Thursday night’s regular-season opener between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears was a real dog. Fancy camera angles and old-timey costumes could not lift the sloppy, disjointed mess on the field. It would be generous to describe it as a defensive battle, but defense had little or nothing to do with poor, panicking Mitch Trubisky and the Bears moonwalking their way to a first-and-40 in the fourth quarter, down four points and showing almost no signs of life. The offenses, in the twangy words of Cris Collinsworth, were not right.
But there was baseball! Whole parts of the baseball calendar are now given over to pointlessness and hopelessness (Tigers-Royals, anyone?), but the Twins-Red Sox tilt in Boston provided one sparkling moment of high sports drama, in a game between two good teams, at least one of whom still has plenty to play for. In the bottom of the ninth inning of a 2–1 game, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez ripped a two-out double off the Monster in left. Rafael Devers, running from first on contact, rounded third as Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario played the ball on the carom and wheeled to throw home. Throws home from left field are the best, because you get a view of the race between the ball and the baserunner. This one was for all the marbles:
Drama! Action! A man throwing a ball accurately through more than seven yards of air, which is apparently beyond the capabilities of Chicago’s starting quarterback!
Red Sox manager Alex Cora called the decision to wave Devers around “a great send” by third base coach Carlos Febles, and whether you agree or not, surely we can all agree that it was gutsy as shit and it led to a badass ending to a baseball game. Meanwhile, Trubisky took a deep sack on fourth-and-eight from the Bears’ 16-yard line, and that was that. Four different baseball games finished with more total runs Thursday night than there were total points in Thursday Night Football.