The Red Sox and Yankees have been battling it out and beating on each other for years in the American League East. From the epic 2004 season to the 2018 Division Series, there has been so much drama between these two teams, from Varitek and A-Rod to Zimmer and Pedro, this rivalry has been anything short of dull, and we as fans just sat back and watched the hatred boil over.
Although, with the directions, both teams are going in and the emergence of some other key rivalries around the league, is this rivalry still relevant? And if not, can it be resurrected?
What Has Made the Red Sox and Yankees Rivalry?
For years, the rivalry between the two AL East teams has been based on winning and hatred. Looking back, we all know how it started… When then, Red Sox owner, Harry Frazee, sold Hall of Famer, Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Thus starting the “Curse of the Bambino”. If you are like me though, it all really kicked off in 2003 with Aaron “Bleeping” Boone (who of course, was the rekindling of Buck “Bleeping” Dent). Boone drilled his infamous home run in Game 7 of the ALCS, which would prolong the “Curse of the Bambino” for another year. Then, of course, the Curse would end a year later when the Red Sox would win the 2004 World Series after coming back from down 3-0 against the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Officially cementing the Rivalry in the 21st Century.
The Red Sox, of course, would go on and win in 2007 and 2013, and 2018, while the Yankees topped off another one in 2009.
What Has Made the Red Sox and Yankees Rivalry in the Last few Years?
Then, fast forward to 2018 the last time we really saw the peak of the Rivalry.
Both teams had great regular seasons, and both teams saw blood boil over early in the season, as the Sox and Yanks played in early April. This series led to the Joe Kelly beanball off of Tyler Austin, which ensued a MASSIVE brawl. This would officially ignite the rivalry in 2018.
After a team record-setting season in wins for the Red Sox, finishing 8 games ahead of the Yankees in first, the two teams would meet up for the first time since 2004 in the Playoffs. This time, in the ALDS. A matchup that took 4 games out of a 5 game series that saw the Red Sox come out victorious. Probably the biggest aspect of this series was after the Yankees took Game 2, star Outfielder, Aaron Judge was seen walking through Fenway with a boom box blasting New York, New York. The Sox would of course go on and win Game Three, 16-1, and thus winning the series and blasting New York, New York in their locker room.
Since then though, the Rivalry has kind of died off, as the Red Sox fell off some due to the parting ways of Alex Cora and a steep decline in production team-wise in 2019 and 2020, and since then the Yankees have dominated the Red Sox.
Is the Red Sox and Yankees Rivalry still Alive in 2021?
That all brings us to 2021. Where the tide has changed slightly, as the Red Sox have taken ALL SIX GAMES against the Yankees so far this year. A year that has seen a struggling Yankees team slowly turn the cornerback to where they should be after a bumpy start to the campaign. Whereas the Red Sox have started out hot and have leveled out more to where they should be as well.
That brings us to the question of, is the Rivalry still alive in 2021? Well, in a way It is, just not to the extent it once was. With the emergence of the Padres and Dodgers rivalries, and some other key rivalries, the Red Sox and Yankees aren’t quite up there like they used to be.
They are still there. Although, it has died off significantly since 2018. IF the Yankees are able to climb out of the semi-deep hole they are in currently and give the Red Sox a run for their money in the division, then this rivalry will be re-kindled in no time!
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-Jeff Hoak (@JeffHoak1)