We’re officially less than one month away from MLB’s opening day, which got me thinking… We could potentially see a revamp in the Boston-New York rivalry this year. I feel like a lot of people are sleeping on the New York Yankees this year, and that kind of scares me.
Over the past few years we haven’t really seen the fire and flames rivalry of old. One team has been wicked good while the other sucked, or both were just kind of mediocre so it wasn’t that big of a deal. The vast majority of the players who played in the heat of the rivalry during the mid 2000’s have retired: Ortiz, Veritek, Jeter, A-Rod, Rivera. Despite that, we saw the flame rekindle ever so slightly late last season.
September 15, 2016 was a damn good night at Fenway. I wouldn’t know, I was bartending, but it sure as hell looked like it. You could feel the electricity through the TV, so much so that I almost spilled a round of beers all over a group of guys because I went nuts. Now you might be thinking, “Why did you go nuts, Bree? What happened?” WELL…
Nothing gets you more fired up than a walkoff win against the Yankees, and if you disagree you need to rethink your loyalty to this team. This bomb to the moon from Hanley Ramirez was the start of a four game sweep which later eventually turned into a three series sweep.
The Yankees had their revenge two weeks later, sweeping the Sox in the Bronx. Not a big deal because Boston had clinched the division, but that very same night Mark Teixeira blasted a walkoff grand slam so it was just weird all around.
This season there’s high hopes for both teams. The Red Sox are favored to win the AL East again, but I’m not on board with the World Series Champs predictions just yet, even though I want to be. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen during spring training from the stars, especially Andrew Benintendi *swoon*, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. The red flag comes with David Price and this whole elbow situation. Apparently it’s no big deal and just requires rest, but I don’t buy it.
All signs are pointing to a successful season and we’ve already seen the vets step up and take over the leadership position previously held by Ortiz. One of the first days of spring training, Dustin Pedroia welcomed new guy Mitch Moreland in with open arms:
That’s the type of leadership I think these guys, very Ortiz-like. Without Papí in the clubhouse, though, I’m not sure how this team will adjust. However… Chris Sale.
The Yankees are a team on the rise, and I think we’ll see the first wave of that this year. The “Baby Bombers,” have a lot of potential to be dangerous this year. I really think that’s what the Yankees needed; some talented young guys to balance out the seasoned vets. Gary Sanchez had an unreal year in 2016 hitting wise, but they call it a sophomore slump for a reason. The possibility of a stellar seasons from Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Judge scares me too. Offensively the Yankees could be a problem, but pitching looks a bit shaky. I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if we see this team fighting for a wildcard spot late in the season.
Over the last year or two, the series between these teams have made me hopeful for a reboot. Things like David Ortiz calling Jacoby Ellsbury a “rich bitch” in 2015, and the “Boston Massacre II” last season… One can only hope.
Side note: I really hope this rivalry comes back in full force and the Red Sox just throttle the Yankees every chance they get because I cannot stand listening to Michael Kay yell “SEE YA” any longer. It’s gotten so bad I can literally hear it in my head right now. I need to move out of Connecticut honestly that’s what it is. I wouldn’t have this problem if I wasn’t so close to New York. Insanity slowly setting in. Rant over.