Will the Red Sox Yankees Rivalry Ever Be The Same?

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.

So, gone are the days of Jason Varitek smooshing A-Rod’s grill and Pedro first menacing “finger to the head” stare at Posada last.

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”.

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Check out Brandon Magee‘s article about the call up of Henry Owens.

About Lisa Carney 19 Articles
Carney came to baseball consciousness in 1975, when her 4th grade math teacher used Fred Lynn’s stats to illustrate how we add large numbers. The 1975 World Series was the most beautiful thing that 9 year old had ever seen. However, Carney was raised by wolves, or Yankee fans as they may also be called, and in 1976, for 3 short games, she rooted for Lou Pinella and Thurman Munson. It was horrifying but sincerely illustrates the lengths a girl will go through to impress her Dad. Everything’s cool now and she roots whole heartedly for the right team. In 2010, her first novel, Cowboy in the City was published. Its fictional representation of working as a paramedic explains her lost faith in humans on the whole. She is ultimately grateful for her beloved Red Sox, who restore it just enough.


  1. Hating the Yankees is almost taboo now. I hated how we “honored” Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera when they retired. I hated those guys and I cheered like hell when Rivera blew saves. I actively rooted for them to fail and now we’re honoring their careers? If Ortiz announces he’ll retire after the 2016 season we’re not going to have a barnstorming tour where other fans are like “We respect you so much for hitting walk off homeruns off of our pitchers!” That would be ridiculous.

    • On the other hand, Jeter was Jeter and Rivera was Rivera and Papi is Papi.
      I think that pretty much sums up Lisa’s point. Except to taunt NYY fans with:
      “Nineteen Eighteen? That’s so last century!
      You guys still wearing crinolines?

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