The owners of the Boston Red Sox also own half of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing. But it’s doubtful they ever imagined a car race breaking out in the middle of a baseball game.
The April 12 game between the Red Sox and the Yankees provided the perfect storm.
A two-hour rain delay put the game’s conclusion perilously close to the start of Fox’s broadcast of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Fox Sports, which has a commitment to to broadcast the events of youth demo-friendly NASCAR in full, quickly revealed its priorities.
Announcer Joe Buck gave viewers the heads-up: When the NASCAR drivers were flagged to start, Fox would shuffle the ballgame to sibling cabler FX, which would break into its scheduled movie.
With the Yankees trailing by just one run and down to their last strike, Buck signed off and engines roared. By the time most viewers found FX on their cable menus, the final Yankee batter had grounded out and the game was over.
There was no joy for FX viewers, either. Those who tuned in to watch “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” were ready to witness the end of the world. And for a few brief moments, a baseball game broke out.