I often wonder what informs MLB and ESPN’s decisions regarding which teams to showcase on Sunday Night Baseball. Some things make sense – Cubs vs. Cardinals, Dodgers vs. Giants, East Coast Monstrosity A vs. East Coast Monstrosity B – but the party line goes that Sunday Night is MLB’s answer to Monday Night Football, a weekly offering of a Game That Matters. And maybe that’s a healthy aspiration to have, especially as we brace ourselves for the latest chapter in that heated, passionate rivalry between. . . the Sox and Rangers. I feel bad for the writers at ESPN, having to work so much overtime to craft all the non-storylines Jon Miller will so passionately narrate.
The soul-crushing emotional toll placed on Jayson Nix as he faces his brother’s former team!
John Danks’ revenge on the club that wronged him!
Josh Hamilton used to do the drugs people suspect Ozzie Guillen was on when he made tonight’s lineup!
Carlos Quentin and the Quest for the Perfect Swing!
Now, Nolan Ryan’s hilarious whooping of Robin Ventura aside, could there be any less significant a matchup for the Sox? That’s not a knock on the Rangers (although finding reasons to mock that franchise is not exactly an impossible task), but in the scheme of the American League it’s hard to think of any game that actually means less than any game against the Rangers.
Two homer-happy teams insisting year in and year out that things are going to change this offseason. Two teams that have neither met in the playoffs nor hampered the other’s trip to October. Two average teams from two terrible, terrible divisions. Two teams short on major history but long on outstanding characters. Two teams in the habit these days of winning big and losing small and in Corky Miller and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, perhaps the most awesomely-named pair of catchers to ever share a field.
Maybe this was a notable series after all.