By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater May 16, 2007 at 2:15AM
History is being made tonight in Orlando and I'm having a hard time getting excited about it. For the first time ever, the area is hosting a regular season Major League Baseball game when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays open a 3-game series against the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports. That's the same 9500 seat Spring Training stadium where the Atlanta Braves play every March, making this relatively intimate facility the smallest ballpark to host a regular season game since the Oakland A's played a bit in Las Vegas in 1996 while the Oakland Coliseum was being repaired.
Tampa Bay picked a mid-week series against an opponent that would be a lousy draw at the Trop in St. Petersburg for their little experiment, with the goal of getting the Orlando area more interested in the team and ultimately, more willing to make road trips to attend their home games a couple of hours away. So while it's exciting (and perhaps even momentous) to have professional games that actually count in the standings taking place a half hour from my home, the bottom line is that we're talking about two lousy teams here--the Devil Rays are 15-22 and the Rangers are 15-23, with neither really having an affect on the teams I care about, the Twins and the Yankees. Granted, Tampa Bay at least has some good young talent on their squad like Carl Crawford, Delmon Young, and B.J. Upton, but the only player from Texas that I can name off the top of my head is that cheater, Sammy Sosa.
Therein lies my predicament. I love the game and the fact that this is finally happening here, but this match-up is about the most boring and meaningless I could ever imagine. And the tickets ain't cheap either. So considering I usually work Tuesday and Thursday nights, and I got a preview screening of KNOCKED UP on the schedule for Wednesday, it looks like I'll be sitting this one out. But I hope the series is a hit and they want to come back and do it again some time--but against a different opponent please.