By: Nick Pooler
About two weeks ago, I sat in my Early World Civilizations class as my teacher asked if we knew what the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry was all about. As I sat calmly in my chair knowing what the answer was, I figured I would let other people have a chance just to see if they actually knew. As hands went up, different events that occurred were guessed. “Because A-Rod and Jeter!”, “When Varitek punched A-Rod!”, “Because we came back to beat them and then won the World Series!”, “Because of geography and how we are so close together!”. All of these gave me instant headaches. It was at that moment I realized as a Red Sox fan, I have been arguing and defending my team for 19 years now with people who don’t even know why we argue.
My teacher put her hands in her face and was thoroughly disgusted. She was shocked and disappointed that no one even brought up the Babe Ruth trade. I was right with her in disbelief but I just continued as if I did not know either.
As time went on, it was looking more and more like the Sox and Yanks were going to meet up in the playoffs. As a baseball fan, this was perfect for me. No longer could Yankees fans use the “we are all hurt excuse” and Red Sox fans could stop blaming every little tiny thing on their bullpen. Everyone was healthy, each team was given a fair chance from scratch. This is perfect.
Friday night, late into Saturday morning after game one, I explored the social media world. All I saw was Yankees fans talking about how “Giancarlo choked”, “Red Sox bullpen sucks”, “They are not going to beat us again”, “JA Happ was the wrong choice”. Well here is a quick news flash for Yankees fans; You guys were thrilled and worshipped Stanton when you acquired him, so why hate on him now? If the Red Sox bullpen sucks so bad, why did you not come back? If the Red Sox are not going to beat you again, why did they win the season series and continue to beat you now? Why was JA Happ the wrong choice when last week you guys claimed he was the biggest pick-up this year in free agency? So many unanswered questions that people are too stuck up to even answer or think about.
Not even Yankees fans but also Red Sox fans. Have a little faith and respect in your team. They literally just won 108 games which is the most in franchise history and it was during our lifetime. This team is a team that does not come around the block often. Sure their bullpen has flaws and makes mistakes, but how bad can a bullpen truly be with the best record in baseball? Here are some numbers, Ryan Brasier, pitched in 34 games which involved 33.2 innings. Finished with a 2-0 record, striking out 29 and having a 1.60 ERA while only surrendering 2 home runs. Craig Kimbrel, all-star closer. 5-1, 42 saves, 62.1 innings pitched, 96 strikeouts and a 2.74 ERA. Hector Velazquez, Bobby Poyner, Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes all had ERA’s under 3.65. Yes, Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree and Drew Pomeranz had their struggles. But it is time to sit back, and rely on the guys that got you here. I mean for crying out loud, Yankees fans claimed all week that Sale would choke and how he sucks in the playoffs. Last night, he absolutely obliterated their team in more ways than one. Just proves how cheap talk is.
I am not saying to stop the rivalry, I am simply saying that if you don’t even know why we treat each other the way we do, then be quiet. This is October baseball, it is time to enjoy how amazing playoff baseball truly is. Again, as a Red Sox fan, I am pulling for Boston. If Boston does not pull it out, I give nothing but respect to New York. Do I like them? No. Will I ever enjoy them? No. But it is all about respect and the action of manning up and giving respect where it is needed. If your team loses, do not be that guy making excuses and saying how your team is still better. Because truth is, they aren’t. If they were better they would be in the next round.
This series consists of baseball’s best, and I mean best. JD Martinez, Giancarlo Stanton, Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, Chris Sale, Luis Severino, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew McCutchen, Craig Kimbrel, Masahiro Tanaka, Andrew Benintendi, Aroldis Chapman, Rafael Devers, Miguel Andujar, Ian Kinsler, Didi Gregorius, David Price, Gary Sanchez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Gleyber Torres and so many more. So enjoy it, don’t rush it. This is history and it has been a long time coming in such a storied rivalry. I myself, am looking forward to such a highly contested, superstar performance from both teams.