Blue Jays game time on July 8 returns to 1:07 PM. pic.twitter.com/osL4y7ufTz— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 5, 2018
The Toronto Blue Jays went from being on Sunday Night Baseball on July 8 to losing Sunday Night Baseball in only 4 days, but the loss was not the fault of the team.
The New York Yankees, the real reason why ESPN put the Blue Jays in the U.S. prime slot, had a doubleheader on July 9 in Baltimore. The team objected to playing 3 games in about 26 hours, coupled with a flight and customs issues.
The doubleheader didn't get moved to a different date. The New York Yankees threatened a ESPN boycott, so ESPN moved the Blue Jays out of Sunday Night Baseball.
Blue Jays game time change – Sunday July 8 pic.twitter.com/ouTZbo4RDM— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 1, 2018
When the change first happened, there was not a consensus over the last SNB appearance. The overall thought was that July 18, 2004 was the last time the Blue Jays were on Sunday Night Baseball. Toronto did play in Texas on that Sunday night, but that was because Texas is allowed to have Sunday night telecasts due to heat issues. The Los Angeles Dodgers in Arizona was the featured game while Minnesota at Kansas City also played that night.
Other reports have the last Blue Jays appearance on Sunday Night Baseball to be May 9, 1999. The Blue Jays were on Sunday Night Baseball that night hosting the Texas Rangers. Current St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was the Jays catcher that night; the late Roy Halladay was the starter but did not take the loss. Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado were in the lineup. While we aren't 100% certain that was the last appearance, no one has found another instance.
The 2018 version doesn't deserve a Sunday Night Baseball appearance but the 2015 and 2016 versions did deserve that exposure. ESPN is required to carry at least 1 Blue Jays game this season, but that will likely not be a SNB appearance.
Sunday Night Baseball did have Canadian content as Dan Shulman served as the play-by-play announcer on ESPN from 2011-2017. TSN normally covers Sunday Night Baseball but with the Blue Jays involved, Rogers Sportsnet would have shown the game instead.
"With the time change, programming for Jr. Jays Sunday presented by Boston Pizza, including Run the Bases, will take place as previously scheduled."
At least the kids appreciate the game being played in the daytime instead of being on U.S. national television.
Twitter captures: @BlueJays
photo credit: ESPN