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ESPN's Opening Day Coverage Begins With Tigers-Yankees

The opening series of the Detroit Tigers' 2011 schedule was bound to get some national fanfare with a match-up against the New York Yankees. ESPN is ready to oblige.

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The network announced on Thursday that the Tigers' opener at Yankee Stadium will begin its Opening Day coverage on March 31. ESPN will broadcast a tripleheader starting with Tigers-Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET, one of two games (Braves-Nationals being the other) to open the 2011 season.

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In recent years, the baseball season began with ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecast. But the 2011 season will begin on a Thursday, moving up a week so the postseason can end in October.

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This will be the first time the Tigers' season opener has been nationally televised since 2005, when Detroit's home opener versus the Kansas City Royals was televised on ESPN2. (Living in Iowa at the time, I definitely appreciated that.)

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The Tigers will stay in the national spotlight throughout baseball's opening weekend. The second game of the Tigers-Yankees series will be part of FOX's Saturday Game of the Week coverage.

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Detroit's home opener will be Friday, April 8 versus the Royals.