ESPN showed the Red Sox-Atlanta game tonight and that was the feed I received through the Extra Innings package.
The station cut away from the game three separate times to show Sammy Sosa's at-bats in Texas (he has 599 home runs), so viewers missed Edgar Renteria's at-bat in the 4th (four pitches and his GIDP), Pete Orr's at-bat in the 6th (first four pitches), and two batters in the 8th: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (three-pitch strike out) and Kelly Johnson (ball, strike, ground out to second).
I cannot begin to tell you how much this pissed me off. If ESPN is going to broadcast the Red Sox game, then show the Red Sox game. You wanna show Sammy? Then show the Rangers game. Can it be any simpler?
Anyone who cares about Sosa's HR will either be Rangers fans watching the Rangers broadcast, serious baseball fans who have Extra Innings and will click over every so often from whatever other game they are watching, or more casual fans who will check out the highlight shows later on.
It's bad enough that ESPN seems determined to hire the biggest idiots to call baseball games. But then they don't even bother to show the entire game they have grabbed the exclusive out-of-market rights to broadcast.
(How dumb is ESPN's baseball coverage? It should be the best in the business, right? Well, first of all, they think that we should be learning about the game from Steve Phillips. Then, in the top of the third inning, we get treated to Phillips and Dan Shulman talking about Coco Crisp's recent improvement at the plate, Andruw Jones's season-long slump and a discussion about whether the Red Sox see enough in Crisp to keep him around for 2008 or whether they might go looking for another CF in the free agent market this winter (Jones will be a FA). It was painfully obvious that neither Shulman nor Phillips had even an iota of a clue who the Red Sox #1 minor league prospect is: Jacoby Ellsbury -- a center fielder currently in Pawtucket.)
So ... how hard is it to find a way to complain to ESPN about its coverage? About as hard as getting Remy to not pimp his website during a NESN broadcast.
I found a webpage through which you can submit a complaint (though it likely deletes your message as soon as you click send). You could send an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org" or try calling 1-888-549-ESPN.
P.S. Interesting how Sosa doesn't get 5% of the steroid crap that Bonds gets. I wonder if being a happy-go-lucky black man instead of a black man who doesn't kiss the media's ass has anything to do with it. Hmmmm ....