Yankees and their fans want the Red Sox; because why not?
Regular season success doesn’t always translate to Postseason glory. So what if the Red Sox won 107 games? The Yankees overcame one obstacle after the other this year to prove they’re good enough to pull off an upset in the ALDS.
If you want to be the best, you often have to beat the best. And as much as it pains me to say, the Red Sox were just that in 2018. Led by likely AL MVP, J.D. Martinez (who is strictly a DH, might I add), and the banged-up but highly-effective Chris Sale (17 IP in the last two months) — the Red Sox will take on the Yankees outside the ALCS for the first time.
This is just the fourth time since 1999 that the two heated rivals will face-off in the Postseason.
From Bernie Williams’ 1999 ALCS Game 1, 10th inning walk-off homer, to the 2003 ALCS that was prematurely marred by Pedro Martinez tossing Don Zimmer to the ground in Game 3 before culminating in now manager Aaron Boone’s iconic Game 7, 11th inning home run — it was only one year later that the Sox got their revenge.
As you may recall (though I’ve tried to forget), the Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 ALCS lead and looked destined for a return trip to the World Series. Unfortunately, destiny in the form of Dave Roberts stealing bases with the greatest of ease, Curt Schilling’s bloody sock and the engine that could, known as Johnny Damon, propelled the Sox to their first World Championship since 1918.
More from Yankees News
- Michael Kay’s Anthony Volpe story will get Yankees fans amped for Opening Day
- No, Yankees should not acquire Trevor Bauer for 2023
- Yankees’ Marwin González replaces Red Sox LF in Japan in logical next step
- Blue Jays overpaying for Yankees trade target shows they’re trying too hard
- Aaron Judge’s influence on Carlos Rodón shows he’s more powerful than Yankees
Fast-forward 14 years later and it’s a new generation of players that make up the rosters of these two historic clubs. Though both still spend a ton of money, the Red Sox’s payroll topped the MLB charts at well over $228 million while the Yanks came in sixth at $179 million, staying below the luxury tax threshold for the first time since its inception in 2003.
Despite trading for the reigning NL MVP in Giancarlo Stanton and taking on his enormous contract, general manager Brian Cashman got his wish of making full use of the vaunted farm system. After all, unless there is some sort of mass confusion come award season, Miguel Andujar will make it back-to-back AL Rookie of the Year wins for the Bombers.
Led by the new face of baseball, Aaron Judge, these aren’t your father’s Yankees. Nor are these the Red Sox of yesteryear. For those looking for any on-field shenanigans — forget it. Despite the early season brawl incited by Joe Kelly when he intentionally plunked former Yankee Tyler Austin, most of these players are smart enough to realize their importance, and potentially getting suspended for a stretch of playoff games won’t be tolerated.
Unless of course Jacoby Ellsbury is added to the ALDS roster merely to cause havoc? A man can dream!
These two teams ran neck and neck this season. While the Sox may have won 10 of 19 matchups, and outscored the Yanks 116-102 — New York took four of six in September and enter the ALDS healthier then they’ve been since Opening Day. Plus the Yankees have added cult hero Luke Voit and their most reliable pitcher over the past two months, J.A. Happ (a known Boston killer).
It’s the perfect time for these two clubs to meet. As reliever Dellin Betances told SI.com following his team’s 7-2 victory over the A’s in the Wild Card game:
"“Everyone in baseball wants this matchup,” said Betances after the game, as an unholy mix of Budweiser and Champagne dripped down his forehead and into his mouth. “And so do we.”"
As if we needed any more proof that the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry is still alive and well, chants of, “We want Boston” filled Yankee Stadium during the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday night. So, if you’re a Boston fan, spare me the, “Be careful what you wish for rhetoric.” I’m confident Yankee Universe knows precisely what to expect — and so should you.