The Yankees/Red Sox Rivalry from Both Ends of the Spectrum

There aren’t many times you get to hear both ends of this rivalries spectrum in one article, but alas, you have a Yankees and a Red Sox fan willing to share our most riveting experiences – both good and bad. We're unique at the BBB, as we are a group of Yankee fans writing about the organization, but we happen to have one Red Sox fan who graciously writes for us. Even though the two sides will never get along, for the most part, and never share the same outlook on things, we do agree on one particular thing: we all are a part of the best rivalry in sports. And the stories and experiences that come with the best rivalry in sports range from walk-off winners, to fights and sometimes outbidding the other team for a lucrative free agent. Yankees versus Red Sox. There's nothing better.
Photo Via jZTours
Best experiences by James, as a Yankee fan:

Some say “Aaron Boone”, I say “Grady Little":
Although it’s recognized as the “Aaron Boone game”, it could be renamed the “Grady Little debacle”. With the Sox up 5-2 in the two teams game seven matchup of the 2003 ALCS, Little sent Pedro Martinez out for the eighth inning. After Jeter doubled with one out, followed by a Bernie Williams single and a Hideki Matsui ground-rule double on a 0-2 pitch, making it 5-3. Little visited the mound and elected to keep Pedro in to face Jorge Posada.

As I previously mentioned, Aaron Boone gets most of the credit, but as a Yankee fan I would like to personally thank Grady Little just as much as I thank Boone. Martinez is arguably the best pitcher of our generation, so I can’t blame him for relying on him to get three outs. But he left him in for four batters too long.
Photo Via Getty Images
Did the Yanks win the World Series in 2003? No they didn’t, so this series was bittersweet. But anytime the Yanks beat the Red Sox, from spring training to the regular season to a playoff game, a smirk comes across my face and I’m sure plenty of other Yankees fans across the globe.

Alex Rodriguez is now a member of the Red S…. Wait, the Yanks win the bidding war!:
After a crushing defeat in 2003, the Sox were looking to shake things up. They were ready to move superstar slugger Manny Ramirez to Texas and Nomar Garciaparra to make room for the best player in the world. In order for all of this to work, Rodriguez needed to agree to restructure his deal – which he did. So Rodriguez was set to become a member of the Red Sox, until he wasn’t. The player’s association disapproved the trade, leaving everyone right where they were.

Here comes my personal favorite moment of this saga. Brian “Superman” Cashman and the New York Yankees were in desperate need after last season’s ALCS hero, Aaron Boone, injured himself doing his best LeBron James impersonation. The Yankees being the high-powered organization they were, started toying with a lot of different ideas.

The Yanks struck gold on February 15th agreeing to trade all-star second baseman Alfonso Soriano to the Rangers for their new third baseman, Alex Rodriguez. Stolen from right under the Sox noses, Rodriguez has since won two MVP awards and helped them achieve the ultimate prize – a world championship in 2009.
Photo Via Zimbio
The division outlook would have been entirely different if A-Rod became the Red Sox shortstop. Who knows how many championships they would have and if the Yankees would have captured there’s in 2009. Cashman versus Epstein was one helluva battle off of the field. One that doesn’t get recognized nearly enough.

A-Rod walks off in the 15th  after brilliant pitching performance:
One of my personal favorite games in the history of this historic rivalry came on August 7th, 2009. A game that was played well past midnight, featuring a pitching duel that ended with a bomb into the night, over the left-center wall.

2009 was a special year for many reasons, but this one particular game was might have been the sweetest win of them all. Anytime you play a rivalry game, the adrenaline is pumping a bit more, and you’ll do anything it takes to get a win.

A.J Burnett was brilliant over seven and two-thirds innings allowing just one hit and striking out six. After Burnett was taken out, five Yankees relievers only allowed three hits over seven and one-third innings. The staff’s dominating performance is what allowed Rodriguez to get a chance to come up in the 15th inning with a chance to win.

Worst Experiences as a Yankee fan:

2004 ALCS:
The year 2004 is the saddest, frustrating, annoying, nauseating ending to a season I’ve ever seen or been a part of. Even Oriole and Blue Jay fans might have thrown up in their mouth a little bit. Well, maybe not. But you get my point.

The Yanks won 101 regular season games, the best in the American League and second best in baseball. They trampled over the Twins taking the series in four games in the ALDS and had a commanding, insurmountable lead against Boston, up three games to none. After that, the wheels simply came off the bus.

From Dave Roberts stolen base, that everyone knew was coming, to Big Papi’s game winning homer in the 12th inning of game four all the way to the Sox mercifully destroying the Yankees in game seven, I haven’t had a pit in stomach quite like that in my entire life.

Being on the opposite side of the best comeback in sports history flat out sucks. Plain and simple – it was in the bag. The Yanks were headed to the World Series and thennnnnn they weren’t. The first three games were played to perfection for it all to go to waste and watch the Red Sox break the curse and win their first World Series since 1918.
Photo Via USA Today
The worst part may come later in life, when I have children I have to explain the rivalry to and when they ask me what the best and worst parts of the rivalry are.

Down goes Zimmer:
Should Don Zimmer have charged at a professional athlete who was quite a few years younger than him? Absolutely not. That being said, if you’re Pedro Martinez, what are you thinking tossing an old man to the side like he’s a piece of garbage?

One of the best pitchers ever, undoubtedly so, but a classless act nonetheless. Obviously Zimmer should have never charged at the Sox pitcher, but after he plunked the Yanks Kareem Garcia in retaliation to the Yanks high and tight pitch to Manny Ramirez, Zimmer had enough. He reacted, and so did Pedro. But even Pedro will tell you that his only regret in his entire career is throwing Zim down to the ground.
Photo Via Boston Globe
Legends fail:
One of my personal worsts of this historic rivalry was the one time my cousin managed to get four tickets to sit in the Legends section against the Boston Red Sox. Now this started as one of the best experiences at a game I’ve ever had but the tide turned very quickly.

As soon as you walk into the indoor part of Legends, you’re in heaven. Gourmet food everywhere – for free – a giant candy and ice cream bar – also for free. The food is cooked to perfection and you’re allowed to go in and out as you please. Once you’ve had enough of their food, you head out to find your seats. I happened to be sitting in the fifth row, directly behind home plate. If the game wasn’t being broadcasted on ESPN, we would have been on TV the entire game.

The game began and the clouds were hovering over the stadium as soon as it started. The date was June 2nd, 2013 and the pitchers were Hiroki Kuroda against Clay Buchholz. Buchholz managed a two-hit complete game shutout in a 3-0 Boston victory, but that wasn’t the worst part.

The game only managed three innings being a torrential downpour dawned on the stadium. To make matters worse, right before it began to pour, David Ortiz hit a mammoth blast into the night, landing in the right field bleachers. Soon as he hit it, he bat Yankee Stadium. I sunk in my chair a disgust that my first game in Legends ended in a rain shortened game where Yankees fans public enemy number one bat flipped at the house that A-Rod I mean Ruth built.

Concluding words from James:
This rivalry will never be surpassed by any two teams that play professional, college or high school sports. Hate, agony, love, excitement, sadness, the emotions are never ending. It’s roller coaster ride of emotions that I’m extremely happy I’m a part of.

Matt, the Red Sox fan’s, take on the Yankees/Red Sox Rivalry:
Let’s get this out of the way right from the start, from the day I was born I have been a die hard, true to the core, Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch fan of the Boston Red Sox. Naturally this means I hate the New York Yankees, which brings us to the question I get most often, “Why they heck do you write for a Yankees blog?” Well besides the great back and forth banter and getting to work with talented writers who also love baseball, it’s the challenge of writing for a team you’ve hated your whole life. Don’t get me wrong I respect the Yankees organization very much (although their new no paper ticket thing is awful) but they’ve been my rival for as long as I remember.

When writing about the Yankees I have to put my fan hood aside and focus on fact and not let emotion get in the way. However, because I don’t have that deep seeded love I think it gives me a fair perspective. It’s for this reason that James and I have decided to put together this piece for our loyal readers.

Nothing has the same feeling as Red Sox vs. Yankees, there is just a different feel in the air, more excitement and a whole lot more tension. It’s the only time games in April feel like October. As a Red Sox fan I need the Yankees. I need to have that constant competition that fight to be better than someone. The two teams push the other 365 days a year and that’s just something that no other rivalry can claim. That’s what I live for.

Best experiences as a Red Sox fan:

2004 ALCS Game 7:
How could it not be? The greatest comeback in sports history, or the greatest choke in sports history, either way it was sweet. Finally, just this once, things went Boston’s way. After being down 3-0, the thrilling extra innings comeback, Curt Schilling’s bloody sock, A-Rod playing slappy Maggie with Bronson Arroyo, finally my Sox got over the hump. To do it in dominating fashion in Yankee Stadium made it that much more thrilling. 

Yes, there was work to be done still to win the World Series and lift the “curse” but the Yankees were the thorn in our side for years and we had beat them; they were gone and we were finally on top. I’ll never be able to thank Ruben Sierra enough for hitting that weak ground ball to Pokey Reese giving my beloved Red Sox the Pennant over the Bombers.
Photo Via OverTheMonster
July 24, 2004:
I don’t think Bronson Arroyo and Alex Rodriguez like each other very much. After getting plunked by Arroyo A-Rod shouted some carefully chosen words in his direction. Boston catcher and later on captain Jason Varitek took an exception to Rodriguez’s words and decided the best way to handle the situation was by shoving his glove into A-Rod’s face. The benches cleared and punches were thrown as it was just your basic Saturday at the ballpark.

Well, the game ended in exciting style when Bill Mueller (certified Yankee Killer) hit a walk off ding dong off the great Mariano Rivera giving the Sox the spark they needed to get back in the thick of the playoff race. This later led to their ALCS victory (see Best 1) and eventual World Series victory.
Photo Via Sports Illustrated
JBay and Youuuuuk go yard:
Early in 2009 the Sox and Yanks met for a weekend series at Fenway. New York held a 4-2 lead in the 9th and things seemed hopeless. I vividly remember yelling at my TV after being disgusted with how the game was turning out. Well apparently, Jason Bay has supersonic hearing because he launched a two run home run to left center tying the game at 4. A few innings later, Kevin Youklilis came to the plate and sent the crowd home happy with a moonshot into the Boston night and over the Green Monster. It was one of the best games I’ve ever watched and truly was the epitome of how Boston and New York games are never over until the final out.

Honorable mentions:
  •  May 8, 2011, C.C. Sabathia vs. Josh Beckett on Sunday Night Baseball.
  • The entire 2013 Season
Worst experiences as a Sox fan:

October 16, 2003:
This day still haunts me and it has been almost thirteen years. On that night Aaron Boone crushed a fluttering Tim Wakefield knuckleball into the left field seats sending Yankee Stadium into hysteria and the Yanks back to World Series.  I remember being 11 years old and the tears running down my face watching my beloved Red Sox walk off the field dejected.

I’ve never once believed in the “curse” but on that night I remember looking to the sky and just asking why does god hate the Red Sox? It wasn’t so much the fact that they lost the game, it’s the way they lost. From being up in the 8th inning and Grady Little leaving Pedro Martinez in the game. That decision still baffles me to this day.

Seeing Jorge Posada fist bump on second base after the Yankees tied the game will forever be burned into my mind. It was 86 years of frustration all bottled up and that lead up to the climax of Aaron Boone (who by the way had been terrible in the playoffs) launching his famous home run. Yankee Stadium to me will always be the house of pain, and this night especially killed me inside.
Photo Via Total Pro Sports
October 16, 2004:
A year to the day of moment number one the same two bitter rivals met in ALCS again. The Yankees had a 2-0 series lead when they flat out embarrassed the Red Sox on their home diamond. To lose in the playoffs 19-8 is pitiful, to do against a team you’ve hated for almost 100 years is gut wrenching. There was a sense of hopelessness after this game. Because let’s face it the Yankees don’t lose four games straight, that’s the exact thought that ran through my mind. Obviously we know how that all played out but after and during the course of that game every person who dons a B on their hat had the same sickening feeling of “not again.”  It almost seemed like the Yankees were unstoppable.
Photo Via Boston Magazine
I hate you Leigh Teixeira:
This event is a few weeks more than just one day but December 23, 2008 was the day the Yankees announced they had agreed to an 8 year, 180-million-dollar deal with Mark Teixeira. The Red Sox were the heavy favorite to land Tex who was going to be the new thunder in Boston’s post Manny Ramirez lineup.

At the 11th hour Brian Cashman stuck a knife into the heart of Red Sox nation and lured the start 1st baseman to the Bronx. I’m not sure I’ve ever been angrier. Most of the times the Yankees had caused me paid and depression but this one was pure anger. Tex was supposed to be Boston’s, he was our future, and he was the one who was going to conquer the Yankees for the foreseeable future. Just like that it was shattered.

Now let’s fast forward two weeks to January 6, 2009: the day of Teixeira’s introductory press conference. He mentions going through the process of free agency and asking his wife about what he should do. Like any loving person she told her husband “I just want you to be happy.” As Tex recalled, she said “I want you to be a Yankee.” That sealed his decision he was going to New York. I hate you Leigh Teixeira you ruined my dreams for a gold glove superstar 1st baseman.

Honorable mentions: 
  • Johnny and Jacoby BOTH becoming Yankees  
  • August 7, 2009: ARod off Tazawa in the 15th
  • Game 5 1999 ALCS
  • 9/4/14: Chase Headley Walk off Home run off Koji Uehara
  • Game 162 of 2011: I still say they gave up that Evan Longoria long ball on purpose.
Concluding words from Matt:
I’ll always hate the Yankees but forever respect them. There is no other team and fan base I would want to quarrel with. They make baseball fun, the fans, our readers and the Yankees themselves fuel the passion in me as a baseball fan. This rivalry is truly how baseball is meant to be played. So here’s to you New York, New York you make baseball a whole lot of fun. We’ll see you in a few months. Go Sox!

Article by: James Grande & Matt Cote
Follow us on Twitter: @The_Real_Grande & @MCote31
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