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Sports Networks: Show Unremarkable MLB Games From the 1980’s and 1990’s Until Live Baseball is Back

While we wait for live sports to resume, sports networks should show replays of games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, but not just the notable ones.

Upsetting play: Willie Upshaw of the Blue Jays broke up a double play attempt by the Chicago White S
Willie Upshaw of the Blue Jays broke up a double play attempt by the Chicago White Sox in a rough manner when he was forced out at second base. He slammed into second baseman Julio Cruz, flipping him into the air. Lloyd Moseby, who hit the ball, was safe at first. 
Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Sports networks in Canada and the United States, please dig into your archives for some unremarkable games from the 1980’s and 1990’s and show them in their entirety while we don’t have live baseball, please. Why would I want to see unremarkable, run-of-the-mill games from that era instead of the classics? Because, I would not know the outcomes of the games unless I look them up on Baseball-Reference.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching and re-watching key games in Blue Jays history. But, despite being able to pick up on little details that never made it into the history books, these games never captured my attention like live baseball games simply because I knew how they were going to end.

Wouldn’t it be fun if TSN or CBC were able to dig into their VHS archives and showed some random games that they had broadcast from decades past? We could all watch them together for the first (or second) time and still have GameThreads and experience at least part of the excitement of live games because—unless someone cheats—we wouldn’t know what would happen pitch to pitch.

I want to watch third of the six Frank Viola starts from 1996. Maybe Lance Parrish’s fifth game with the Blue Jays. A random Jimmy Key start from 1988. The final game the Blue Jays played before the 1981 strike. The second game where Charlie O’Brien wore his new hockey-style helmet. The game before the one where Charles Nagy was forced to bat against the Blue Jays because Mike Hargrove messed up his Ramirezes. A Huck Flener outing. The Blue Jays game on July 22, 1984. Or that game where this article’s main photo was taken from: when was it? Did Willie Upshaw’s breaking up of a double play lead to a run? Did the White Sox get angry because it happened during a blowout? What other things happened that game?

I have no idea whether Toronto wins or loses in any of these games or by how much—and that’s why I would be drawn in to watch.

The prospect of finding something potentially interesting in what we expect to be a thoroughly uninteresting game would be really, uh, interesting to me.

How about you? If you were able to speak directly to the program managers at the sports networks, what would you suggest them to broadcast in lieu of live Major League Baseball games?