COMMENTARY | The New York Yankees. The Boston Red Sox. They go together sort of like peanut butter and tree bark, Abbott and Einstein or scrambled eggs and tire irons.
Why is it that these two fan bases detest each other so much?
From a Yankees, here are the top 10 reasons why fans hate the Red Sox so very much:
10. It's a Boston-New York thing: The Yankees and Red Sox isn't the only heated rivalry involving the greatest city in the world and the Hub. The New England Patriots and New York Jets aren't exactly chummy. The New York Giants have handed out dual doses of heartbreak to the Patriots. The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks have never exactly played well with each other. The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins have a rivalry that goes back decades. So, yeah, it's a New York-Boston thing.
9. They became what they profess to hate: Since free agency came to baseball in the 1970s, no fan base has been more vociferous in its criticism of the Yankees in its attempts to (and, God, do I hate this phrase since, you know, it's professional sports and every team buys championships) buy championships.
The Yankees would hand the Red Sox another gut-wrenching defeat and their fans would console themselves by whining about how much money the Yankees spent on players. But when the Red Sox put together their two World Series winners in the middle of the last decade, Manny Ramirez wasn't exactly a bargain-bin purchase. Johnny Damon wasn't cheap. Pedro Martinez had a hefty number of zeroes on the end of his paycheck, as did Curt Schilling. Boston tried to trade for Alex Rodriguez before he wound up with the Yankees. So be quiet already about the money.
8. Damn near a century and they still whine about Babe Ruth: He was sold to the Yankees by the Red Sox in 1920 for crying out loud. Let it go.
7. Inferiority complexes are annoying: The Yankees spent the vast majority of the 20th century breaking Red Sox hearts. We're sorry your team took 84 years to win a World Series. Really, we are. Well, OK, not so much.
6. Even your players want to come to New York: Babe Ruth didn't have a choice when he went from Boston to New York. But Roger Clemens pretty much did. Wade Boggs definitely did. So did Johnny Damon. Ditto Kevin Youkilis. Take the hint, already.
5. That's not Mr. Dent's middle name: For 35 years, New Englanders have delighted in defaming Bucky Dent with a middle name that is not only not his but also can't be repeated here because this is a family website. All because of his home run in the American League East playoff in 1978. Hey, blame Mike Torrez. He's the guy who served up the home run to a guy who had hit a whopping four homers in 122 games prior to that and who launched a grand total of 40 dingers in a 12-year career.
4. That's not Mr. Boone's middle name, either: In 2003, Aaron Boone launched a bomb into the left field seats off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to end the American League Championship Series in the 11th inning of Game 7. Guess what? It wasn't cool with Dent ... why would it be with Boone?
3. Carlton Fisk: A Red Sox legend and a Hall of Famer and an otherwise great player, Fisk seemed to have major problems with the Yankees in general and with Thurman Munson and Lou Piniella in particular, back in the 1970s. The Yankees won. The Red Sox lost. Deal with it.
2. Pedro attacked an old man: In the 2003 American League Championship Series, dugouts cleared after Roger Clemens went up and in on Manny Ramirez in response to Pedro Martinez doing the same to Karim Garcia. Martinez was confronted by Yankees coach Don Zimmer and shoved Zimmer to the ground.
1. 2004: Of all the teams and all the cities that could have been the first (and only) team to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series, it just had to be the Red Sox. And it just had to be the Yankees that were on the wrong end. OK, the Red Sox have 2004. Gotta give 'em that. In reply, how about ... 1949, 1978, 2003? How about 27-7 (the total number of World Series titles, even counting the five Boston won back in the Deadball Era? Revel in your one moment if you must, but just remember that Pedro Martinez himself even agreed: The Yankees are your daddy.
Phil Watson is a freelance journalist and commentator based in upper Michigan who covers the New York Yankees for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
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