If you are like me, you print off your one-page color schedule for the St. Louis Cardinals in the spring and use it all season long. While that continues to be correct 95 percent of the time, in-season additions of national broadcasts lead to adjustments in coverage networks and in some cases, even game times.
Here are some of the recent and upcoming changes in the Cardinals schedule for the month of June. I am going to go backward for a few since they offer insight to what may happen ahead as well.
Get out your markers and update your current schedule or print off a new one from the Cardinals official website. (However, be advised that at the time I published this, the one-page PDF file is messed up, with many of the starting hours of the games not visible. The by-game listings on the site are almost always current.)
Saturday, June 1: The Giants at Cardinals game was one of five regional telecasts on the FOX Network this past Saturday night. If you live out of the Cardinals primary broadcast area, you may have been forced to watch the Yankees-Red Sox or another game due to the mandatory blackouts.
With more FOX games coming (see below), remember the website the506.com. It posts the US coverage map for the weekly games.
Sunday, June 2: The Giants at Cardinals Sunday afternoon series finale was picked up by TBS and broadcast nationally outside the Cardinals coverage area. Former MLB pitchers Ron Darling and John Smoltz were the analysts. FOX Sports Midwest continued with its normal production. The good thing about the TBS games is that they conflict with no one – no blackouts.
Looking ahead, TBS has selected its June 9, 16 and 23 games, which do not include the Cardinals. Their Sunday, June 30 game is still TBD. (The Cardinals play in Oakland that afternoon.)
Friday, June 7: The Cards at Reds series opener Friday night has been picked up by MLB Network for an in-house production. There will be no impact to those watching FOX Sports Midwest, but national audiences will be given another option to see the game. Matt Vasgersian and Tom Verducci will provide the MLB Network play-by-play and color, respectively.
Saturday, June 8: Game two of the Reds series on Saturday evening will be on Big FOX again. This is not a change, but a potential blackout reminder for out-of-market viewers.
Sunday, June 9: I guess this series in Cincinnati is a big deal. ESPN picked up the Sunday game and moved it from the afternoon to evening prime time. FOX Sports Midwest will no longer have this telecast.
Friday, June 21: Lance Berkman and his Texas Rangers come to Busch, with MLB Network joining FOX Sports Midwest in coverage, but taking it national. Chances are that MLB Network will use the home feed, but that is not disclosed ahead of time to the best of my knowledge.
Saturday, June 22: Game two of the Rangers series on Saturday evening will be on Big FOX. This is not a change, but a potential blackout reminder for out-of-market viewers.
Saturday, June 23: ESPN again took an afternoon game away from FOX Sports Midwest to make it their national Sunday night telecast. This will be the finale of the 2011 World Series rematch series with the Rangers.