Laugh laugh laugh at the New York Yankees all you want. They're among the most embarrassing and frustrating stories of the 2023 season. But please, as a baseball fan, do not overlook how much worse the Boston Red Sox have been since the conclusion of the 2018 season.
The Yankees do not have a World Series since 2009. The Red Sox have two. But there's a stark difference here: Boston willingly tore down a winner, did far more soulless cost-cutting than the Yankees, and have one playoff appearance to show for it (of course, it was a Wild Card win over the Yankees and a magical ALCS run they had no business making).
It all came to a head on Thursday, too, when the Sox announced they parted ways with president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom before the doubleheader against the Yankees. They fired him during a very crucial series against their most hated rivals in what's become a battle for last place in the AL East. They couldn't wait two weeks to fire a guy they planted in the front office with countless disadvantages?
They made him trade Mookie Betts. They limited his spending in free agency. They essentially pressured him into creating another version of the Tampa Bay Rays, an operation that took an incredibly long time to build.
Could he have been better? Sure. Was it worth compromising your image as a franchise by kicking him to the curb during another disappointing season that was mostly the fault of ownership ... again, during a series against the floundering Yankees? Absolutely not.
Red Sox firing Chaim Bloom during Yankees series shows how far Boston has fallen
What's worse? The Yankees maintaining stability for 25 years with Brian Cashman as the head of the front office, or the Red Sox constantly manufacturing their own dysfunction and oscillating between big-market doormat and World Series contender? You pick, it's very much a subjective debate. You might rather Boston's strategy, but the lows have been very low. It just depends how much you're willing to stomach and how affected you are by the public perception of your organization.
For as much as Yankees fans possess a great disdain for Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman, the Red Sox have managed to lap them more times than not with John Henry/Fenway Sports Group and (insert whomever they decide to scapegoat/unfairly dismiss).
The Yankees might've inexplicably cut payroll after the 2017 and 2018 seasons, but they didn't trade a franchise icon (Betts) and top-three MLB player for spare parts. They didn't let another franchise icon (Xander Bogaerts) depart in free agency after lowballing him multiple times. They didn't trade another franchise legend (Jon Lester) after lowballing him with midseason extension talks. And those are just the highlights, with many more other egregious missteps in between.
If the Yankees can kick the Sox while they're down, Boston will finish last in the division for the third time in the last five seasons, with no AL East crowns since 2018. They could finish below .500 for the third time over the last five years, too.
New York might hold the crown for playoff chokes dating back to 2010, but they've never coming close to enduring a stretch like Boston's last five years. And this is the second time it's happened for the Sox since 2010. They have a couple of trophies to mask their systemic issues, but it's back to the drawing board for them, and they managed to somehow help the Yankees potentially end 2023 on a high note with their firing of Bloom when that seemed almost impossible for New York to achieve.
We should've saw this coming, however, because the Sox did the same exact thing with Dave Dombrowski back in 2019.