ANAHEIM, Calif. — In case you missed it, ESPN has a new deal with Major League Baseball. It's for eight years and $5.6 billion dollars. That's billion.
Of interest to Red Sox fans:
• When ESPN televises a game on Monday or Wednesday, that game will no longer be blacked out in the markets of the two teams. In other words, you can choose to watch the Red Sox on NESN or ESPN on those nights.
In New York and Boston, that's a pretty significant concession. NESN and YES can't be too pleased with that.
• ESPN has agreed to show all 30 teams at least once every season. But it also gained the right to show more popular teams more often, meaning the Red Sox and Yankees.
• ESPN will get one of the Wild Card playoff games. It also gets any tie-breaker games.
• A secondary issue: Wonder what this means for Terry Francona, if anything? He has been very, very good on ESPN this season and there don't seem to be any managerial openings that would interest him.
With ESPN increasing its presence in baseball, Francona might be wise to stick around and ride that train for a while.