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The rivalry is sometimes so polarizing that it is often a heated taboo subject, in the Northeastern United States. Since the inception of the wild card team and an added Division Series, the American League East rivals have squared off in the American League Championship Series three times, with the Yankees winning twice in 1999 and 2003 and the Sox winning in 2004. In addition, the teams have twice met in the last regular-season series of a season to decide the league title, in 1904 (when the Red Sox won) and 1949 (when the Yankees won).
The teams also finished tied for first in 1978, when the Yankees won a high-profile one-game playoff for the division title. The 1978 division race is memorable for the Red Sox having held a 14-game lead over the Yankees more than halfway through the season. The rivalry has gotten more competitive in the past three years with the season series going 9-9 in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
The rivalry is considered by some the best rivalry in American sports. Games between the two teams have often been broadcast on national television, schedule permitting.
Since before the start of the American Revolution, Boston and New York have shared an intense rivalry as cities. For more than a century afterward, Boston was arguably the educational, cultural, artistic, and economic power in the United States. Boston's location as the closest American port to Europe and its concentration of elite schools and manufacturing hubs helped maintain this image for several decades. During this time period, New York was often looked down upon as the upstart, over-populated, dirty cousin to aristocratic and clean Boston. New York's economy during the 19th century due to its rapid population growth and terminus of the Erie Canal, along with massive growth in the manufacturing, shipping, insurance and financial services businesses skyrocketed. By the start of the 20th century this dynamic had completely shifted as New York had become the focus of American capitalism (especially on Wall Street), and the change was reflected in the new national pastime.
Early Glory Of The Red SoxEdit
The Red Sox were one of the most successful teams in baseball from 1901 to 1918. They won the inaugural World Series in 1903 (as the Boston Americans; they changed their name to the Reds in 1908) and four more between 1912 and 1918. During this period, the Yankees were often called the Highlanders, in reference to playing their games in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. (The Yankees began play in 1901 as the then-Baltimore Orioles, who played in Maryland for two seasons before moving north). Both teams had their first meeting while the Yankees franchise was in Baltimorkwgr iuqh;oiqe on April 26, 1901, the innagural year of the American League. May 7, 1903 both teams played for the first time since the franchise moved to New York to be called the Highlanders. The game was marked by a fight when Boston pitcher George Winter was knocked down. Boston would eventually go on to win the pennant and the innagural 1903 World Series. The 1904 season had both teams start off opening day hosting each other. Later in the season, when the Highlanders, led by pitcher Jack Chesbro ekhfbwkwhgekgqiyergkhergkhafkwhejrwho won a record 41 games, met the Boston Americans in the final game of the season to decide the AL pennant. Chesbro threw a wild pitch and Boston won the pennant, however, the New York Giants, who had already clinched the National League pennant, had already refused to play in the 1904 World Series because they did not fhtgn mj xrewz fds sd 2004 would the Red Sox (again) defeat the Yankees in a title-deciding game.
ts another fight with teammate Maury McDermott. The Red Sox go on to win 5-2 with Piersall sitting the game out.
Starting in 1949, the Yankees began a streak of five consecutive World Series titles from 1949 to 1953 and breaking their previous streak of four straight titles from 1936 to 1939.
1961-1980: Milestones, Fights, Neck and Neck Finishes and the Bucky Dent GameEdit
The 1961 season saw the famous chase of Babe Ruth's 1927 single season home run record by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Both sluggers would battle each other for the record until Mantle got injured late in the season, leaving Marris the only one in the hunt. On the last day of the seasowegfwrn, Maris broke the record with his 61st home run of the year off Red Sox rookie pitcher Tracy Stallard at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won the game 1–0 and clinched their 26th American League pennant, on their way to their 19th World Series title.
Years later in 1967, Rookie Red Sox pitcher Billy Rohr flirted with the record books when he came within a single strike of a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium. However it was not to be. Elston Howard hit a two-out, two-strike single in the ninth to spoil the no-hitter. Rohr completed the one-hitter, but ultimately finished his career with only three wins, two coming against the Yankees. Later that year, Red Sox Third Baseman Joe Foy hit a grand slam during the first game of a double header. In the second game, Yankee pitcher Thad Tillotson threw two brushback pitches at Foy before beaning him in the batting helmet. In the next inning, Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg beaned Tillotson. Both pitchers yelled at each other, and then a brawl ensued. During the fight, Red Sox outfielder Reggie Smith picked up and body-slammed Tillotson to the ground. Just two months later, both teams are involved in the longest game ever played by innings at Yankee Stadium. New York won a 20-inning, 4-3 victory over Boston. Despite the loss, Boston would be led by Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski's historic season, leading the Red Sox to the pennant in what was a dream year for the Sox. However, they lost the Series to Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals in game seven.
In 1973, the American League decided to adopt the designated hitter rule. On April 6, opening the season at Fenway Park, Ron Blomberg of the Yankees becomes the first designated hitter in Major League history. Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant walked Blomberg in his first plate appearance of the game. Later that year at Fenway Park, with the score tied 2–2 in the top of the 9th, Yankees catcher Thurman Munson attempted to score from third base on a missed bunt by Gene Michael. He crashed into Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk resulting in a fight with Munson punching Fisk in the face. Two years later, Yankee outfielder Lou Piniella would crash into Fisk feet first in an attempt to score in the sixth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. The two benches cleared while Piniella and Fisk brawled at home plate. After the fight apparently died down and order appeared to be restored, Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee and Yankee third baseman Graig Nettles began to exchange words, resulting in another fight. Lee suffered a separated left shoulder from the tilt and misses a significant portion of the 1976 season. He would continue to pitch until 1982, but his level of performance is not the same as it was prior to the fight. The 1976 season saw the Yankees win the pennant, but lose to the Big Red Machine in the 1976 World Series, just like the Red Sox had done a year before in the 1975 World Series in which Carlton Fisk hit his famous homerun off of Pesky's pole at Fenway.
After the Yankees lost to the Reds, owner George Steinbrenner committed to sign a marquee free agent Reggie Jackson to help win the championship for the Yankees. The Yankees, Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles would keep leap frogging each other the entire year during the division race. Jackson's entry onto the Yankees initially had caused a lot of friction on the Yankees. In the middle game of what would prove to be a three-game series sweep by the Red Sox at Fenway, Yankees' manager Billy Martin pulls Reggie Jackson off the field in mid-inning for failing to hustle on a ball hit to the outfield. The extremely angry and highly-animated Martin was restrained by coaches Yogi Berra and Elston Howard from getting into a fistfight with Jackson in the dugout, on the nationally-televised Saturday afternoon game. Eventually emotions calmed down for the season and the Yankees came together to recapture the pennant and defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 World Series, their first since the early 60's.
In 1978, the Red Sox, led by Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Fred Lynn and catcher Carlton Fisk, seemed as if they were destined for a trip to the Fall Classic for the second time in the decade. They led the Yankees in the standings by 14½ games by mid-July, with less than three months to go in the regular season. However, the Yankees turned their season around just as the Red Sox seemed to collapse. By September 7, the Yankees had whittled down the 14½-game deficit to only four games, just in time for a four-game series at Fenway Park in Boston. The Yankees won all four games in the series by a combined score of 42–9. The series became known as the "Boston Massacre." On September 16, the Yankees held a 3½ game lead over the Red Sox, but the Sox won 12 of their next 14 games (and their last eight in a row) to overcome that deficit and finish in a first-place tie with the Yankees. A one-game playoff was scheduled in Boston to determine who would win the AL East pennant for 1978.
Boston pitted former Yankee pitcher Mike Torrez against the Yankees' Cy Young Award winner, Ron Guidry, who took a 24–3 record into the game. The Sox were beating Guidry 2–0 in the top of the seventh inning when light-hitting Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent hit a two-out, three-run home run over Fenway Park's Green Monster to take a 3–2 lead. It was only his fifth home run of the season. The Yankees later led 5–2 and held on to win 5–4 when Yastrzemski popped out with runners on second and third, ending the Red Sox' season. New York went on to defeat the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series for their second straight championship.
1980s and Early 1990sEdit
1980s No TitlesEdit
The 1980s was the only decade that neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox won a World Series. Although both teams went to the World Series once during that decade, the Red Sox were not serious contenders in the Yankees' playoff years (1980 and 1981), although the Yankees seriously contended in the Red Sox' playoff years (1986 and 1988).
The Yankees lost the World Series in 1981, while the Red Sox loss came in 1986. Both times, they lost after being up 2–0 in their respective World Series, and both losses happened in New York (Red Sox lost the World Series at Shea Stadium). For the Yankees, the loss in 1981 marked the beginning of the team's downfall in the 1980s and early 1990s. However 1986 was a "painful series" and considered the worst World Series ever for a Yankees fan because the Red Sox played the Yankees' cross-town rivals, the Mets. Both Newsday and The Boston Globe said that there were Mets T-shirts saying "Steinbrenner's nightmare," referring to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Newsday called it "woeful days for Yankee fans." John Powers of the Globe quoted Claire Smith, who covered the Yankees for The Hartford Courant, as having said that "this really is the World Series of the nightmares."
Despite the lack of championships, the rivalry between the teams did have some memorable highlights. Yankee left-hander Dave Righetti threw a no-hitter against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. One of the game's greatest hitters, Wade Boggs, struck out to end the game.
The race for the division crown between the two teams was once again seen in 1988. Co-captains Ron Guidry and Willie Randolph had led the Yankees to first place past the All-Star break. However, on July 28, the Yankees fell out of first place, and the Red Sox won their second division title in three years. The Sox went on to face the Oakland Athletics in the American League Championship Series, but wound up losing.
1990-1995EditIn 1990, The Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote a book titled The Curse of the Bambino, punishing the Red Sox for the sale of Babe Ruth, and publicized the curse. When the Red Sox were at Yankee Stadium during a weekend in September 1990, Yankee fans started to chant "1918" to taunt the Red Sox, reminding them of the last time they won a World Series. Each time the Red Sox were at Yankee Stadium afterward, demeaning chants of "1918!" echoed through the stadium. Shaughnessy said that Yankee fans taunted the Red Sox with signs saying "CURSE OF THE BAMBINO," pictures of Babe Ruth, and wearing "1918" T-shirts each time they were at the Stadium. That same year, the Red Sox won their third division title in five years, but got swept by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, while the Yankees finished the season with the worst record in the American League and the second worst record in baseball, ahead of the Atlanta Braves. Although Bucky Dent had his greatest moment as a player at Fenway Park, his worst moment as a manager also happened there. The Red Sox swept the Yankees in a four-game series at Fenway Park in early June. During that series, the Yankees fired Dent as their manager.also red sox say yankees bleep
Aside from the 1918 chant, the early 1990's also saw another Yankee tradition come to life. Mel Hall's game winning three-run homer in the ninth inning gave the Yankees a dramatic Memorial Day win over the Red Sox in 1991. Announcer John Sterling accentuated the word "the" when saying "the Yankees win!" This accentuation would become a characteristic trademark of Sterling for the rest of his broadcasting career.
The 1993 season saw long-time Red Sox fan favorite Wade Boggs defect to the Yankees after eleven seasons with Boston. In 1996, he would win the World Series title that had eluded him in Boston, though he played in a World Series and was one strike away from it in 1986, when they lost to the New York Mets. Later in September 1993, the Yankees defeated Boston at Yankee Stadium via a last-moment reprieve. Trailing 3–1, Mike Stanley's apparent fly out with two outs in the ninth was nullified by a fan running on to the field prior to the pitch being thrown. The umpire had called time and when play resumed, Stanley singled. The Yankees would rally to score three runs and win on a Don Mattingly single.
The Yankees' 1980s slump continued into the early 1990s and was at its frustrating peak in 1994, when they finished with the best record in the American League in a season that was prematurely halted by the strike, which left New York sports fans, not just baseball fans, stunned, heartbroken, upset, and shaken to their core because Yankees star player Don Mattingly had not played in a postseason despite being poised to do so that year. At that time, he led active players in both games played and at bats without a postseason. Throughout October, the news media added to the embarrasment when they often made references to dates that games in the World Series would have been played. That year, the Yankees and Red Sox would have finished the season against each other Fenway Park.
The strike was the harbinger of the 1995 season for the Yankees. Although, the Red Sox jumped out to a fast start and finished the season in first place, the Yankees were not serious contenders for the division title. However, with the Yankees clinching the inagural American League Wild Card on the last day of the season, the Yankees and Red Sox reached the post-season for the first time in the same season. However, both teams lost in separate ALDS series. For the Yankees, the loss was the latest post-strike fallout. Similarly, the loss in the 1981 World Series was a post-strike fallout.
1996-2003 Yankees Dominate and Their First ALCS MeetingEdit
Late 1990's: Yankee DynastyEdit
A year after captain Don Mattingly's retirement in 1995, the Yankees won the 1996 World Series. It was their first in 18 years and the first of Red Sox Hall of Famer Wade Boggs' career.
The Yankees did not reach the World Series in 1997, but bounced back with one of the greatest seasons in baseball history in 1998 that culminated in a win over the San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series. Although it had been several years since the Red Sox had made the playoffs, their fortunes changed the following year.Following their win, the Yankees controversially traded fan favorite David Wells to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roger Clemens, a fan favorite with the Red Sox between 1984 and 1996. Clemens was coming off two consecutive season with the Blue Jays where he had won both the pitching triple crown and the Cy Young Award in both 1997 and 1998.
Once the 1999 season started, a moment of peace occurred between the fans. Yankees manager Joe Torre returned to Fenway Park for his first game following his battle with prostate cancer. When exchanging lineup cards the Boston crowd gave Torre a long standing ovation to which he tipped his cap. Good relations were seen during the All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Yankee manager Joe Torre, manager for the American League team, replaced starting shortstop Nomar Garciaparra of the Red Sox for Derek Jeter. Garciaparra received a standing ovation from the fans after Jeter came in to replace him after they embrace. Later in the game when he came to bat, Jeter gave Garciaparra a tribute by mimicking his batting stance.Needless to say these moments of truce were short-lived. Late September saw Chili Davis' 2nd inning home run as the only hit by the Yankees against Pedro Martínez, who struck out 17 Yankees—the most strikeouts against a Yankee team ever. Both teams finished first and second in their division and both made the playoffs in the same season. This led to the very first post-season meeting in the long rivalry.
1999 ALCS: First Playoff MeetingEdit
In 1999, the Yankees and Red Sox faced each other for the first time in the ALCS. The Yankees were the defending World Series champions and in the midst of a run of three consecutive World Championships, while Boston had not appeared in the ALCS since 1990. The Yankees won game one of the ALCS against the Red Sox on a 10th-inning walk-off home run by Bernie Williams off Boston reliever Rod Beck. The game was the first postseason meeting between the rivals since the one-game playoff in 1978 counted as a regular season game. Despite intense buildup to this historic, first-ever postseason meeting between the two longtime rivals, the series proved to be somewhat anti-climactic, with New York winning four games to one.
The lone bright spot for the Red Sox came in Game 3 at Fenway Park, in what was a much anticipated pitching match-up of former Red Sox star Roger Clemens, who was pitching for the Yankees, aganist Boston ace Pedro Martínez. Martinez struck out twelve and did not allow a run through seven innings of work. Clemens was hit hard, giving up five earned runs and only lasting into the third inning of a 13–1 Red Sox victory. However, the Yankees rebounded to win Games 4 and 5, clinching the American League pennant and advancing to the Series, where they swept the Atlanta Braves. The loss to Martinez was the Yankees' only postseason loss, as the team went 11–1 that season.
The following year at Fenway Park, the Yankees beat the Red Sox 22–1, handing Boston its most lopsided home loss ever. The Yankees scored 16 runs in the 8th and 9th innings. The Yankees went on to win their 3rd consecutive World Series and 26th overall. For Clemens, the 2000 World Series win was a sense of revenge, as it was against the same team he lost to while with the Red Sox in 1986 (The New York Mets) and at the same stadium he lost then, Shea Stadium. Clemens was the winning pitcher of record in Game 6 of the 1986 series, the game that would have won the World Series for the Red Sox had they not given up 3 runs with 2 outs left to give the Mets the game and the series two days later, as it was postponed by a day due to rain.
A year later, David Cone, one of the key players in the then most recent Yankee dynasty, started for the Red Sox against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium to the sound of a standing ovation despite playing for the arch-rival Red Sox. It marked Cone's first return to Yankee Stadium since his leaving the team. Cone would later take part in another notable game later that year when went up against newly acquired Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina. Mussina had come within one strike of pitching a perfect game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Carl Everett's 9th-inning two-out, two-strike single was the only baserunner allowed by Mussina in a 1–0 Yankee win. Coincidentally David Cone was the last Yankee pitcher to throw a perfect game in 1999.
2003 ALCS: Aaron Boone's WalkoffEdit
Both teams would face off in the ALCS once again in 2003. When the Red Sox forced the ALCS to a full seven games, the seventh game set a major league record for the rivalry between the two teams. It was the first time two major league teams have played each other more than 25 games over the course of a single season. In the top of the fourth inning of Game 3 of the ALCS at Fenway Park, Red Sox starting pitcher Pedro Martínez hit Yankee batter Karim Garcia, prompting an argument between the two players, which ended with both teams exchanging words on the field. In the bottom half on that inning, a pitch from Roger Clemens to Manny Ramírez was high, and the benches cleared again with both sides brawling. Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer charged at Martinez who then grabed his head and swung him to the ground. Later, midway through the ninth inning, Garcia and Yankee pitcher Jeff Nelson fought with a Fenway Park groundskeeper in the bullpen. The severe intensity was seen all the way through to the end. Holding a 5–2 lead in the eighth inning of Game 7 at Yankee Stadium, Red Sox manager Grady Little elected to leave starter Pedro Martínez on the mound. This decision immediately backfired when the next batter, New York catcher Jorge Posada, blooped a double into center field that scored both runners and tied the game. Martinez proceeded to give up four hits and three runs in the 8th inning. In the bottom of the eleventh inning,Yankees' leadoff hitter Aaron Boone hit a solo home run off of Tim Wakefield to left field, ending the game and the series, giving the Yankees their 39th American League pennant. Despite the dramatic win, the Yankees failed to win the 2003 World Series against the Florida Marlins led by future Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett who pitched a complete game shutout against the Yankees and Mike Lowell to win the series in 6 games.
Still reeling from the loss, the Red Sox fired Grady Little as their manager and hired Terry Francona. In an effort to shore up their lineup, the Sox set up a potential deal that would send reigning AL MVP Alex Rodriguez to Boston and Red Sox slugger Manny Ramírez and prospects to Texas. The deal eventually fell through after Rodriguez indicates he will not go against the players union, which opposes a proposed renegotiation that would have potentially reduced Rodriguez's earnings in the later years of his contract. A freak off season basketball injury to Boone just several months removed from his historic homerun had Yankees management looking at possible options to replace him. Despite being courted by the Red Sox for nearly three months, Rodriguez was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Yankees.
The Curse Is Broken!Edit
2004 Regular SeasonEditThe tone for 2004 was set early when the newest Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who confounded the Yankees in the 2001 World Series as an Arizona Diamondback, appeared at an ice hockey game in Boston wearing a "Yankee hater" hat. Schilling came in a trade that the new manager, Terry Francona, requested, as he had known him when he had him as one of his pitchers while manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in the late 1990s.
That year, the Red Sox won an eventful season series against the Yankees. The first game between the two teams took place on April 16, but it was broadcast nationally on Fox, as it marked the first meeting between the two teams since the 2003 ALCS. Fox Sports President Ed Goren announced on March 3 that the first game between the two teams would be nationally televised and said: "We started thinking about this at some point after the Yankees closed the deal with A-Rod. This is sort of a relaunch of the season in the middle of April. This is going to be an event. Commissioner Bud Selig called the broadcast "an extension of the postseason brought into April."
A 13-inning comeback win for the Yankees on July 1 was punctuated by a catch by Derek Jeter, who ran and dove into the stands at full speed and came out with facial lacerations. The only non-pitcher to not play is Jeter's counterpart, Nomar Garciaparra, once fan favorite and now tormented star, who remained on the bench throughout the game; he was later traded to the Chicago Cubs. John Flaherty, the Yankees last position player, pinch-hit for pitcher Tanyon Sturtze, singling to left in the 13th inning to win it. The Red Sox had their own memorable comeback win on July 24, triggered by a fight between Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek and a subsequent bench-clearing brawl. Despite their success in the rivalry series, the Red Sox still finished second to the Yankees in the AL East for the seventh straight season. Both teams would advance to the ALCS for the second straight year.
This was the series many people wanted to see, especially given the previous October, in which the Yankees beat the Red Sox when Aaron Boone hit a home run off of Tim Wakefield in the bottom of the 11th inning of game 7 to send the Yankees to the World Series. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said that "the two teams in the American League facing each other in this series are the two best teams, period." Fox commentator Joe Buck said as the series began: "What's hard to believe, it was almost exactly one year ago tonight that Aaron Boone hit that home 11th inning home run to beat the Red Sox, to get for some reason it seemed predetermined that would be right back here a year later for a rematch of sorts."
Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe wrote that "one year after they (Yankees) jousted to the (Sox's) finish in the Bronx last October in an epic seventh game that appeared to take the clash to its zenith they go at it again..." Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina summed up the build-up: "This is what everyone was hoping for...It's a rematch of last year, with the best two teams in the American League."
The New York Times said that this was the showdown the Yankees anticipated the entire season, while the Red Sox craved it an entire year. This was the reason why the Red Sox fired Grady Little, traded Nomar Garciaparra, and added Curt Schilling. Outfielder Johnny Damon said of Boone's home run: "If we do advance to the World Series and win, it's a better story that we went through New York. We needed to get back here. This is where a lot of hearts were broken, and we're in a perfect seat to stop the hurting."
The Yankees started out strong, winning the first three games, and putting an exclamation point on their Game 3 victory with a 19–8 win. However, when talking about the final score, Dan Shaughnessy said that "the final score...might as well have been 19-18." No team in the history of baseball had ever won a best of seven series after being down three games to none. Entering the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4 at Fenway, Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera came in to close out a 4–3 victory and a series sweep. But after a leadoff walk to Kevin Millar, pinch-runner Dave Roberts stole second and came around to score on an RBI single by Bill Mueller. The Red Sox would win the game in the bottom of the 12th inning on a home run by David Ortiz. Game 5 featured another extra-inning Boston comeback, as the Red Sox tied the game in the 8th inning, and won it in the 14th. In Game 6, Curt Schilling, who had torn a tendon sheath in his right ankle during the previous American League Divisional Series, returned to pitch seven innings of one-run ball. Schilling's tendon was sutured to his ankle to relieve the discomfort and was given local anesthetic and painkillers for the game. During the game his sock started to absorb the blood from his freshly sutured ankle and has since been dubbed "the bloody sock" and can now be found in the Hall of Fame. The Red Sox completed their unprecedented comeback with a blowout win in Game 7.
The Red Sox going to the World Series seemed almost anti-climactic as it was for the Yankees the year before, until October 27, 2004, when the Red Sox won their first World Series championship in 86 years, completing a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Series. During the series, Dan Shaughnessy wrote a piece about how much people in New England were thinking about loved ones who had spent their entire lives rooting for the Red Sox, hoping that one day, they would see them win a World Series. In calling the World Series win, Fox commentator Joe Buck said, "Back to Foulke. Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: The Boston Red Sox are World Champions!"When the Red Sox held their World Series victory parade, Manny Ramírez was handed a sign by one of the spectators part of the way through the parade, which read, "Jeter is playing golf today. This is better!" He held on to this sign for the rest of the parade. The sign Ramirez held reminded many Red Sox fans of what Tug McGraw said after the Philadelphia Phillies won the 1980 World Series when summed it all up for the fans after 97 years of futility for the that team: "All through baseball history, Philadelphia has had to take a back seat to New York City. Well, New York City can take this world championship and stick it! 'CAUSE WE'RE NUMBER ONE!"
April 3, 2005 was the date the Yankees and Red Sox faced each other for the first time since the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS and won the World Series. The game took place at Yankee Stadium and the Yankees beat the Red Sox 9-2. However, Yankee fans started new taunts, saying "The Curse of 1918 is finally over (86 years). Let the new curse of 2090 begin." Just a week later, the Red Sox received their World Series rings at Fenway Park before they played the Yankees. In a showing of class, respect, and good sportsmanship, all of the Yankees went to the top step of the dugout to applaud the Red Sox accomplishment. During the announcement of the lineups, Red Sox fans gave Yankee closer Mariano Rivera a loud, standing ovation. Despite their booing of Alex Rodriguez. Rivera laughed and tipped his cap. However, in New York, the YES Network, the Yankees television network, declined to broadcast it. Instead, a fixed camera shot was focused tightly on correspondent Kimberly Jones as she described in general terms the events surrounding her; afterwards, YES was roundly criticized for the move. The Red Sox won the game 8–1.
Just days later, Yankee right fielder Gary Sheffield's cap was knocked off by a Red Sox fan while trying to pick up a fair ball in right field at Fenway Park. In response, Sheffield pushed the fan. The conflict was quickly stopped by security guards. The fan was ejected from the game for interfering with play and eventually stripped of his season tickets. The season ended with both teams, already with guaranteed playoff berths, playing each other for the division crown on the last day of the season in a game that had the Yankees come out on top. Both teams wound up losing in the 2005 ALDS, the Yankees to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Red Sox to the eventual World Series champion that year, the Chicago White Sox.
The rivalry revived the Yankees' loss to the Florida Marlins in the 2003 World Series when the Marlins traded Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox at the end of the 2005 season. Beckett had ended the series with a complete game shutout. The Yankees would follow with their own off-season acquisition of Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon, a fan-favorite during his four years in Boston whose lead-off home run in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series extinguished the Curse of the Bambino, with a four-year, $52 million contract with the Yankees. Unlike Cone's defection to the other side of the rivalry just a few short years before, a clean-shaven Damon returned to Fenway Park the following May to a mix of cheers and boos as he tipped his helmet to the fans. Some fans threw real dollar bills at him in center field.The 2006 season rivalry between the two clubs reached a peak in August. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox at Fenway Park and completed a five-game sweep of the Red Sox in the first five-game series between the teams in 33 years, evoking memories of 1978's "Boston Massacre". The Yankees outscored the Red Sox 49-26 and pushed their division lead to 6 1⁄2 games over the second place Red Sox. The Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy dubs it the "Son of Massacre." The second game of the series, which the Yankees won 14-11, tooks four hours and 45 minutes to complete, making it the longest nine-inning game in Major League Baseball history. The Yankees went on to claim the division title while the Red Sox never recovered from the series loss, finishing third behind the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. This marks the first time since 1997 that the Red Sox have finished below second place in the AL East. The Yankees ended the season in the 2006 ALDS with a loss to the Detroit Tigers despite being heavily favored and dubbed by Tigers manager Jim Leyland as "Murderer's Row and Cano." Leyland would take his team all the way to the 2006 World Series. Months after the Yankees loss to the Tigers and manager Joe Torre's controversial decision to drop a struggling Alex Rodriguez to 8th in the lineup, Rodriguez in an interview with Sports Illustrated, claimed that he had preferred to go to the Red Sox before being traded to the Yankees. The incident would be one of contention between Torre and Rodriguez as noted in Torre's book, The Yankee Years.
2007 Red Sox Win World SeriesEdit
The 2007 season saw the rivalry renew with a record being broken. During the third inning of a game at Fenway Park, Manny Ramírez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell (a former Yankee prospect) and Jason Varitek hit four consecutive home runs off Yankee pitcher Chase Wright, powering a comeback from a three-run deficit and completing a three game sweep of the Yankees at Fenway Park for the first time since 1990. By May, after long speculation about what team he would play for after retirement, Roger Clemens chooses to return to the Yankees as opposed to the Red Sox (where he started his career) or the Houston Astros (his hometown and last team he played for). Clemens helps the Yankees overcome a 14 game deficit in the standings to roar back to reach the playoffs again. However, this was not enough to win the division. On September 28, Boston won the AL East after a win against the Minnesota Twins and a loss by the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles. This was the Sox first AL East Championship since 1995, ending the Yankees' nine-year reign in the division.
The playoffs saw the Yankees face the Cleveland Indians and the Red Sox face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League Division Series. This would be Clemens' last series as a player as the Yankees failed to overcome the Indians pitchers CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona in the short 5 game series and lost 3 games to 1. The Indians would have similar success against the Red Sox in the ALCS and quickly went up 3 games to 1, but the Red Sox' depth proveed too much as they roared back to win in Game 7. A report concerning the use of preformincing enhancing drugs released in its entirety by former United States Senator George Mitchell about the use of banned substances in the Major Leagues, listed several prominent Yankees in the report, including Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi. Despite the naming of several Yankees, no "prime" players were listed for the Red Sox. Allegations of Mitchell having a conflict of interest arose as Mitchell was on the board of directors for the Red Sox prior to and proceeding the report.
The Red Sox went on to sweep the Colorado Rockies in the World Series; their second championship in four years. Josh Beckett, who shut out the Yankees in the deciding game of the 2003 World Series, started Game 1 for the Red Sox. World Series MVP Mike Lowell remarked, upon receiving his trophy, that "the Red Sox were expected to win." Controversy erupted during the 8th inning of the final game when Alex Rodriguez's agent Scott Boras announces that Rodriguez had decided to opt-out of his contract in what was seen by many as an attempt by Boras to overshadow the series. After reaching the post season, but failing to win the World Series for the seventh straight season (while reaching the Series twice during that interval), the Yankees parted ways with long-time manager Joe Torre, who becomes manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, replacing Grady Little, the manager of the Red Sox prior to their current one at the time, Terry Francona.
2008 Yankees Miss PlayoffsEdit
The off-season after the 2007 Series showed a war of words between management of both teams. Boston GM Theo Epstein called Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina a "bad apple" for complaining about the Yankees' 2004 trip to Japan as the Red Sox were gearing up for their own trip there. Epstein claimed that Mussina had used it as a crutch during the season. Mussina retorted back saying "Yea, we used it as a crutch to win the division!" Later that month, Hank Steinbrenner, who had taken a bigger role with the Yankees operation from his father George, responded in a feisty manner to the popularity of Red Sox Nation in The New York Times newspaper's Play Magazine: "'Red Sox Nation?' What a bunch of expletive that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order." In response, Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry inducted Hank Steinbrenner into Red Sox Nation, complete with a membership card giving him access to an array of options, including the group newsletter, bumper stickers, pins, Green Monster seats and a hat personally autographed by David Ortiz. Steinbrenner went on to praise Henry's handling of the Red Sox and said they would always be competitive under him.
The 2008 season saw the division rival Tampa Bay Rays reverse a traditional habit of losing with a first place finish in the division. The Rays success meant that both the Yankees and Red Sox would be competing for the possibility of one playoff spot. With a victory over the Cleveland Indians, the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth and eliminated the Yankees from playoff contention, bringing an end to the Bombers' streak of 13 consecutive postseason appearances dating back to 1995. The Red Sox won their 2008 ALDS series to eventually face the Rays in the 2008 ALCS where they lost in seven games.
In the 2008 off-season, first baseman Mark Teixeira signed an eight year, $180 million contract with the Yankees. Tony Massarotti of The Boston Globe summed up his feelings by calling it a "kick in the pants". Teixeira had actually been drafted by the Red Sox in 1998, but turned them down then when he elected to play college baseball at Georgia Tech where he played shortly after Red Sox stars Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek left. Teixeira's signing was preceded by the signings of CC Sabathia and Josh Beckett's old teammate, AJ Burnett.
The Yankees opened the year by playing at their new stadium. The Red Sox visited the new Yankee Stadium for the first time in history and won the first game of a two game set to remain unbeaten against the Yankees during the 2009 season and eventually won the first eight contests that year. After the All-Star break, the tide would turn. In a game that started August 7, Alex Rodriguez ended a 0-0 standstill after 15 innings with a two-run home run off the first appearance of Junichi Tazawa. It was Rodriguez's first home run in 74 at-bats. The game started at 7:07 PM EST and ended at 12:43 AM EST. Just days later, with the Red Sox winning 2-1 heading to the bottom of the 8th, Johnny Damon homered to tie the game followed by Mark Teixeira homering to give Yankees the lead, breaking an MLB Record for most back-to-back home runs by a pair of teammates in a season and giving the Yankees their first sweep of the Red Sox since 2007. Just two weeks later, the Yankees had 23 hits and the Red Sox had 12 in 20-11 Yankees victory where the total runs scored (31) is the most runs collected by both teams in the history of their rivalry.
A month later, the Yankees complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox with a 4-2 victory, clinching their first AL East title since 2006. Yankees came back to tie the series against the Red Sox 9-9, after starting with an 0-8 record against them. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano records his 200th hit of the season allowing him and shortstop Derek Jeter to become the first ever middle infield duo to both achieve 200 hits in one season.
Both teams made the playoffs again in 2009. During the ALDS, the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins to face the Angels who had knocked out the Red Sox. The Yankees beat the Angels and went on defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009 World Series 4-2 to earn their 27th World Series title and their first championship since the Curse of the Bambino died. Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez was the losing pitcher of record for the defending champions in the last game of the series.
The 2010 season saw the Yankees and the Red Sox start and finish the season against each other at Fenway Park. This was the first time since 1950 this has happened. During the season, Joe Torre managed games against both teams for the first time since becoming manager of the Dodgers. While the Red Sox and Yankees played each other to begin and end the season in 2005, that season began at Yankee Stadium and ended at Fenway Park. On May 8, the Red Sox bullpen gave Mark Teixeira 3 home-runs in a 14-3 Yankee win, the first time a Yankee has hit 3 home runs in a game since Alex Rodriguez did so in 2005 against the Minnesota Twins and only the second time a Yankee hit 3 home runs against the Red Sox in one game. Josh Beckett hit Yankee batters Robinson Cano, who was forced to leave the game from his hit knee, and Derek Jeter with the bases loaded. He gives up more runs with pitches up and in on Nick Swisher and Francisco Cervelli. During the next game, CC Sabathia retaliates by hitting Dustin Pedroia on the first pitch.
In July, a moment of peace in the rivalry came with the passings of former public address announcer for the New York Yankees, Bob Sheppard on July 11 at the age of 99 at his home in Long Island, New York, and that of former principal owner and managing partner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner, at the age of 80 at his Tampa, Florida home on the very day of the All-Star Game two days later. Both teams opened the second half at their respective stadiums with a moment of silence for Steinbrenner and Sheppard. August had both teams play at Yankee Stadium in a game that saw Derek Jeter pass Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list as well as Alex Rodriguez join Barry Bonds and Willie Mays as the only players to ever hit 600 home runs and steal 300 bases. The Yankees went on to win the game 7-2.
The Red Sox, struggling to get out of third place, failed to make the playoffs for the second time in five years. However, they did get some solace at the end of the season by knocking the Yankees out of first place in the American League East and relegating them to the wild-card for the 2010 season. The Tampa Bay Rays won the American League East with a win in Kansas City. After getting past the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, the Yankees lost the ALCS to the Texas Rangers in six games.