He learned Friday about ESPN's plans to move the Yankees' July 8 game at the Blue Jays from 1 p.m.to 8 p.m. An Orioles game was rained out Thursday, so the teams agreed to make it up with two games in the same day next month, beginning at 5 p.m.
In an effort to change the time of the July 8 "Sunday Night Baseball" telecast, the Yankees are threatening to boycott ESPN personnel all year, according to sources with knowledge of the team's thinking.
"I know there's a lot of people concerned and talking about these things behind the scenes", Boone, who used to work at ESPN, told the media this weekend, according to Newsday.
The upshot of all of this, Madden reports, is that the Yankees are livid and want Major League Baseball to lean on ESPN to change their choice, calling it "an integrity" issue.
"If the Yankees are forced to play Sunday night on July 8, the Yankee management and players are said to be prepared for an all-out war with ESPN in which they will refuse all interviews - pre-game, in-game and postgame - with ESPN broadcasters". For "Sunday Night", the ESPN booth team receives a special session with Boone during the pregame, as well as in-game access. "The Yankees would just say no to all requests, a source said, if the July 8 game remains on the 'Sunday Night" schedule". ESPN often asks for TV interviews with players prior to the game and special access. It would also mean shunning Alex Rodriguez, who, in addition to serving as an analyst on "Sunday Night Baseball" is an adviser for the Yankees.
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The Post adds that ESPN is within its rights to select the Yankees game for that night, under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) voted on by the Players Association.
Why? The game originally was scheduled for 1 p.m.as the Yankees have to catch a flight to Baltimore after the game for a doubleheader the next day.
The Yankees aren't taking this lightly at all and they're ready to fight the World Wide Leader.
The Yankees just want this Sunday night game changed, but if it is not, they are preparing to make ESPN's telecasts of their games more hard the rest of the year. However, whatever draw the team is for one night may not be worth burning bridges with arguably the most compelling team in the game in 2018.