Friday, May 23, 2008
Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees: A tale of two teams
The Boston Red Sox have become the charmed organization during the early part of the 21th century. Every story becomes a feel-good episode, like cancer survivor Jon Lester's no-hitter. The last two no-hitter thrown by 'kids' on their pitching staff [Clay Buchholz in 2007 and in 2008] only adds to the team's collective middle finger for their years of relative futility [looking for a championship] and playing second fiddle to the New York Yankees [having won 26 championships].
For the last decade, the Red Sox are the chic team to root for, while Yankees' fans are left pining for the days when their tickets were punched to the World Series each year - the Red Sox have enjoyed their run, winning two championships in the last four years.
They've enjoyed a mix of stars and guys who aren't really stars, but have contributed otherwise - Dave Roberts, Mike Lowell, Johnny Damon Kevin Millar, 'up-and-down' Manny Ramirez, Papi Ortiz, Pedro, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Kevin Youkilis, Josh Beckett, [a lot of times, a blowhard] Curt Schilling, et al.
Besides veterans - the Red Sox have a solid core of young guys led by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. They have Buchholz and Lester on the pitching staff, followed by guys like Jacoby Ellsbury and eventually young prospects like Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson.
As far as the Yankees' organization is concerned, their pedigree cannot be matched and they've won 26 championships - but as far as the Yankees' fans gloat about 26, they are only truly concerned about the last year they've won a championship, which hasn't happened since 2000.
One of these years, there will be a day late in October where A-Rod will be interviewed because he won the World Series MVP award - the media will talk about him finally getting his just due, but in reality, it isn't happening anytime soon. Derek Jeter may play until he gets 4,000 hits, the Yankees can always buy their way into contention [that is why you don't count them out, not that they've been the greatest organization in the Major Leagues], pick up salaries [Kevin Brown, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson] left and right, but nothing is going to help them, unless their 'kids' suddenly get right [Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes] and Joba the eventual starter can give them the shot in the arm.