It has now been 13 years since the Boston Red Sox came back from being down three games to none in the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, but since then “the rivalry” hasn’t been the same.
In 2004, the Red Sox finally broke the curse of the bambino and got theirs. The idea of a championship had loomed above the heads of Red Sox players and fans since Babe Ruth left for the Yankees. The fire and passion for Boston to get that championship is what made tensions so high.
The time felt right in 2003, finishing in second place in the AL East, six games behind the Yankees until they had to play the leaders in the ALCS. The series went to seven games and included the famous Pedro Martinez and Don Zimmer fight in game three that showed the hate between the two teams. The series ended when Aaron Boone took Tim Wakefield deep on the first pitch of the at bat to send New York to the World Series where they eventually lost to the Florida Marlins.
The Red Sox didn’t forget and the Yankees were still hungry to get a title.
In 2004 the Red Sox finished second to the Yankees again, but only by three games this time around. A dramatic sweep of the Anaheim Angels in the American League Divisional Series (ALDS) capped by a David Ortiz grand slam took them to the ALCS for a rematch with New York.
The Yankees hopped out to a three games to none lead, Red Sox fans had lost most of their hope as no team had ever come back from a 3-0 deficit, but Kevin Millar said it best, “Why not us?”
Everyone knows what happened next, the Red Sox win the next four games in dramatic fashion then they go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series to break the curse. Boston got what they wanted and then they got it again in 2007 and yet again in 2013. The Yankees got what they wanted eventually too as they won a title in 2009.
As both teams got what they wanted, the tensions loosened and the teams have completely changed. David Ortiz was the last player on both rosters who was in the mix for the 2003 and 2004 drama until he retired at the end of last season. The teams really don’t look like they hate each other anymore. As of right now “the rivalry” is in my opinion dead.
The Red Sox are young and have a lot of homegrown talent in Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr.; and they just signed their ace Chris Sale who is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Boston lost in the ALDS last year, but have hopes to go further this year.
The Yankees on the other hand had a terrible season last year finishing fourth in the American League East. New York struggled all around last season, but things are looking up for them this year with Aaron Judge hitting bombs and Starlin Castro’s consistent play thus far.
New York may not continue their hot streak this season, as they are 11-7 right now, but their future is definitely bright.
There are rumors swirling that Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, two of baseballs best, will end up on the Yankees in 2019 when their contracts finish up, and not only that, but the Yankees have enough prospects to sign an Ace pitcher sometime in the near future. New York fans have something to be excited about for the future.
“The rivalry” may not be as exciting right now as fans want it to be, but in the near future, most likely 2019-2020, the rivalry will be revived and there will be drama between the two teams again. Red Sox host the Yankees what will now be a two-game series tonight. Rick Porcello (1-2, 5.32) toes the rubber for the Red Sox against Luis Severino (1-1, 4.05 ERA) with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.