The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox took the field for the 19th time in 2021 in their final regular-season matchup of the year. The top spot in the AL Wild Card race was on the line. Arguably the most tense rivalry in sports.
And we had … Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz being “buddies” on the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast? Read the room!
“Reminiscing” about the 2004 ALCS? Talking about resolving A-Rod’s beef with Jason Varitek stemming from the epic brawl from that regular season? Rodriguez overall being chummy with Big Papi? This isn’t what America wants on a national broadcast … and it’s damn sure not what Yankees OR Red Sox fans want.
Who would’ve thought those camps would be in agreement? Yeah, everyone liked it better when this wasn’t friendly.
Yankees fans had an even bigger problem with it, especially when A-Rod said Ortiz was the best playoff hitter he’s ever saw … and NOT Derek Jeter.
Sox fans weren’t exactly thrilled with this either, because, like we said, we’d rather this be a “no love lost”-type ordeal rather than a reunion between players incessantly complimenting one another who took part in arguably the most heightened period of this rivalry.
Fans didn’t really like the Yankees-Red Sox ESPN broadcast with Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz.
The ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast is bad enough, and at this point that’s not even subjective. A majority of fans do not enjoy Rodriguez and Matt Vasgersian calling games on a weekly basis.
Now, throwing Ortiz into the mix, which actually interrupted a very pivotal moment of the game that was devoid of actual broadcasting, made things even worse. Also, Ortiz and A-Rod teaming up to call out DJ LeMahieu for taking an elevated strike on a 2-0 count only to watch him rip a clutch two-out RBI single on the very next pitch to give the Yankees the lead was something.
Also, entirely not down broadway right there.
And please, why in the world would we want to relive that aforementioned 2004 brawl between Rodriguez and Varitek, who is now on the Red Sox coaching staff, only to hear that Ortiz wants to mend the bridge since the two men haven’t spoken since that incident?
Call us grumps, but we’d prefer if this remained as is. Don’t want A-Rod talking to Varitek, and don’t want Varitek in our lives any more than he needs to be. He’s one of the most hated Red Sox ever among the Yankees fan base.
As for the regular broadcast without Ortiz? A-Rod said Gleyber Torres was immensely “relieved” to move back to second base, which seems like a much bigger story than merely mentioning it for a quick minute on television. Rodriguez also thought the Yankees should make Jordan Montgomery throw 100-110 pitches, despite the fact he was giving up insanely hard contact in the fifth inning, because the lefty needs to be better prepared for the postseason.
Thanks but … mute. Unenjoyable. Not very insightful. And fully sapping the heightened tensions out of this series/final matchup that will have massive playoff implications between teams that hate each other … a night after Giancarlo Stanton’s go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning fully changed the Yankees’ playoff trajectory. No more if this next year, or ever.