Yankees and Red Sox Meet Again in ALCS
been a year since Pedro Martinez threw Don Zimmerís fat face into the first
base line at Fenway Park. Ever since, the anticipation of meeting once again in
the American League Championship Series continued to heighten to an
rivalry, that began nearly a century ago and was rekindled in last yearís
playoffs, grew even more intense in the offseason. The A-Rod to the Red Sox,
then not to the Red Sox, then finally to the Yankees saga didnít just light a
match. It was like pouring gasoline on an already uncontrolled forest fire.
the generations of the Frickiní Yankee fraternity, from Babe to Bucky to
Boone, the Red Sox have found very little to boast about to the Yankees. Itís
the rivalry of swagger versus envy. One has plenty to boast about. The other
wishes he did. The Yankees are like the big neighborhood bully who always beat
you up. The Red Sox are like the little whiney brother who wonít shut up until
the bully makes him. And then the whiney little brother still wonít shut up.
He just gets louder and more obnoxious.
into the season we couldnít get away from how many days it would be until the
two teams played each other in the regular season. The head-to-head match up
seemed old and tired before they even played a game.
the regular season games truly had any bearing on either teamís season-ending
outcome. It was more about ego than outcome. It was more about Jason Varitek
kindly offering A-Rod to feel the texture of his palm than it being about having
a division title on the line.
is what weíve all been anticipating since Tim Wakefield walked off the mound
last year after watching Aaron Boone ďCowboy Up.Ē Itís Red Sox versus
Yankees. Itís envy versus swagger.
Sox actually match up quite well with the Yankees. The two best pitchers in the
series are Red Sox. Itís arguable that the better group of hitters is under
ďBostonĒ on the lineup card. But the Yankees have proven time and again that
they are clutch. Does the swagger provide the clutch? Or does the clutch provide
Boston respond this time? Will they finally get over on the Yankees? Or will
they carry the ghosts that have lingered since 1918 with them? They may be
guilty for not having won a World Series in 86 years. But donít accuse them
for lack of envy. Does the losing lead to envy? Or does the envy lead to losing?
Yankees are not as strong as they have been in recent years. And the Red Sox may
be stronger than they have ever been. But can they translate their envy into
swagger? Is it even possible to do so? Are the Red Sox beaten before they even
play the games?
they will not be easily beaten, at least not this year. But it doesnít mean
they will necessarily win. The Yankees have a roster stacked full of guys who
know how to come through when it matters. If they continue to showcase their
ability to do so, it wonít matter how good Boston is. New York will find a way
to be better.
all anticipating the fireworks this series will produce. The bats at the plate
will be mashing. The arms on the mound will be firing. The crowds in the stands
will be rocking. It would be a tremendous disappointment if this series fails to
go at least six games. The friction will be intense. This will go down as one of
the most memorable playoff series ever.
swagger vs. envy. Enjoy.