If 2023 Red Sox make playoff run, it's entirely the Yankees' fault

The 2023 Boston Red Sox have been entirely fueled by beating the Yankees.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Some brave Yankees souls among us are willing to go out in the public square (on Twitter's "X.com") and say brazen things like, "I'm glad the Red Sox swept us. That'll show Hal just how far away we are."

My brother in Christ (they're always brothers, they're always dudes): You are not glad the Red Sox swept us. You are suppressing negative feelings right now, which is very unhealthy. And no three-game series in late August in a lost season will somehow convince Hal Steinbrenner that Brian Cashman is no longer family. There's no need to get angry at the fans for showing up, hoping to beat the Red Sox and halt their own embarrassment for one measly day. There's no need to root against the team that tugs your heartstrings. At the end of the day, all you've been gifted with in return is a single loss, a painful sequence, and a heightened chance of the 2023 Boston Red Sox adding another Commissioner's Hunk of Metal to their Fenway Park residence.

Will the '23 Red Sox make an underdog run through a young and inexperienced American League without a clear favorite, led by the dogged Justin Turner, who's swiftly becoming Boston Royalty and always resembled a New England king? Unclear, as of yet, but would you be stunned? This year's AL field seemed like it'd be dominated by the Astros, once again, when the season started. Instead, it's very much wide open (which is why the Yankees' regression has been so disastrous). The top-seeded Orioles have never been there before, and they don't possess an ace that terrifies you in heightened October pressure. The Rays have receded since sprinting out to a massive AL East lead, and their superstar centerpiece may not participate for the remainder of the season. The sixth seed in the Wild Card mix plays the "winner" of the Paper Tiger AL Central. Whoever gets in could make a run.

And if the Red Sox "get in," it'll be entirely because they were able to bludgeon the Yankees time and again. Entering play on Monday, the Red Sox are 66-58, eight games over .500 and three games back of the chase. They are currently energized by the work they did over the weekend, beer-showering bench coach Ramón Vázquez for his first managerial win in Alex Cora's stead on Sunday. Against the Yankees? Boston is 8-1. Against the rest of baseball? 58-57. Again, you're welcome.

Red Sox romping Yankees has kept Boston in AL Wild Card Race

Which Yankee's "fault" is this? It's tough to pin down one Bomber who's under-performed the rest in this nine-game bludgeoning this season. Michael King has been at fault three times, surrendering a lead in the eighth inning in the team's first home series against the Sox, collapsing in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Fenway, and allowing Justin Turner to break his back on Sunday. Clay Holmes had one job on Sunday evening, and it was not done. Want to impugn the big boys? Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres simply have to be better after Greg Allen's leadoff double in the ninth on Sunday, with one chance left to stave off disaster. It's not Ben Rortvedt's fault he's Ben Rortvedt (but he at least made contact with a pitch).

Moreover, it's the fault of the entire punchless Yankees program. Somewhere along the line between 2017 and today, the team's killer instinct has dissolved. Say what you will about Cora (dangerously drunk on Astros team buses, according to Evan Drellich's Winning Fixes Everything, as well as the bench coach leader of an historic team in [legally redacted] one city, for sure only one), but imagine hearing anything with this much passion and urgency coming from a Yankee?

The fired-up Red Sox face a difficult schedule down the stretch, featuring the non-Yankees AL East non-creampuffs, as well as the Astros and Dodgers repeatedly. They may not prosper; during their weekend romp in the Bronx, they gained a single game on Toronto and zero games on Seattle, the teams currently occupying the third Wild Card slot and first loser position in the race.

But if they sneak into the dance, their veteran blend led by Justin Turner and a cavalcade of no-nonsense-takers could easily make some noise. And they'll be obligated to send the limp Yankees a "thank you" card if they can make it happen.

Imagine being the Yankee fan who "roots" for that.