One also wonders whether the network made the right decision journalistically. Sure, it has a new eight-year, $4.8 billion deal with the NFL. But will the Sept. 13 baseball game be the one in which McGwire hammers No. 62? Will the Sept. 20 game be the one in which the Yankees pick up record win No. 117?
If the games aren't shown on ESPN2, there's still a chance that a national audience will see them. Under their contracts with baseball, first Fox, then NBC, have the option to broadcast games of national significance. A more interesting question is, If Big Mac is standing at the plate with 61 home runs, will baseball allow ESPN to cut away from its football telecast and pick up live coverage of the Cardinals? "ESPN is still a partner and has a large audience," says Beeston. "But it's something we'll be talking about."
Real-life Aggie Joke
Texas A&M ticket manager Jim Kotch processes thousands of requests a year. The standard form he sends out includes spaces for the applicant's name, address and phone number, the last divided into two blanks, one marked H: and the other W:.
Every year, says Kotch, the same applicant (a retired university employee who shall remain nameless) sends back the form carefully completed as follows:
"H: 5'6" W: 160."
Major League Soccer
Galaxy Pays a House Call
If ever a fan letter seemed destined for the circular file, it would be the one sent a few months ago by 11-year-old Danny Richards of Sharon, Mass., to Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy. "I'd like to have the team over for a cookout," wrote the Galaxy's self-proclaimed No. 1 fan to team chairman Marc Rapaport. "If you could please come, my mom and dad said they would cook whatever the team wants." Sure, kid. Throw a few burgers on the grill, but don't hold your breath.
Well, if you happened to have been strolling by the Richards house last Friday afternoon, you might have seen several Galaxy players dumping goalkeeper Kevin Hartman into the Richards's backyard swimming pool. Or you might have heard Carlos Hermosillo, Mexico's alltime leading scorer, politely asking to use the Richards's bathroom. Or you might've gotten a glimpse of Cobi Jones, Danny's favorite player, heading balls back and forth with the starry-eyed kid on the front lawn.
Yes, the Galaxy, in town to play the New England Revolution, showed up to picnic with Danny and his parents, Dan and Denise, and his twin siblings, Keith and Kimberly, who live about five miles from Foxboro Stadium. "We're trying to relate to people and give people a chance to relate to us," said Jones, who gave Danny one of his Galaxy jerseys. "It's great for us because you get to see a kid's dream come true."