ESPN has released the early part of its 2011 Sunday Night Baseball lineup (featuring its new broadcast team of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine). Check out the full press release and schedule from ESPN. We’ll update the schedule for games in June and after July 17 as the games are announced (usually two weeks in advance). We’ve also got ESPN’s plans for Opening Day on March 31-April 1, which includes five games. Complete releases from ESPN and schedules below:
ESPN to Present MLB Opening Night – Giants at Dodgers – March 31 at 8 p.m. ET
Five Games on ESPN to Open 2011 MLB Season
ESPN will begin its 22nd Major League Baseball season with five games over two days (March 31-April 1), highlighted by the exclusive Opening Night telecast featuring the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, March 31, at 8 p.m. ET. The game will include the regular-season debut of ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball commentator team of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine. It will also mark the debut of ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball commentators Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton. Opening Night will also be available via ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.
ESPN’s Opening Day tripleheader (Thursday, March 31) will lead off with the New York Yankees hosting the Detroit Tigers at 1 p.m., followed by the San Diego Padres visiting the St. Louis Cardinals at 4 p.m. ESPN’s season-opening action will continue on Friday, April 1, with the Philadelphia Phillies hosting the Houston Astros at 1 p.m. and the Boston Red Sox visiting the Texas Rangers at 4 p.m. All MLB games airing on ESPN throughout the season will also be available via ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.
ESPN’s Opening Week MLB schedule:
Thursday, March 31
1 p.m. Detroit at N.Y. Yankees
4 p.m. San Diego at St. Louis
8 p.m. San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers
Friday, April 1
1 p.m. Houston at Philadelphia
4 p.m. Boston at Texas
ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Early Season Schedule Features Rivalries
Multiple Appearances by Defending Champion Giants; Rangers/Yankees in ALCS Rematch
ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball – the exclusive, national game of the week – will showcase some of Major League Baseball’s best rivalries including the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants facing the Los Angeles Dodgers April 3 (8 p.m. ET), a pair of telecasts featuring the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (April 10 and May 15), the Philadelphia Phillies hosting the New York Mets May 1, and the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Cincinnati Reds April 24. The Giants will make three early season appearances on Sunday Night Baseball, which will also include a rematch of the ALCS between the Texas Rangers and Yankees April 17 and an interleague matchup when the Chicago Cubs visit the Red Sox May 22.
Major League Baseball’s elite players will be on display, including league MVPs Josh Hamilton (A.L., Texas) and Joey Votto (N.L., Cincinnati), N.L. Rookie of the Year Buster Posey (San Francisco), St. Louis’ Albert Pujols, Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, Atlanta’s Jason Heyward, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria and the New York Mets’ David Wright and Jose Reyes.
ESPN will introduce a new Sunday Night Baseball commentator team this season with Dan Shulman (play-by-play) joining analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine (Hershiser was a starting pitcher with the New York Mets in 1999 when Valentine managed the team). ESPN Sunday Night games are also available via ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Radio’s new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team will be play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton.
The April and May Sunday Night Baseball schedule follows (all telecasts begin at 8 p.m. ET). Game selections for the remainder of the season will be made three weeks (June, July 3 and July 24) or two weeks (August and September) in advance.
ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball schedule:
(all telecasts at 8 p.m. ET)
April 3 San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN2)
April 10 N.Y. Yankees at Boston
April 17 Texas at N.Y. Yankees
April 24 Cincinnati at St. Louis
May 1 N.Y. Mets at Philadelphia
May 8 Atlanta at Philadelphia
May 15 Boston at N.Y. Yankees
May 22 Chicago Cubs at Boston
May 29 Cincinnati at Atlanta (ESPN2)
June 12 Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants
June 19 New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs
June 26 Cleveland Indians at San Francisco Giants
July 3 L.A. Dodgers at L.A. Angels
July 10 N.Y. Mets at San Francisco
July 17 Boston at Tampa Bay
July 24 Atlanta at Cincinnati
July 31 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis
Aug. 7 N.Y. Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Aug. 14 Colorado Rockies at St. Louis Cardinals
Aug. 21 St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Aug. 28 L.A. Angels at Texas Rangers
Sept. 4 TBA (ESPN2)
Sept. 18 TBA
[Update: Games after May 29 are announced about two weeks in advance. Check back for updates as games are announced.]
ESPN’s 22nd season televising Major League Baseball will also include five games March 31-April 1 highlighted by an exclusive Opening Night showcase when the Giants visit the Dodgers Thursday, March 31, at 8 p.m.