January 3rd, 2013

No ESPN for Tigers opener this year

Not sure if this is really news, but after back-to-back Opening Day appearances on the ESPN family of networks, it’s worth mentioning: This year’s Tigers season-opening tilt at Minnesota will not be on ESPN. The network released its Opening Day schedule of four broadcasts, as well as its Sunday night opener with the Rangers at the Astros for Houston’s American League debut.

Part of the reason the Tigers had been a national draw the past two Opening Days was their opponents. They began their 2011 campaign at Yankee Stadium, then hosted the Red Sox last year to start off. This year, the Yankees and Red Sox are facing each other in a 1pm tilt. That will be on ESPN.

The Tigers and Twins are scheduled for a 4:10pm ET start on Monday, April 1 at Target Field. ESPN has a Dodgers-Giants matchup scheduled in that slot.

With ESPN out of the picture, one would assume the primary broadcast will be on Fox Sports Detroit, with Mario Impemba and Rod Allen on the call.

The Tigers home opener is Friday, April 5, against the Yankees in an ALCS matchup. No word yet on whether that could end up being a national broadcast somewhere.