Top 10 Reasons to Still Watch the Red Sox-Yankees Series

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September 25, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Still Watch the Red Sox-Yankees Series

The AL East and wild card are all but clinched, but that doesn?t mean you shouldn?t follow the Red Sox-Yankees series this weekend.

With just three games remaining between the clubs in the regular season, there is plenty to look forward to as the postseason quickly approaches. And with the chance of seeing the storied rivals meet again in the ALCS, the weekend series provides a preview of to expect come October.

10. Last chance to see the stars
This weekend will be the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. But after this weekend, both fan bases might be seeing the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees play out New York?s season and the Pawtucket Red Sox finish up Boston?s remaining games. So if you would like to see the marquee players on both clubs one final time this season, this might be your last chance to see the regulars try to improve their stats before Game 162.

9. Souvenir City
The homers haven't been flying out of the new Yankee Stadium at the pace they were earlier in the season, but the short porch in right field still presents a great chance for long balls and souvenirs for fans. The Yankees have seven players with 20-plus home runs, and the Red Sox have five players who have reached that plateau. So if you're sitting in the right-field bleachers or the right-field box seats, bring your gloves. The weekend should be full of fireworks.

8. Rivalry farewell?
Hideki Matsui has absolutely owned the Red Sox since entering the majors in 2003. Johnny Damon, a former Red Sox, has had equal success against his former employer since switching sides in the rivalry. This weekend could be the last time either player takes part in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Both Matsui and Damon are free agents after this season, and there is no guarantee that either will be back in the Bronx. While the Yankees will most likely bring one of the two back in 2010, there is a chance that neither will come back nor participate in the rivalry again.

7. New York state of mind

Billy Wagner was hated by Yankees fans when he went to the Mets for using ?Enter Sandman? as his entrance song. He was also hated for just being a Met, and one with a loud mouth for that matter. Now Wagner is back in New York for the first time as a Red Sox, giving New York even more of an incentive to dislike him. If Wagner gets a chance to pitch at Yankee Stadium this week, expect a wild crowd to get on him.

6. Cy Young watch
CC Sabathia, the AL leader in wins with 18, will start on Saturday afternoon, and there is no telling how many more starts Joe Girardi will give his ace. Right now, Zack Greinke is the favorite to win the Cy Young, but if Sabathia can get to 20 wins and keep his ERA just above 3.00, there would reason for debate. Sabathia won the AL Cy Young in 2007 and has earned his paycheck during the regular season in his first year in New York. Another Cy Young award would be icing on the cake.

5. Last good games of regular season
The games might not be meaningful as far as the standings are concerned, because the Yankees have pretty much wrapped up the East and the Red Sox have done the same with the wild card. But with only the reeling Royals and Rays left on the Yankees' schedule and the Blue Jays and Indians left on the Red Sox', these are the last games either team will play against a competitive team during the regular season.

4. MVP race
It's pretty obvious at this point that Joe Mauer is going to win the AL MVP, especially with the Twins making one last push to reach the postseason. But there are plenty of eligible voters who won't vote for a player on a nonplayoff team, and if the Twins don't overtake the Tigers, there are a few options for the baseball writers to pick from, and they are all playing in the weekend series. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis have all had their names talked about in AL MVP conversations, and this is their final chance to make an impact on those with voting privileges, since these are the last big games any of the three will play in the regular season. Expect big things from the big players on the two rivals.

3. Season series up for grabs
With the season series at 9-6 in favor of the Red Sox, Boston has a chance to do something it has only done twice since 1999: win the season series against the Yankees. Since 1999, the Red Sox have won the season series against the Yankees in only 1999 and 2004. And in both of those seasons, the two teams met in the ALCS, with the Yankees winning once and the Red Sox winning once. Last season, the two teams tied at 9-9, and the Yankees will need to sweep this weekend to finish the season at .500 against the Red Sox.

2. A chance for a statement to be made
When the Red Sox got off to an 8-0 start against the Yankees, the Yankees had a lot of questions to answer. When the Yankees took six out of seven from the Red Sox, the questions turned to the Red Sox. But now with both teams going to the postseason, there won't be any looming questions after this series. Instead, this series is about making a statement before the bunting is hung in the Bronx and in Boston. This is the last look for each team this season, and they will both be trying to gain confidence for a possible ALCS matchup.

1. Possible ALCS preview
The last time the Yankees and Red Sox met in the postseason was five years ago, despite both clubs making the playoffs in two of the last four seasons. All season long, it has seemed inevitable that the storied foes would meet again in October, and now it is becoming increasingly clear that it will happen. With the Yankees facing the inferior Tigers or Twins in the ALDS and the Red Sox facing their perennial punching bag in the Angels, a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS is once again a likely scenario. And this weekend is the final chance for both clubs to get one last look at each other, and for fans to find out who the stronger club will be heading into the second season.

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