The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has always been predicated on two evenly matched teams going head to head to the death. This year, not so much…
The Yankees meet the Red Sox for the first time on June 4 for a series at Yankee Stadium, followed by another series at Fenway later in the month.
Since a few days following Opening Day 2021, the Red Sox have not relinquished a hold on first-place in the American League East while the Yankees continue to gather themselves to be the team they are supposed to be.
In any event, the standings are not supposed to look like they do today, with the Yankees are looking up at the Red Sox.
David is on top, and Goliath is at the bottom, against all preseason odds from the gurus in Las Vegas to win it all (Yankees 2-1, Red Sox 7-1).
Sure, Yankees fans can pretend it’s only a mirage, and sooner rather than later, the Red Sox will come to earth, having lost seven of their last ten, while the Yankees continue a surge intended to put them in their “rightful place” in baseball this year.
But the numbers this year don’t support that almost 50 games into a season in which the Red Sox Longest losing streak is three games and the fact they’ve occupied first place for 31 calendar days in 2021.
Yankees To The Red Sox: We’ll Be Your Huckleberry
So, here’s the dichotomy facing both the Yankees and Red Sox as the schedule moves forward.
Which team would you rather be? The Red Sox as Goliath, looking down at the competition that (inevitably) becomes your completion in head-to-head games – or the Yankees, who are posing as Sampson with a “gonna getcha” attack on the way?
Signs of a crack in the Red Sox armor can be seen between their 17-10 record in April and the 7-6 record they have in May, including a skewed 11-5 record away from Fenway.
But still, as Joe Maddon always has said, a team is only as good (or bad) as their record says they are, and despite all the pre-season predictions about the Red Sox having another rebuilding year, their record speaks for itself.
It goes without saying that baseball needs a resurgence of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, one that has collapsed under its own weight in recent years, leading to disinterest and – ho-hum – just another game the schedule.
But come June, the curtain will rise again, with the ESPN, FOX, TBS, and the whole lot of them scrambling to harness a game for their network – in prime time.
Yankees-Red Sox: A Rivalry Renewal
A lot can happen between now and June 5, and it probably will.
But in the interests of baseball and the dwindling number of true rivalries in the game, maybe we should hope for a status quo in the standings so that each arrives to play the other, intact with the old spirit.
A role reversal wouldn’t hurt either if the Yankees were to find themselves with a slim lead over the Red Sox, but that, of course, depends on whose side you are on.
Between now and then, though, be sure to keep your eye on the all-important loss column in the standing as the Yankees and Red Sox play games away from each other.
One game separates the teams in the loss column as the games begin Saturday, with both the Yankees and Red Sox winning Friday night.
In the meantime, wouldn’t it be a treat if the YES Network can work something out with Pedro Martinez to join Paul O’Neill and David Cone in the booth to witness the renewal of a rivalry that’s been missed?
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Peter Miller Has not been that way for a while. One or the other team not that good.
Dan Young Don’t count your chickens just yet .. Cora must (be) cheating again