The Yankees Need to Do It with Their Sox Off

August 6, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees


The AL East’s bragging rights are up for grabs, along with first place, which is huge in all aspects but for the these two franchises, it means much more.


It is not because the Bombers have to play catch-up, as the team is in first by two and a half games.  First place is definitely a place that New York wants to continue to be in.


Realistically, the division can be won without the need to win one game against Boston to accomplish this.  So, why not just take every game as just another game?


Well, it is pretty simple: the Yankees or the Red Sox would never feel like the champs if either team could not beat their biggest rivals—each other.


It’s embarrassing, to say the least.  The history between the two teams is at a point where what was once a Yankees universe has become a Red Sox nation.  Boston has become the standard in baseball, and has been for six years.  Boston has yet to be dethroned.


In 2003, the AL Championship series was well overdue for Boston.  Winning the World Series for the first time in a long time, since 1918, and once again in 2006, cemented the Red Sox as the elite in Major Leagues.


The rug got yanked right from under the Yankees so fast.  The Yanks were so stunned, that it’s only now that the shock has worn off and the team is furious.


Furiously hungry to get back the bragging rights in the biggest rivalry in all sports and of all time.


This is the best baseball to watch and the fans are fortunate to finally have it back.


Just in case the Yankees forget what they need to do, here is a short list:


  • Play good and tough small ball—steal bases, generate long at bats, don’t leave guys on base.
  • Hitters have to go up there with a “just get a single” mentality instead of trying to go yard, no matter the score.  In games that are as tough as this, trying to be the hero hurts more than it helps.
  • Put up runs early on so the pressure of playing catch-up stays minimal.  The comebacks and walk-offs are so satisfying, but equally exhausting, so consistency is key.
  • Joba has got to give us a fourth start that mirrors the last three in terms of innnings.  That sets the tone for the series.  Joba is utilizing more of his unfamiliar pitches, which is key for him, and the fact that his fastball gains speed as the innings go is proof this kid is backing up the hype (finally).  Hughes is not available tonight, which could spell disaster if the bullpen has to eat up two or three innings.
  • Mo is well rested and I presume that he will go in in the bottom of the eighth with two outs—his maximum workload being four outs.
  • Give A-Rod a full green light to steal, because that is why he is so lethal; most hitters with A-Rod-like stats cannot run like the third baseman.
  • The defense cannot make errors, as Boston will take full advantage.
  • The Yankees are the same team that Boston has taken the first eight games away from.  It is Boston that is not the same team.  The only thing that changes about the Yanks is that their confidence seems to melt when Varitek and company are around.

The Red Sox have been struggling since coming back from the All-Star break


Teams get hot and then freeze just as fast you might have blinked and missed it.  It happens to every team each season because it is so long and so much baseball gets played.  And Boston getting hot is going to happen again; the club is too good to fall without a fight.


On paper, the stats and records against other teams may seem to be enough for the Yankees to be crowned champions by newspapers and SportsCenter.  However the Yankees cannot accept having that respect qualified with “but they can’t beat Boston” or “they might be the champs, but the Red Sox are the best,” or something to that tune.


Both teams want to win.  This we all know.  For the boys form the Bronx, it is mandatory to prove themselves in this series, to shut up the doubters, the haters and, most of all, the Boston Red Sox.


So this is not just another game, in another series, against another team.  Everyone knows the significance and anyone who claims otherwise is a flat-out liar.


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