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For New York Yankees, Catching Up to Boston Red Sox a Tall Order

Boston Has Clearly Become the Superior Team in This Long-Running Rivalry

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | With the Boston Red Sox having won the 2013 World Series on Wednesday night, this is an awful day to be a fan of the New York Yankees.

If you are like me, you are spending the day avoiding sports TV shows and staying away from sports talk radio. The Red Sox are the champs, and avoidance won't change that fact. It helps a little, though. Being subjected to watching the first Fenway Park World Series celebration since 1918 and hearing the constant congratulatory chatter about the Red Sox on the radio is more than I care to bear.

Unfortunately, for the Yankees, they can't avoid dealing with the Red Sox.

Boston is clearly no longer the little brother in this rivalry, with three World Series titles to one for the Yankees since 2004. Overall, the Red Sox have been the superior franchise in recent years -- which is a tough pill to swallow -- and they appear to be positioned to stay among the AL's elite for the foreseeable future.

John Harper of the New York Daily News put it this way:

" ... with a 6-1 victory in Game 6, the Red Sox won their third World Series in the last 10 seasons, making them clearly superior to the Yankees, who have won only once during that time.

"If that's the bad news in the Bronx, perhaps worse news is that these Red Sox appear to be better-equipped to win another one before the Yankees do.

"Unlike the Yankees, they have a farm system with some highly touted, major-league ready prospects, starting with Xander Bogaerts, and they have financial flexibility as well.

"They also have a pretty sharp GM and, in John Farrell, a manager who is proof that presence and persona can matter more than making every right move in the dugout."

In other words, the Red Sox aren't going away. They have everything they need to remain at or near the top of the American League.

The Yankees? It's another offseason of uncertainty. They don't have nearly enough pitching, in either the starting rotation or the bullpen. They will probably have to drastically overpay if they want to keep their best player, Robinson Cano. They continue to have a roster filled with aging players well past their primes. They have little to nothing in the way of major-league ready prospects in their farm system, and no true difference-makers on the horizon.

They have little financial wiggle room, with Hal Steinbrenner insisting on finding a way to get under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold. If they sign Cano to a reasonable deal or let him walk altogether, and if Alex Rodriguez' suspension is upheld -- saving them his $25-million 2014 salary -- the Yankees might then have some room to maneuver. Otherwise, according to Spotrac, they have roughly $87 million already committed to seven players -- Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Vernon Wells, Ichiro Suzuki, CC Sabathia and Alfonso Soriano.

They have to sign Cano and maybe Curtis Granderson, rebuild their pitching staff, find a catcher and quite possibly find a starting-caliber third baseman.

They have a lot to do. Whether or not they can do enough to catch up to the Red Sox remains to be seen. It won't, however, be easy.

Ed Valentine is editor of BigBlueView, covering the New York Giants for SB Nation. Ed writes about both the Yankees and Giants for Yahoo. Follow him on Twitter @bigblueview.

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