News Flash: The Yankees/Red Sox Rivalry Isn’t Hot Anymore

April 24, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

I hate to be the one to break the bad news to fans of the most beloved franchises in Major League Baseball, but as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox prepare for a weekend series at Fenway Park, it has become even more glaring and evident than it was last year—nobody cares.

This, of course, is a generalized and embellished statement, because Yankees and Red Sox fans presumably still care, but it’s no longer the national craze it was in 2003, 2004, or even 2007, no matter what ESPN tells you.

A sucker for storylines, I’m notorious for hanging on much longer than most. Hell, I’m still waiting for John Franco to win a World Series ring for his father.

The Red Sox and Yankees kept me entertained through the 2007 season, then suddenly last April when they had a three-game set in the Bronx, I realized I didn’t care anymore.

The apathy caused such a terrible hangover, I didn’t even bother to think about the reasons behind the rivalry’s plunge until now.


Staying true to your colors

The peak of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry of this generation was in 2003 and 2004 with the American League Championship Series matchups. Aaron Boone’s walk-off home run in ’03 followed by the greatest comeback in MLB playoff history in ’04.

Things stayed heated in 2005 since the Red Sox were finally back on top after 86 years, then in 2006 when Johnny Damon accepted an offer he couldn’t refuse, ditching the “Idiots” for the pinstripes, prompting the creation of one of my favorite shirts of all time: Looks like Jesus, acts like Judas, throws like Mary.


While the usual suspects still lurk in the shadows, this isn’t the Derek Jeter and David Ortiz show anymore.

The big names we’ll be hearing this weekend aren’t here for the navy blue pinstripes or the Olde Towne team, they’re here for the green.

This isn’t going to turn into an article about high payrolls or disingenuous motives, it’s just to say C.C. Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and the like have absolutely no emotional ties to the history of these franchises.

The Red Sox have managed to keep their roster intact for the most part, but is this quality entertainment without Manny Ramirez?

Not in my book.

A-Rod is now A-Roid, which puts a damper on things, as fun as it will be for Sawx fans once he’s healthy and back on the field. Jason Varitek will have to be careful not to break a hip when Alex’s ‘roid rage kicks in again.

Speaking of broken hips, what’s the over/under for David Ortiz at-bats this season?

Who am I to say the big names new to the rivalry won’t learn a thing or two about bad blood during this series, but anyone who thinks things are still the same has been hanging out with Percy Harvin.


Increased parity

Since there is no reason to hate the Rays, we have to invent one. They ruined the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry!

How dare they win the division with a payroll a gazillion dollars less than the teams which finished in second and third.

Ah, the unfathomable fantasy—the Yankees or Red Sox tanking for 10 years straight while they build a foundation of homegrown youth. Spare me inane comments about they’re doing so with the likes of Joba, Jacoby, etc…try doing it without 10 All-Stars on the team to hold down the fort while they develop.


Fresh Storylines

Remember when T.O. was on the Eagles? Then the Cowboys? Guess where the attention is going to be this season—up in Buffalo!

The same can be said for Manny, which I already alluded to. When he left Beantown, so did a lot of the camera crews. I hear L.A. is nice this time of year, and I also hear their team is doing quite well with some former faces from the New York/Boston rivalry.

Again, the Rays have stolen some thunder from the bigger markets, thus creating a firestorm of wonder about first place teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, and Florida Marlins.

Discussing staying power of traditionally bad teams is a lot more fun than beating to death stories about whether the Yankees will win 90, 95, or 100 games.

What was more interesting a month and a half ago? Another story about how UNC will win the title, or one saying Cleveland State has the coconuts to make a run to the Elite Eight?


In Conclusion

As much as I’m knocking the Yanks and Sox, I truly believe there isn’t a better storyline the playoffs roll around. However, when it’s April, this series just doesn’t have the flair it once had.

Let’s get to know the other teams in the league which are having better success than these two right now. Let’s get some Cubs/Cardinals or Dodgers/Padres.

Where has Ozzie Guillen been this year? Did somebody put a muzzle on him?

Yanks and Sox? Wake me up in September.

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