MESA, AZ – MARCH 4: Jason Heyward #22 of the Chicago Cubs bats looks on a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels at Sloan Park on March 4, 2016 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

ESPN’s schedule of MLB Spring Training games has been condensed in recent years, and that trend continues in 2016. ESPN will be airing six Spring Training games this year over a two week period beginning on Thursday.

The World Series favorite Chicago Cubs will be featured twice, as will the Red Sox and Cardinals. The Diamondbacks, Rays, Orioles, Giants, and Mets are all featured once. The reigning World Champion Royals won’t have any Spring Training games televised by ESPN, but hey, neither will the Yankees!

Here’s the schedule, via ESPN.

Thursday, March 17th, 7 PM: Diamondbacks at Cubs
Monday, March 21st, 1 PM: Red Sox at Cardinals
Tuesday, March 22nd, 1:30 PM: Rays at Cuban National Team
Thursday, March 24th, 7 PM: Cubs at Giants
Friday, March 25th, 1 PM: Cardinals at Mets
Monday, March 28th, 1 PM: Orioles at Red Sox

All of the games will be on ESPN and WatchESPN.

The new Sunday Night Baseball crew of Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone, Jessica Mendoza, and Buster Olney will call the games on March 21st and March 24th.

The most noteworthy game on the schedule is the March 22nd game between the Rays and the Cuban National Team, which will take place in Havana. President Obama will be in attendance for the game as part of his trip to Cuba, the first by a sitting US president since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. The game in Cuba will be called by Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez, Doug Glanville, Pedro Gomez, and Tim Kurkjian.

Ravech, Dallas Braden, Kurkjian, and Keith Law will call the games on March 25th and March 28th, while Glanville joins Jon Sciambi and Rick Sutcliffe to call the game on March 17th.

Seeing two Spring Training games get primetime slots on ESPN is a bit surprising, but neither will be in a position to thrive – they’re going up against the First Round and Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. But hey, if you’re not a college basketball fan, at least there’s other live sports content on those two Thursday nights!

ESPN’s regular season schedule begins with a tripleheader of games on April 3rd and another four on April 4th, with all ten Postseason teams from 2015 featured on those two days.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.

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