Now that the Phillies have made it safely to the final day of the regular season, the hand-wringing over Antonio Bastardo and Chase Utley and an eight-game losing streak has been replaced by hand-wringing over the time of this weekend's games. Already today I have fielded inquiries from people facing every potential conflict from a Saturday wedding to a Saturday Temple football game. While I am sure the network execs at TBS will make every effort to work its schedule around the resurgent Owls, they really can't make any final plans until they find out who, exactly, will be participating in the playoffs.
Flip on your digital cable box and you'll see that TBS has blocked off 12:00, 3:30, 7:00 and 10:30 for the Saturday games and 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. for the two Sunday games.
In TBS' perfect world, you have to figure that the Yankees will get the 7 p.m. game on Saturday, followed by Game 1 of the series that begins in either Milwaukee or Arizona (depending on what happens with those two teams today). That would leave either the 12 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. game for the Phillies. If Tampa wins the Wild Card, I assume TBS would want the Phillies to lead into the Rays series, and vice versa if the Red Sox win. That seems to be what the Phillies are planning on, since they announced today that they will be holding a 1 p.m. workout at Citizens Bank Park on Friday. If they expected a night game, they likely would have scheduled the workout for later.
On Sunday, the Phillies would likely get the 6 p.m. game, even though that would present a hell of a traffic situation for South Philly as the 1 p.m. Eagles game empties and the Phillies crowd arrives. But it's happened before, and I can't imagine they would want to start an Arizona or Milwaukee series in the early evening since the Packers and Cardinals both play at 4 p.m. on Sunday. No need to further exacerbate the woes of televising a small market team by forcing people to pick between baseball and the NFL. So I think you can safely pencil in 6 p.m. for Sunday.
Just to be clear, this is all speculation. TBS hasn't even officially announced the time slots of the games. But based on previous network behavior and the current teams involved, I think you can safely plan on an afternoon game on Saturday and an early-evening game on Sunday.
Nothing wrong with kegs and eggs on back-to-back days, right?
Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for easy access to all of our Phillies coverage, plus app-exclusive videos and analysis. Get it here.