Sunday, April 3, 2005
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A very important post about.... the state of the Sox-Yankees rivalry
Ah, opening day. I was going to compose a long post about coping with the idea of the Red Sox as world champions, while still being confident of the Red Sox's chances this year, but a lot of other people beat me to it.
As for the Yankees, consider this Futility Infielder post by Baseball Prospectus contributor Jay Jaffe from the offseason:
The Yankees are going to be good this year, no doubt. Randy Johnson will be ferocious. However, the fact is that they have no depth in starting pitching -- for the Yankees to win this year, they have to rely on one over-40 pitcher with no cartilage in his right knee and another over-40 pitcher with just a spot of back trouble. This didn't hamper the Red Sox last year (their top five pitchers were remarkably healthy and started 157 of 162 games), but the odds of the Yankees repeating this durability ain't great.
What's more important, however, is how this rivalry shapes up for the next few seasons. It's telling that Theo Epstein has managed not just to sign free agents this off-season, but also trade for some decent prospects. By allowing most of their free agents to walk, the Red Sox will have five of the top fifty picks in this year's amateur draft. The Sox won't just be good this year -- they're setting themselves up for quite a nice run.
And the Yankees? No team with a $200 million payroll is going to be bad -- and this is a great thing for Sox fans. For there to be a real rivalry, both sides need to have a decent chance of winning, and this will be a real rivalry for many years to come. It's been intense in recent years because, as Joe Torre observed, "both clubs have been very evenly matched." After this year, however, medium-term trends favor the Red Sox. Given that for years, nay, decades, the reverse was true, I have no problem with this.posted by Dan on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM
I just want to say how much pleasure I get listening to the partisans of the two teams most dedicated to the proposition that World Series titles should be bought argue over which team has bought one.posted by: Zathras on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
Don't think I've ever heard any Yankee fans making the claim that the Red Sox bought the World Series...posted by: JB on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
192 games? Is that a typo for 162 (which would make it an amazingly high 97% of games started by top five starters), or what? Even with every playoff series going maximum length, which isn't what happened, there would only be 181 games played.posted by: washerdreyer on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
LOL. Bill Simmons is delusional if he thinks the Yankees "need" the Sox the same way the Sox need them.
In terms of rivalries, Sox-Yanks is a bit ike Cornell-Harvard. For one side, it is all-consuming; for the other, barely on the radar.
Last year's post-season was the outlier. Have no doubt that the trend will dominate soon enough again.posted by: Barry P. on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
Gold. I love the bipolarness of yankees fans. "We don't need the Sox. We don't hate the Sox. We don't care about them.
LAST YEAR WAS A FLUKE TALK TO ME WHEN YOU WIN ANOTHER 25 TINO RULEZ!!!!posted by: Jim Dandy on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
Yankees fans will never know the joy Red Sox fans know. Remember when the USA beat Russia at Lake Placid. It's like that. Remember the joyless Soviets who were supposed to win? That's the thing, dominance can become joyless.
I'll take deliverance over dominance any time.
IMO, and I know I am not alone among Sox fans, we could go 0-162, and the smile wouldn't fade. 2005 is a victory lap.posted by: bk on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
I pretty much agree with bk, although I'd add that SOMEONE has to beat the Yankees this year, not necessarily the Sox. Hell, I'd love to see the Yanks lose to Pedro & the Mets...posted by: B.R. on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
"IMO, and I know I am not alone among Sox fans, we could go 0-162, and the smile wouldn't fade. 2005 is a victory lap."
While you may not be completely alone, BK, you sure are in the minority. This 40 yr, multi-generational Red Sox fan is steaming over their hapless playing last night. If Damon can't pick up speed and show more hustle in centerfield I'm more than ready to send him and his hair packing. And, at his age, should Boomer really be partying late 3 nights in a row before a start?? The Sox will get a pass until their opener at Fenway on 4/11. After that look for the usual nasty fan and media feedback when players aren't demonstrating commitment and hustle.posted by: mccallahan on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
Renteria is overrated?posted by: fling93 on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
Boston: the only *place* with penis envy.posted by: Barry P. on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
Well, I'm a lot less happy already. . . The Yanks do have a farm system: it's the rest of the major leagues. Their current player-development system is so weak, though, that it will send their payroll out of control, since they no longer even have guys to trade, and have to rely on free agency.posted by: Crank on 04.03.05 at 12:29 AM [permalink]
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