The Yankees and Red Sox have had a long storied rivalry, that has been in a bit of a rut in recent memory. That is going to change in 2018.
When you think of Yankees vs Red Sox, you think of the greatest rivalry in all of sports. Yet, 2017 marked the first season in which both the Yankees and Red Sox both made the postseason in the same year. For such a historic rivalry, that is an alarming fact.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the rivalry is always there, regardless of the quality on the field. It is undeniable though that it has had a different feel from the old rivalry. That is going to change in 2018. Here are five reasons why the rivalry is soon to be at its best:
Aaron Boone and Alex Cora both have witnessed the rivalry as players, (Boone more so, sorry 2003 Red Sox fans) but they will now see the rivalry from a whole new perspective. They have moved behind the helm and are now charged with making the decisions. They both enter the season as rookie managers, getting thrown into the fire, with both their teams being contenders.
New faces always bring something to a rivalry, but two new managers bring even more. We’ll have to wait and see how they handle the pressure of Yankees vs Red Sox.
I think that this is the biggest reason for the renewal of this rivalry. As much as fans love star players, they love young, star players even more. Both the Yankees, and Red Sox both have gone through a youth movement, and these players have turned into stars. Aaron Judge; the mammoth slugger who can hit the ball a mile. Mookie Betts; the charismatic underdog with lightning quick hands. These are the type of players that ignite a rivalry.
Another thing the youth players have done is create a rivalry within a rivalry. Judge vs Betts or Xander Bogaerts vs Didi Gregorious. Fans love to debate who has the better young players. Arguments like these bring out the crazy fans in all of us, and crazy fans are essential in any rivalry.
Although we talked about the young star power in the previous paragraph, there are two stars we didn’t mention. Giancarlo Stanton and J.D. Martinez, the big acquisitions of the offseason for these two teams. THIS ignites a rivalry. Two new sluggers who hit 59 and 45 home runs last year. That is what the people want.
Trading blows in the offseason, in the form of big acquisitions, makes a big rivalry that much more exciting heading into a new season.
As I mentioned above, 2017 was the first year since 2009 that both teams made the playoffs at the same time. The Red Sox went 93-69, good enough for first place in the AL East. They lost to the eventual World Series champion Astros in the divisional series.
The Yankees went 91-71, finished second in the East and took the Astros to game seven of the ALCS.
Now, coming into 2018, both teams are considered to be World Series contenders. You wouldn’t be incorrect to predict either of them to win the AL East. What better than a battle for first to set fire to the rivalry in 2018.
The Evil Empire
2017 was a weird year. People were actually referring to the Yankees as underdogs. Weird, right? As weird as that was, it only lasted a few months. Aided by Stanton and World Series hopes, the Yankees are once again, The Evil Empire.
Although Red Sox fans never bought into that underdog stuff, everyone else did. I have to say though, the Yankees being the villain, is good for baseball and it’s good for the rivalry. The fans will be rowdier, as the hate will grow stronger. I hope the Red Sox fans bring it because you know the “villainous” Yankee fans will.
Two storied franchises, one storied rivalry. After some down years, the Yankees vs Red Sox rivalry is renewed. I can’t wait for more bloody socks, heated arguments, and most of all, good old competitive baseball.