You remember Bizarro World, right? It was the alternate universe that Superman stumbled into, a place where right was wrong and good was bad. A world where the exact opposite of what you expected to happen happened.
These days, the Boston-New York rivalry has turned upside down. It is Bizarro World. It’s a place we haven’t been before.
Face it: If you’re old enough (like me), you are used to New York coming out on top. Maybe not always on the field (or court or ice), but certainly in terms of sports finances. The Big Apple is bigger. The teams there overspend and make it tough on their little brothers in Boston.
Not this winter. The Yankees have had their worst offseason since the Mike Pagliarulo era. They stood by and watched while the Red Sox traded three not-ready-for-prime-time prospects for one of the best left-handed hitters in the game. Then, they were caught by surprise when Boston quickly moved to lock up Part Two of the Great Orlando Heist and Carl Crawford agreed to a seven-year deal.
New York fans were quick to point out that the Yankees never offered Crawford a contract, that the Sox didn’t “beat” the Yankees because it wasn’t a competition.
Fine. But do you really think Crawford wasn’t Brian Cashman‘s Plan B if he couldn’t land Cliff Lee?
Which, of course, he didn’t. Lee took less money and fewer years to pitch down the road in Philadelphia. This wasn’t a case of “I’d rather stay in the country.” Philly is as tough a city as New York. Their fans are just as demanding, the media just as scrutinizing. This was Lee saying “no, thanks” to the Yankees. That’s all.
Meantime, the Jets are a mess. They’ve lost two straight and have resorted to using coaches on special teams. They are pointing fingers at one another in the front office and frantically trying to survive on the field. And suddenly, that Patriots team that seemed too young on defense is sitting on top of just about everyone’s power rankings.
If all that’s not enough, the Celtics rolled into Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night and put an end to the Knicks’ eight-game winning streak. The Celtics hung around for three-and-a-half quarters, took charge late and got a victory lap from Paul Pierce after the game winner.
They also stood around and held back their laughter while Spike Lee did a little front-row taunting after a buzzer-beater that didn’t quite beat the buzzer.
That’s OK — let Spike have his moment. These New Yorkers need something to cheer for, don’t they?
It’s Bizarro World, all right. We’re sitting on top of the sports world in Boston, and the Yankees have to turn to Russell Martin to find something to cheer about.
I know, you don’t win World Series in December, but this month has given us a lot to smile about, hasn’t it? The 12 Days of Christmas are under way, and it seems like every day gives us another gift to enjoy.
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