This morning, on ESPN’s bottom line, it mentioned that the New York Mets and New York Yankees were shut out on the same night for only the third time in the last 20 years. While I love my useless information just as much as Jayson Stark, the fact that this was major news at the beginning of the ticker on the screen amazes me.
For the past 5+ years, some of my friends and I have referred to the worldwide leader in sports (during baseball season) as ESPNAL East. That, for those who didn’t catch it initially, was a reference to how often the network covers the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox no matter what else is going on the world of baseball. While the average baseball fan acknowledges the history of the franchises and believes that they’re aficionados about the sport, they could care less about the Yanks/Sawks or a useless stat like the number of times both New York teams were shut out on the same night in the past two decades.
The Mets are one game above .500 while the Yankees (With the amount of money they spend they should be Jersey in Bases Loaded I on Nintendo) stumble and bumble whenever they face the Sox head to head. By the way, that entire “rivalry” was based on one team not being able to win the big game. Last time I checked, Boston won the big game…twice. Thus, the rivalry is over. Technically, it ended with Keith Foulke underhanded the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz at first base at the old Busch Stadium in 2004. Line it up with the rest of the decent to very good rivalries in the sport. It’s not that special anymore. This weekend, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball will carry the Mets/Yankees matchup at Citi Field and while the network has a right to try and target the biggest demographic with their telecasts, much of America will collectively yawn. Who knows, they might actually spend some time with their children…until football preseason starts.
While typing this, I learned that the Mets/Yankees “information” was still one of the main bottom line stories despite U.S. Soccer just upsetting Spain in the Confederation Cup semifinals.
Thank the sporting gods for the MLB Network.