comes to mind is Web Gems. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love some Web Gems?
Baseball Tonight is dead, is this the end of a baseball-centered show on ESPN?
Unlike the NFL and the NBA, the MLB doesn’t have much representation on ESPN. This is a bit odd considering all four major sports have their own network. Still, ESPN continues to promote the NFL and NBA at a much higher rate. I feel like I can be honest with you guys because I really don’t care about the lack of coverage. It was something I used to get mad about it, but now I just watch MLB network more often than ESPN.
I don’t see ESPN producing a baseball-centered show in the near future. If a show like Baseball Tonight gets canceled, it will be hard to grow something else.
Best moments from Baseball Tonight
This list could go on for pages, but I want to keep it brief. I think some of the best moments from Baseball Tonight within the last 5 years start with Mark Teixeira. Teixeira discussed that he wears his jock-strap under his suit pants. His reasoning behind this was something along the lines of, I want to feel like I’m out there because wearing his jock-strap brought him back to his playing days.
Another great moment was when Baseball Tonight aired a segment of multiple MLB players trying to impersonate Kurkjian. If you don’t know, Kurkjian has an extremely unique voice and laugh. This segment was entertaining, to say the least.
The main takeaway from this article should be that Baseball Tonight is dead, at least for now. Personally, I believe that the uproar from fans will result is the show being brought back. However, that isn’t the point. The point is that we all have to find something to watch before the Sunday Night Baseball game in 2019.