Time for a new paradigm with the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry


Congratulations (grumble, grumble) to the Boston Red Sox on their 2018 World Series championship. No doubt that they were the best team in baseball this year. Let’s give credit where credit is due, and all that jazz.

But that being said, I had to laugh that not only are Red Sox fans STILL chanting “Yankees suck,” as they did Sunday night in Dodgers Stadium as their team beat the Dodgers, but that the team itself was still doing the “New York, New York” song mocking the Yankees — something they also did after beating the Yanks in the ALDS (after Aaron Judge trolled the team with the song) — in the locker room after winning the World Series.

C’mon, guys, this is like Yankee fans still chanting “1918” at Red Sox fans (something my friend Ben and I actually witnessed at a game last year!) Talk about dated!

The 2018 Boston Red Sox won 119 total games, the best team since the 1998 Yankees and arguably one of the best teams ever, and they just won their fourth championship in 14 years. Yet instead of being positive and just celebrating that, or even coming up with better trash talk, they are still stuck in the past, the whiny little brother still complaining about the big bad Yankees. The Yanks already have a perpetual whiny little brother in the Mets, so that role is taken, guys! (And boy does Squawker Jon whine!)

Speaking of which, I just heard about how Mets fans and Red Sox fans in Fenway Park at the Mets-Red Sox series last month chanted “Yankees suck” in unison. Puh-lease!

I thoroughly believe the adage that the opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference. If Boston fans and their team just celebrated their victories for a change without feeling the need to stick it to the Yankees, that would actually be more pointed and hurtful than what they do now.

That’s why as a Yankee fan, I’m flattered that the Yankees are still living rent-free in Red Sox Nation’s head. The Sox act like a jilted lover, still trying to get their ex to pay attention to them.

But Boston isn’t the only team and fan base that needs to stop living in the past. That goes double for the Yankee franchise and many of their fans. Like the “count teh ringz” folks. Yes, the Yankees have 27 titles. But I’m 51 and I was only alive for seven of them.  The rest are ancient history. I’m all for history and tradition, but can we really take that much pride in counting the rings that happened before our parents or grandparents were even born?

The Yankees have just one ring since 2000. Think about how much the world has changed since 2000 — before Bush/Gore, before 9/11, even before Brady/Belichick won a Super Bowl. Heck, think about how much the world has changed since 2009! Back then, Tiger Woods was unbeatable, Donald Trump was a reality show host, Bill Cosby was still a beloved comedian, and Matthew McConaughey was an actor known more for his physique than for his thespian skills. Marriage equality and marijuana legalization were fanciful ideas. And the Yankees were on top for their last ring. Yet here we are in 2018, with the same old insults between the teams.

The still-present myth is that the Yankees have the overwhelming payroll and Goliath aura and the Sox are the scrappy little team — David in this analogy. But teams with $233 million payrolls — the biggest in baseball — who have won four rings in 14 years can’t really call themselves overachievers anymore. Meanwhile, it’s been the Yankee ownership who have been penny-pinching in recent years to get their payroll down. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Bombers’ payroll is 2018 was $166 million — a lot lower than it used to be, and lower than teams like the Giants, Nationals, Cubs, Dodgers, and, yes, the Red Sox.

Of course, to keep it in perspective, the Yankees are still in the upper echelon in payroll, And, as Squawker Jon points out, the Yanks can make mistakes like Jacoby Ellsbury, and the Sox can jettison the likes of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval and demote Rusney Castillo while keeping them on the payroll for a combined $44 million, mistakes that would kill a team like the Mets.

So, given that we’re heading towards the end of this decade (the second decade in a row without a nickname, I might add, and potentially the first decade in nearly a century without a Yankee WS appearance, but I digress!) I’d like to see both the Yankees and the Red Sox, and their respective fan bases, modernize The Rivalry. The Yankees are no longer top dog, and the Sox are no longer the whiny little brother. We’ve got to come up with some new ways to trash each other than the tired “Yankees suck”/”Count teh ringz” rejoinders. Come on, people, work with me here!

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