ESPN To Open MLB Season With Astros' AL Debut Against Rangers
MLB yesterday announced that the '13 season will open with a March 31 Rangers-Astros game at Minute Maid Park. The contest, which will air on ESPN, is the Astros' first game in the AL. ESPN the following day will have coverage of four Opening Day matchups featuring winners of the past seven World Series (MLB). In Houston, David Barron noted this marks the "first time the Astros have been selected for the Sunday night ESPN opener, which is the only game on the opening-night schedule." Astros President George Postolos said that the club's ticket sales group "broached the idea of asking for the March 31 date, and MLB officials agreed." Postolos: "Our staff thought it was something our season-ticket holders would appreciate and a way to celebrate changing leagues" (CHRON.com, 1/3). In Boston, Michael Silverman notes the Astros finished last season with an MLB-worst 55-107 record, but the team's AL debut "is the hook ESPN is counting on as a draw" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/4). In L.A., Steve Dilbeck sarcastically noted ESPN picked Rangers-Astros "over their beloved Red Sox-Yankees affair." Dilbeck: "Coming next: ESPN doesn't take credit for every single breaking sports story on the planet! Or maybe the Mayans were right and we're all actually dead" (LATIMES.com, 1/3).