Tuesday night the Yankees will face off against their fierce rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The two franchises are notorious, not only for their success (or Boston lack thereof for 86 years) but for their storied rivalry.
For 86 years it wasn’t even a rivalry, the Yankees won and the Red Sox didn’t. In the 86 years the Red Sox went without a World Series win the Yankees won 26 in 39 appearances. The one-sided rivalry came to an end in 2004 when the Red Sox overcame a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS, but I don’t want to talk about it!
The rivalry between the two teams is without a doubt the greatest rivalry in all of sports. The Yankees are the more successful team historically, but the 21st century has belonged to the Red Sox. The Yankees and Red Sox have faced each other 3 times in the 21st century, Yankees beat the Sox in 2003, while the Red Sox won in 2004 and 2018. Going into the Wild Card Game the Yankees have a chance to redeem themselves in Fenway and win bragging rights over their rival. But will the Yankees beat the Red Sox? That’s a complicated question I will dive into now.
Let me start off by saying the Yankees have had a fairly disappointing season, to say the least, and the fact that they even have to play in the Wild Card game sucks enough. But this team has faced adversity before and overcome it, except sometimes they don’t. This Yankees team has been inconsistent all year. For example, they won 5 out of 6 against Boston and Toronto coming into the final series against the Rays. All the Yankees had to do is win 2 games (to put it simply) and they would’ve clinched home-field advantage, but what did they do? Blow the first two games, and barely win a nailbiter to clinch a playoff spot and avoid game 163.
The Yankees have had great stretches, and have had historically bad stretches, so who’s to say what happens next. All I know is a lot hangs in the balance Tuesday night. Some things that hang in the balance include: Will Aaron Boone keep his job? Will Brian Cashman? What do the Yankees do about their middle-infield? Who will they keep, Rizzo or Voit? Is Aaron Hicks still alive? And is Brett Gardner going to come back for one more season just to mess with the front office? All these questions will be answered within the next 6 months, probably. The Yankees can prove a lot of doubters wrong on Tuesday, but they could also prove a lot of doubters right.
I would honestly be shocked if the Yankees won the 2021 World Series or even got past the ALDS. Sure it’s the Yankees and history plays a part whenever they play in October, but does this team really have it in them to secure a spot as the best team of 2021? I would like to plead the 5th on that question on the grounds I don’t want to be killed by Yankee fans.
The pitching is phenomenal, the Yankees have the best team ERA in the AL, and the fourth-best in MLB. It’s the hitting that makes me worry about these Yankees. This is a team that will score 10 runs one day and then 0 the next. They could hit 5 home runs one game, and then not hit another four a couple of games. They could go on stretches offensively, that are historic, and then go cold at the plate for a week. I think you get the gist. There’s a lot wrong with this team and I want to say a lot right, but in reality, very little is right with this team.
Aaron Boone managed a great game Sunday afternoon against the Rays, he pretty much won them the game. Except, if the Yankees had say, Joe Girardi or a half-decent manager they would’ve won the division. Because by my estimate Boone blew at least 15 wins by over-managing, under-managing, being overzealous, or being naive. He’s at multiple times killed our top relievers arms, mismanaged the lineup, and killed players’ hot streaks by resting them. Boone was a good manager, but sometimes managers lose their edge, and I think Boone’s lost his edge. No matter what happens in the playoffs (most likely an early exit in the ALDS) the Yankees have to part ways with Boone.
The Red Sox, opposite of the Yankees, have exceeded expectations. They have surprised everyone with a playoff appearance especially because last year it looked like the Red Sox were in for a 5-year rebuild at the least. And I’m so happy, jubilant really, that the Red Sox are now World Series contenders. I’m so effing happy about it. I’m being extremely sarcastic if you couldn’t tell.
Offensively they’ve been great, and their pitching has been decent enough for stretches of the year that they’ve managed to secure the first spot in the AL Wild Card standings. That’s all I want to say about the Red Sox really.
The Yankees hate the Red Sox and vice versa. The rivalry has flared up in the past couple of years, unfortunately for the Yankees, the Red Sox have gotten the final laugh in years when the rivalry was renewed. I hate to say it, but I really don’t know what’s going to happen on Tuesday. Nathan Eovaldi could have his revenge on the Yankees. Gerrit Cole could either crumble or prove he’s worth all that money. The Yankees offense could come alive or roll over and die. The Red Sox can send their fans home happy or unhappy. In an anti-climatic way, it’s that simple.
The Yankees and the Red Sox have an uphill battle ahead of them. I have to give a slight edge to the Yankees not only because they’re my team, but because I don’t want to get killed by Yankee fans (that’s a successful callback right there). The Yankees have way better pitching than the Red Sox and when it comes down to it the Yankees can win the ugly games and the Red Sox cannot. I hope the Yankees can pull off a miracle and go on one of their hot streaks, at the very least I want to beat the now soft Red Sox and their fans. Because let’s face it, Boston has gone soft.