Bottom of the 9th. Two outs. Two strikes. The Boston Red Sox, up 4-3, are one more out away from defeating their hated rival, the New York Yankees. Robinson Cano is at the plate. Here’s the windup and the pitch …
Welcome to tonight’s exciting NASCAR action!
Such a scene was seen by by viewers on Fox last Saturday, as the end of the Sox-Yanks game was suddenly interrupted by the start of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 in Phoenix. (Wonder if Jared told the gentlemen to start their engines - but not before interesting them in the latest additions to his ginormous porn collection?)
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that a long rain delay at Fenway Park caused consternation that the baseball game might not finish before the start of the race:
Fox was contractually required to show the entire race on its broadcast network, (Fox spokesman Dan) Bell said. The green flag was originally scheduled for 8:45 p.m. EDT. But with the baseball game scheduled to resume at 8:25, NASCAR agreed to push the start back to 8:53.
The teams didn’t begin playing again until 8:30 after a delay of more than two hours. Announcer Joe Buck repeated several times that the game was being simulcast on cable channel FX and Fox would have to switch to the race at 8:53.
And right at 8:55, in the middle of Robinson’s at-bat, Fox switched over to Phoenix. As a result, the Fox viewers missed Jonathan Papelbon’s last two pitches, causing Cano to ground out to 2nd base and finally finishing the game.
Worse yet, the simulcast on FX probably interrupted an enthralling repeat episode of “The Shield” or “Rescue Me”. (But bumping off “Dirt” would be OK.)
With such a sordid scheduling snafu Saturday night, there were no winners. Well, except the Red Sox. And Jimmie Johnson. And Subway’s marketing department.