Like most non Yankees/Red Sox fans, having â€œthe greatest rivalry in sportsâ€ constantly being thrown in my face has made me somewhat immune to the â€œcharmsâ€ of this contest to a certain extent. The prospect of five games in four days left me bracing myself for another barrage of media hype.
However, this time it’s slightly different. Thanks to the AL Central, there is a good chance that whoever misses out on the AL East crown is going to face an early season exit.
From a neutrals point of view, having the Yankees take the first two games in a day-night double header yesterday was probably the best thing that could happen. Much like the Cardinals earlier in the week, the Red Sox will be desperate to stop their rivals leaving Fenway with a series win under their belts. At the very worst Boston will want to take two of the next three. Coming back from an 0-2 start in series against the Yanks is tough, but the Red Sox have form in this respect as any Boston fan will gladly tell you (they don’t take much prompting either in my experience).
The Red Sox and Yankees have one more series this season in the Bronx following this weekend’s marathon meeting. It may be that results against their other divisional rivals make all the difference in the end. Judging by the last few days, the Red Sox can count on the support of the Orioles and the Blue Jays. Baltimore responded to a Boston sweep last weekend by taking two of three from the Yanks. The Blue Jays meanwhile bizarrely took pity on Boston’s current dearth of left-handed hitters and let them have Eric Hinske for next to nothing. Toronto’s winter spending spree sure looks a sad attempt to win the off-season right now.
(Incidentally, two other things stand out from the Hinske trade. Firstly, how come teams can acquire players despite the trading deadline passing on 31 July? Is it just a technical con trick like that used in the Championship where teams loan players after 1 September on the basis that they will then just buy them when the transfer window opens again? Secondly, isn’t it a bit strangely trusting of teams to agree to a deal when they don’t know which player they are going to get in return?)
Anyway, the next instalment kicks off at 18:20 GMT this evening and despite my normal ambivalence towards the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, I will be tuning in via MLB.TV.
Final point of the day: is losing both games in a day-night doubleheader to the Yankees at Fenway more embarrassing for a Red Sox fan than losing a day-night doubleheader to the Royals is for an A’s fan like myself? Probably not, so there’s a crumb of comfort for the Red Sox Nation this morning.