Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Wednesday, March 3, 2004
Yanks-Red Sox opener televised nationally

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox start their heated rivalry this season in prime time on Fox.

The network said Tuesday it would open its 2004 baseball coverage April 16 at 8 p.m. ET when the Yankees visit the Red Sox, the first game between the teams that counts since Game 7 of the American League Championship Series last season.

It would be the network's first regular-season game in prime-time on a week night since Sept. 8, 1998, when Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run.

The rivalry between the teams has only increased since Aaron Boone hit the game-winning home run to beat the Red Sox in the playoffs and advance the Yankees to the World Series.

"This is going to be an event," Fox Sports president Ed Goren told the New York Post. "When we go through that week, building up to April 16, the sports pages will be filled with Yankees-Red Sox stories, talk radio will be talking and rehashing the ALCS from last year.

"These two teams coming into this season, there will be A-Rod talk. There will be Schilling talk. It just doesn't get any better than that as a sports fan."

Boston acquired pitcher Curt Schilling in the offseason, but the Yankees traded for superstar Alex Rodriguez when the Red Sox tried and failed to get the AL MVP last December.

In exchange, Fox will drop one scheduled broadcast for each team later in the year, meaning one additional telecast for the YES Network and NESN, the networks that carry the Yankees and Red Sox.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.