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Mets, Yankees early fixtures on ESPN Sunday nights

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."

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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