Yankees Retreat to New York After First-Place Flop in Boston


Jun 12, 2009

On Tuesday, I filed a blog under the cautionary headline: Don’t Take Revamped Yankees Lightly.

Oops. My bad.

As it turns out, I might’ve extended the New York Yankees a little
too much credit.

Yeah, they’re loaded with high-priced talent. But, as
the great motivational mind of Matt Foley warned us, that and a nickel …

For all of their offseason improvements — CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, et al — the Yankees recoil when they meet the Red Sox. They make mistakes. They blow leads. They become a bunch of losers.

You got it. Losers.

The Yankees were one of baseball’s hottest teams heading into this
three-game series at Fenway Park. They arrived in first place, winners
19 times in their last 25 games. Teixeira was raking. Analysts were
raving. This was a team to be feared.

Oh, make no mistake, the Yanks left Boston feared, alright — from Westchester County to Washington Heights, Yankee Nation is afraid of their team. They’re scared of the fact that they might not be able to beat the Red Sox.

And they have a point.

The Red Sox are now 8-0 against the Yankees this year. Not since
Fenway Park opened in 1912 has Boston taken the first eight meetings
with its New York rivals to start a season.

These last three games were billed as a first-place showdown, with
New York entering a game up in the standings. You’d think a first place
team could hold a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning, right? Not these
Yankees. WithSabathia laboring well past his 100th pitch of the night,
they crumbled.

Kind of brings new meaning to “The Bronx Bombers” doesn’t it?

There’s no escaping the fact that, on their biggest stage in what
remains a young season, this edition of the Yankees flat-out bombed.
Tanked. Disappointed.

In the last two games (both one-run losses), New York bats went a
combined 3-for-26 with runners in scoring position. If they win those
two games the talk is totally different. Suddenly the Yankees are back
and the Red Sox are in trouble.

But New York couldn’t deliver.

One unforgettable moment of this series came in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 6-5 Red Sox win. Facing Jonathan Papelbon, Alex Rodriguez dug in with one out, representing the tying run. With one strike, the Fenway Faithful swelled into one of those harmonious chants they’ve become known for (Daaah-rrryl, Daaah-rrryl).

You do steroids. You do steroids.

It bounced off the Monster, swirling around the Park and, surely, inside the ears of A-Rod.

Make no mistake, the Red Sox are in their heads.

“We were coming here expecting to win some games,” said Johnny Damon,
who proclaimed before the series that the Yankees needed to leave
Boston with at least one win. “We are two games out (of first place),
our day will come. Our team is good enough and should be able to beat
any team on a given day.”

And there will be plenty of given days, come August when these two
renew their rivalry. That gives the Yankees plenty of time to regroup
and assess the damage.

Then again, the damage may already be done.

Previous Article

Deja Vu: Penguins Following Oilers’ Path

Next Article

Picture Perfect: Red Sox Are 8-0 Against Yanks

Picked For You