Its been a tough decade for the so called blood feud between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Neither team has really been very good at the same time recently. After the epic postseason clashes of 2003 and 2004 the two sides haven’t played each other in the playoffs even once. Before last year, both teams hadn’t even made the playoffs in the same season since 2009. In 2007 when the Sox won it all, the Yankees got smoked in the divisional round. In 2009 when the Yankees won it all, the Sox got swept in the divisional round. And in 2013 when the Red Sox went the distance again, the Yanks straight up sucked and missed the playoffs winning only 85 games.
The guys much smarter than me over at fivethirtyeight.com actually put together a graph last year, based on each team’s World Series odds, to measure how meaningful games between the Sox and Yankees actually have been over the years.
“From 2007 to 2016, the typical Yanks-Sox contest was only about as important as any old opening-day game. In other words, it was fun but no big deal.”
So we’re on the up ladies and gentlemen. Last year Boston won its second straight AL East crown and the Yankees came within a game of advancing to the World Series on the back of young, homegrown talent. All of that was BEFORE New York added the best power hitter in the game in Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees, who featured a guy in Aaron Judge who hit 52 home runs AS A ROOKIE, just added a guy who hit 59 home runs. Ridiculous.
Well, thank god the Sox finally responded by signing one Julio Daniel Martinez.
It took a lot longer than most expected, but it sure is nice to take a team that won 93 games and then add this guy: .303 BA/.376 OBP/ .690 SLG with 45 Home Runs and 104 RBIs.
And for all the Yankees fans in my timeline talking shit already (its not even St. Patty’s Day yet) I’m just going to quote my man Jared Carrabis:
“After finishing last in the league in homers last year, the Red Sox added the player who is second in the MLB in slugging percentage (.574) since the start of the 2014 season behind Mike Trout (.579) with a minimum of 300 games played.”
A consolation prize he is not.
My point being though is this could be the first time we see Boston and New York square off in the playoffs in more than a decade. Both teams are stacked, young, and trending upwards. Sure the Patriots have taken the No. 1 spot in town and the Sox have won 3 titles since 2004, but I honestly don’t think thats why the venom between the Red Sox and the Yankees has dissipated. No, its because both teams haven’t been trying to kill each other for that next ring. If the Yankees and their loudmouth fans in the Bronx are standing between Chris Sale and a World Series appearance, you better fucking believe fans are gonna be fired up.
All we need is the opportunity, and thats what we have here tonight.