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Cubs vs. Phillies 9/1 Game Time Set

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ESPN has made a mystifying choice for its Sunday night game on September 1. (Hint: it won't be the Cubs, but you'll wonder why they chose the game they did.)

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Original schedules for this year showed the Sunday, September 1 Cubs/Phillies game time as "TBD"; it was possible that ESPN might have chosen that game for its Sunday night featured game if the Phillies had been in contention. (I think it's safe to assume ESPN never thought the Cubs would be.)

As expected, the network has chosen another game, so the Cubs and Phillies will play at 1:20 p.m. CT Sunday, September 1, and the game will be televised by WGN.

What important late-season matchup has ESPN chosen? The Mets and Nationals. That's right, a matchup between two teams that are currently under .500 and both far from any hint of playoff contention. This on a day when the following games are being played: Cardinals/Pirates, Indians/Tigers and Rays/Athletics, all involving contenders for division titles or wild cards. (The Orioles and Yankees are also playing September 1, but that game had already been assigned to TBS' national coverage.)

If you needed any more proof of ESPN's East Coast bias, there you have it.

I also mention this game-time assignment for this reason: Saturday's Cubs/Cardinals game was originally scheduled for 12:05, but was changed to 3:05 at Fox's request. This announcement was made several weeks before yesterday's game; despite that, I heard reports that quite a number of people were lined up outside the bleachers at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, figuring the park was opening at 10:05 a.m. for a 12:05 start.

There's one more game that's had its original time changed this same way: the game on Saturday, September 7 vs. the Brewers, a 12:05 start on original schedules, will now also start at 3:05. Don't be three hours early for that one, either.