Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
With glamorous, old money, big-market clubs like the Boston Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs featuring in three of the four MLB playoff series that kick off this week, it’s little wonder that the league’s fourth series—featuring the Rangers and Blue Jays—has been given the short shrift by schedule-makers. While it’s true that those teams play in enormous markets, Dallas-Fort Worth certainly isn’t captivated by the Rangers in the way that they are, say, the Cowboys, and viewers in Toronto are irrelevant to the bottom lines of the American networks, TBS and Fox, that essentially dictate the schedule.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Rangers fans are outraged that Game 1 will start at 3:38 PM local time (4:38 PM ET) on Thursday, followed by Game 2 on Friday, which will start just after noon (1:08 PM ET). Ticket prices on the secondary market reportedly took a huge hit following the schedule’s release, and yet, to anybody who actually follows the sport, the idea of a rematch between the Blue Jays and Rangers is about as captivating as they come.
The explanation as to why that’s the case is as simple as two iconic images —maybe the two most instantly recognizable on-field moments of baseball’s last 365 days: Jose Bautista’s immortal bat flip after his home run to break open the deciding game of last year’s ALDS, and a Rougned Odor punch connecting with Bautista’s jaw back in May.