Former Red Sox Jonathan Papelbon cueing Yankees' downfall is absurdly frustrating

The Party Animals v The Savannah Bananas
The Party Animals v The Savannah Bananas / Jaiden Tripi/GettyImages

Just one week ago, former Red Sox/current Yankees standout Alex Verdugo burnt Boston to a crisp, cockily circling the bases in his first at-bat of the year against his former team. It keyed an 8-1 victory, and felt like the exact thing the Yankees would've had to recover from in recent seasons, turned against their enemies. Quite frankly, it felt great, like the moment we'd been waiting for that truly cemented that this season — rivalries included — would be different. 6-1 against the Astros, taking the upper hand at Fenway in a traditionally hostile environment, whether the Sox were .500 or 30 games over.

Then, former Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon tweeted a bunch of manifestations from his dream journal, the Yankees got immediately worse, and Boston ripped off a 7-1 stretch that vaulted them into a playoff spot. I wish I was making any of this up.

No championship DVD is complete without a bit of adversity, but can one of the many Sports Gods please tell me why this year's particular brand of adversity had to feature an ex-Red Sox agitator throwing spices into a cauldron and crafting plumes of magic spells?

It all began with this particular tweet, sent during the first half of Saturday's game at Fenway. Papelbon might've tweeted about the Yankees beforehand this season, but I must admit I don't watch his feed like a hawk the way he watches the Yanks, so I can't comment on anything that occurred before the downfall he created. At this point, the Sox were beating the Yanks, but sat at .500 on the year, well out of a playoff spot. Papelbon decided this was the perfect time to shake off the Verdugo game and brag, via insightful tweet, that the Yankees might be in trouble if any of their MVP candidates went down for a stretch.

It's true that the Yankees will be worse off without Juan Soto or Aaron Judge. If either misses the duration of the season, they will no longer be World Series contenders. As far as insights go, it's about as enlightening as, "Farts smell, normally."

Yet somehow, the Sports Gods read that Pap tweet and went, "Hmm, yeah, but you know what would be even more interesting? If Soto and Judge stayed healthy and the Yankees showed up tomorrow cooked anyway. Thanks, Pap! Loved it when you choked Bryce Harper, you deserve to be further rewarded."

The Sox took care of business in the Saturday game, then ran wild in record-setting fashion on Jose Trevino in the Sunday Night StinkCap. Since that moment in time, the two teams' paths have diverged wildly, with the Yankees losing two additional series (admittedly tough ones against Baltimore and Atlanta), and Boston vaulting into the Wild Card spot vacated by the Royals.

Papelbon has -- you guessed it -- continued to tweet about the Yankees almost nonstop during that stretch, tucking a napkin into his shirt and snagging a knife and fork for his nightly dose of Bomber Watching. Usually, he uses Trevi's struggles as a jumping off point.

When he finds the regression he seeks, he takes his prognostications a step further, cataloguing Yankee offenses like biblical plagues.

"Yup. There are the locusts in Soto's hat. I f***ing knew it."

The worst part? Papelbon's predictions, beginning at the Sox lowest point and arguably the Yankees' highest height, had no basis in reality, and yet the downfall began exactly when he put it out into the universe. Like everything Red Sox-ian for the past 20 years, it all just seems to work out. He said he wanted something, and he got it.

It's just June. But if this doesn't reverse course immediately, we're going to have a problem here, as Papelbon shooting arrows into the Yankees' special season might be the most unnecessarily vindictive thing the Sports Gods have done to this city in two decades exactly.