A dying rivalry between two of baseball’s best franchises may have just been revived by the latest off-season move from the Boston Red Sox.
The rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox has been one that has spanned for generations.
Ever since 1918, the two teams engaged in bitter battles that would almost consistently bring these teams to the forefront of the baseball world.
In recent years, the rivalry has slowly faded into the background. Now it is simply the Yankees vs. the Red Sox in just another five-hour game. There are no sparks, no passion between the two squads. The rivalry was romanticized by fans and players alike, and today, that romance is dead.
However, with one quick signing, the Boston Red Sox may have breathed some life into the rivalry just when we thought it was over. The Red Sox traded four minor leaguers, including top prospect Yoan Moncada, in order to secure the 27-year-old ace in Chris Sale. The trade for sale came as an astonishment to many, who assumed the Washington Nationals to be the primary contender.
However, it also gave new life to the dying rivalry.
Sale has had his fair share of issues over the years with the Chicago White Sox. From his jersey-destroying tirade to his outspoken nature, Sale’s relationships in Chicago remain strained. This drama is something he’ll be bringing to Fenway Park.
With Sale heading to Boston, he will bring attitude, fire and passion for the game. Some of Boston’s younger athletes and seasoned veterans possess similar attitudes but haven’t displayed them on the field. With Sale in a Red Sox uniform, his emotional reactions and attitude will rub off on the rest of the Red Sox squad.
We haven’t seen a player with so much emotion and passion for the game and defending himself in a long time. Not since Manny Ramirez donned a Sox uniform did the Yankees find tempers typically boiling over in a Yankees-Red Sox contest.
Now, they are far more likely.
The Yankees boast a line-up of youthful stars that have already shown more passion than Yankees players have displayed in several years. Gary Sanchez plays with a fierce intensity that is reminiscent of another Yankee backstop in Jorge Posada.
Luis Severino and CC Sabathia have shown their fire and passion on the field and are not afraid to fight for their team. With an instigator like Sale bringing out the worst in players like David Price, Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry may become entertaining again.
Even looking towards the future, this is only the beginning. Once players develop to the league, they become more confident and comfortable. If the Red Sox are chattering on the field, you can bet the Yankees will fight back. Just like the good ‘ole days.
In the past few years, the Yankees team consisted of level-headed leaders. With younger prospects entering the game and looking to prove themselves, their attitudes might make an appearance, especially with the history between the Yankees and Red Sox.
It’s not about being nasty, but if the Red Sox strike first with their unbridled emotions, the Yankees will actually fight back and stand up for themselves. These Yankees are passionate enough about the sport to be able to stand their ground when emotions get in the way of the game.
Their rivalry was once the greatest rivalry in sports. With Boston making moves at the winter meetings, that rivalry could become relevant again.
At least we can hope. If the Yankees show more passion in their game, they could make the Yankees-Red Sox battles fun once again.