Why the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox Rivalry Is Special

August 6, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Rivalries are a beautiful aspect of sports.  They bring out the best and the worst of teams and athletes.

Whether it’s Ali and Frazier, Bruins and Canadiens, or even the Dodgers and Giants, rivalry games, matches, and series all come with something special.

Coming from an athlete’s perspective, notably hockey, whenever a rivalry game is approaching, athletes keep it in the back of their minds.  Sure, we focus on the here and now, but one cannot help but look towards those games against the hated rival. We want nothing more than to beat our rivals.

When a rivalry game or series approaches, teams are known for downplaying them.  How many times have we heard that “it’s just another game?”  Well, I’ve got news for you.  It isn’t just another game.  Especially when it is the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

This rivalry is different.

Every pitch matters.  Every single one.  The painfully slow pace of the games, which we as fans enjoy, are a result of this.  But, it is just one of many factors that make this rivalry one of a kind.

Words cannot describe the intensity of this rivalry.  To put it plainly: it is a dangerous level of intensity.  But even that is an understatement.

The fans can be thanked for that.  They tune it up to an entirely new level, especially in Yankee Stadium, opposing players’ and opposing fans’ worst nightmare.  Some Red Sox fan friends who go to Yankee Stadium tell me that they refuse to wear any Boston Red Sox gear because of the ridicule that they will ultimately face.

Red Sox fans are on their best behavior at Yankee Stadium.

Even the media play a Yankees media vs Red Sox media softball game, each team trying to get an upper hand over the others’ media personnel.

How’s that for intense?

Bloody is another word which can describe the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry.

Thurmon Munson and Carlton Fisk came to blows at Fenway Park on August 1, 1973.  These two players had a bitter hatred towards each other, according to Harvey Frommer.

Who could forget game three of the 2003 ALCS at Fenway Park?  It all started with Pedro Martinez throwing at Karim Garcia.  One could see the hatred pumping through Jorge Posada and Don Zimmer during that game, during each man’s exchange with the Boston right hander.  They hated Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox.  Karim Garcia and Jeff Nelson even got into an altercation with a member of the Red Sox grounds crew.

And more recently, May 7, 2010 at Fenway Park.  Josh Beckett hit a number of Yankee players, and threw dangerously close to others.  Beckett blamed it on “poor control,” but one does not need to be a psychic to see past that.  He even hit Derek Jeter with the bases loaded.

And, Joba vs Youkilis.  Joba Chamberlian has thrown at Kevin Youkilis a number of times, including twice in Yankee Stadium and once in Fenway park.  This is  a matchup many have been waiting for, for a very long time.  But, it won’t surface this upcoming series because Youkilis is on the DL.

There would be no rivalry without the games themselves.  There have been some epic games.  The “Bucky Bleeping Dent” game in 1978, when Bucky hit his historic home run against the Red Sox to send the Yankees to the World Series. 

And game seven of the 2003 ALCS, when Aaron Boone hit his famous home run off of Tim Wakefield.  And one must mention that dreadful night, ALCS game seven in 2004.  No need to elaborate any further on that.

And one cannot forget the 15-inning marathon last season on August 7, 2009, when Alex Rodriguez ended the long night into day with one swing of the bat, depositing a ball that landed in the visitors’ bullpen in left center field wall.

The Yankees are 1,122-936-14 against the Red Sox.  Hopefully they can continue their winning ways this weekend at Yankee Stadium.

Passionate fan bases rarely find common ground to agree on, but one thing is for sure.  The Yankees and Red Sox rivalry is truly a special one.

And, as history has proved, anything can happen in a game between these two teams.

So as usual, let’s look forward to a great series between two great rivals.


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