By: John McCormack:
The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees opened play this week at Fenway Park in a much-anticipated series between the heated rivals. Both teams are title contenders this year, and both have added some heavy hitters to their lineups. The Red Sox added JD Martinez during free agency to bolster up the middle of that lineup, while the Yankees traded for National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to recreate the “Bronx Bombers” with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
In game one, the Red Sox started their ace, Chris Sale, who was 0-3 against the Yankees since joining the Sox. The Yankees started Luis Severino who was 2-1 on the season so far. Both pitchers ranked second and third in lowest opposing batting average last season, and hoped to continue their success from last year.
The Red Sox got things started early, and did not look back. Hanley Ramirez gave the Red Sox their first run with an RBI single.
And when I say they didn’t look back, they didn’t. The Red Sox posted a nine run 6th inning thanks to a JD Martinez RBI double, and the nail in the coffin was a Mookie Betts’ grand slam to make the game 14-1.
The sole run for the Yankees came from a Judge home run, as you can see below from ESPN.
Despite the one-sided result in game one, it is safe to say the rivalry is back. I watched the game with some Red Sox fans, and talked to them about the rivalry.
All of them agreed the rivalry is back and they all were happy about it. David Maljanian, a Red Sox diehard, gave his opinion on why he thinks the rivalry is back.
“The rivalry is back because both teams are now World Series contenders and both have numerous all-star casts.” Maljanian said. “It was down the past few years because both teams weren’t on the same level.” he added.
Watching the game last night and hearing the Fenway Faithful chant “Yankees suck” brought some life back to the heated rivalry that people remember from the 2004 ALCS. Maljanian also said how great it was to hear the “Yankees suck” chant in the middle of a 14-1 blowout.
Myles Rose, a Boston native and Red Sox fan, said this year brings back the “2004 vibes.” Anthony Fiorentino, who has been a Red Sox fan since day one, said, “Yes the rivalry is back on, or at least I hope it is. It’s good for baseball.”
Fiorentino also wishes if this new Red Sox-Yankees series will be like the one in 2004.
“I’m looking for old Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. I want Sale to throw at the Yankees, and for them to throw back at us [Red Sox players]. I want it all. I want words, blood, benches clearing the whole nine yards.” Fiorentino expressed passionately.
Both Red Sox fans and Yankee fans are comparing this year to the 2004 series, and how competitive that was. Now if it doesn’t live up to that “2004 vibe” does that mean the rivalry isn’t back? No it doesn’t. It just means that it could take the new and very young Yankees some time to get adjusted to the sports biggest rivalry. Baseball fans should not panic if the Red Sox and Yankees don’t meet in the ALCS. The time will come when these two powerhouses meet for a chance at the title, but for now just enjoy some great baseball from two great organizations.
Twitter also agrees on the status of the rivalry. Check out the poll below.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: In game two on April 11, the Red Sox-Yankees the intensity went up a notch. Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly hit Yankees’ Tyler Austin with a pitch which caused tempers to flare and benches to clear. Earlier in the game, Austin slid hard into Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt, causing the benches to clear, but no punches were thrown. ESPN’s Sports Center tweeted the video below of the second incident.