Mets, Yankees early fixtures on ESPN Sunday nights

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Six of ESPN's first eight "Sunday Night Baseball" games will feature the Yankees and/or Mets, including three weeks in a row and four overall for the Mets.

Why more Mets games than Yankees telecasts?

In part because ESPN can show a given team only five times and likes to reserve Yankees appearances for late summer. (The Yankees-Red Sox opener doesn't count because it is not a national exclusive.)

Senior VP Len DeLuca said of the Mets' early showcases:

"The secret is the opponents. In the first two months, the Mets play the Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals and Braves on Sunday night. They are in the No. 1 market, so it's simple calculus to figure how we chose the Mets four times."

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Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are expected back, but ESPN has not announced whether or with whom it will replace Steve Phillips. Bobby Valentine is scheduled to be a studio analyst, for now.

The Sunday night schedule for the first two months of the season: April 4, Yankees at Red Sox (ESPN2); April 11, Cardinals at Brewers; April 18, Mets at Cardinals; April 25, Braves at Mets; May 2, Mets at Phillies; May 9, Yankees at Red Sox; May 16, Phillies at Brewers; May 23, Yankees at Mets; May 30: Rangers, at Twins.

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