Over the many years of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, there has been no shortage of insults levied from one side to another. The Wall Street Journal was able to manufacture a new slam from the New York side that may sting like no other: "We're more excited about playing the Oakland A's than we are about playing the Boston Red Sox."
The Sox-Yanks rivalry, according to the Journal's story, is a "toothless" one, using the series from the weekend as just the latest illustration of how dull the series has become. It goes on to say that the rematch between the A's and Yankees will actually have some drama, as the now-perfect Dallas Braden can seek some revenge on Alex Rodriguez for traversing his mound.
To that, I think I speak for millions of others when I say, "Please."
Yes, the "star power" that was once abundant in Fenway Park is being called into question by some of the locals. And yes, the Red Sox didn't exactly look like a World Championship-caliber baseball team over the weekend, but that weekend happened to be just the second of May. The look of a team on Mother's Day does not dictate how that team will look in September and October — especially when both teams' injury report included a handful of starters. Even the Journal article recalls last season, when the Sox took the first eight contests against the Yankees and looked to be the best team in baseball, only to be lapped by the Yankees by the end of the season.
And yes, the final scores of the games indicated that there was a certain intensity lacking, with the Yankees outscoring their foes 24-6 in the first two games, before Boston hammered home a 9-3 victory to avoid the sweep. Yet while none of the games will likely end up on ESPN Classic any time soon, they weren't without their moments. The Yankees led just 3-1 when Josh Beckett lost all control and hit Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter. Even then, there was the threat of fireworks, as A-Rod and CC Sabathia showed some fire in the visiting dugout. On Saturday, Sabathia retaliated, hitting Dustin Pedroia in his backside with two outs and nobody on. It seemed to be a harmless situation, but Victor Martinez made Sabathia pay, hitting a two-run home run in the following at-bat to give the Sox a lead.
A heavy rainstorm sucked the life out of the building with a 74-minute rain delay, and when it picked back up, the Red Sox were out of pitchers and the Yankees ran away with the win.
In Sunday night's game, Jon Lester picked up his teammates and salvaged a victory, preventing the Yankees from landing a crushing blow in early May.
Still, that didn't stop the Journal from saying that "the Yankees' visit to Oakland July 5-7 — and the prospect of a confrontation between Messrs. Rodriguez and Braden — is far more intriguing than New York's rematch next week with the .500 Sox."
A couple of Boston wins in the Bronx next week, and the headlines will likely consist of words other than "toothless," "dull" and "yawning."