The Red Sox Yankees rivalry is one of the fiercest and most famous in all of sports. With Boston winning three championships in the new century, Lisa Carney contends that the rivalry isn’t what it once was.
Right up until October 27, 2004, at approximately 11:15 P.M., the world around Red Sox fans wondered aloud, “What’s gonna happen to these poor slobs if their team ever does pull it off?”
I deeply sensed many were concerned for my soul and psyche. I, however, remained oblivious to the hand wringing and settled on the pat answer, “I don’t know, but please, please, please just give us a chance to find out.”
Of course, we now know winning the 2004 World Series was catharsis on steroids (poor word choice?) but even in light of the collective amens hurled skyward, the tilt of the earth’s axis was never really in any danger.
What is fair to say though, is there was one tragic loss when circumstances conspired and the death of the Rivalry occurred. It is unfortunate, but the moment Pokey flipped to Doug at first and every smug Yankee fan was forced to face their mortality and new position in the universe, the Rivalry was never going to be the same. And Foulke under-handing to Doug meant never again hearing that obnoxious, “Nineteen-Eighteen!” chant belted across an otherwise beautiful Bronx summer sky. But with the vindication and release of endorphins came the death knell to a long held sacred emotion of hatred for all things Yankees. After all, how can you hate such a pitiful group of people. Even Derek Jeter elicited my sympathetic whimper, albeit immediately followed by a snicker, with his dazed post Series dinner comment, “What just happened?”
In a desperate attempt to sound relevant, the next day’s New York Post headline read, “Here’s To Waiting Another 86 Years.” Ha Ha. That’s pretty funny. We only waited three. And while they managed to throw piles of money around at the 2009 Winter Meetings and field a one and done Champion, that year, it has mostly led to the comicalness of a team now drowning in a sea of bad contracts for creaky players.
We don’t even care when they scoop up our free agents. Okay, so it was easy to justify that Youk was at the end and desperate for a job but then they scooped up Ellsbury last and Red Sox Nation barely blinked. Personally, I thought he’d find big enough dollars out west to skip the pinstripes but really no one was surprised by the fact he left and no one cared that it was for the Yankees.
And sadly for the Red Sox, this season is playing out as a tribute to Murphy’s Law where there hasn’t been a failure in reach that wasn’t grabbed. Which is way more than we can say for Hanley’s range in left. But don’t let the Yankees fool you. First place in this American League East is more about other teams being wayyyyyy worse than them and less about their overpaid geriatrics held together with duct tape and good wishes being studly. That’s why nobody believes the ALCS will feature any of the AL East five.
There’s just really no reason to call Brett Gardner names. Mookie’s better and so is Bogaerts and hey, it just doesn’t matter anymore. We’re only in competition with the San Francisco Giants for the title of “New Millennium Dynasty”.