The Bronx is Burning

Yankee greats Manager Billy Martin (left) and Captain Thurman Munson

Yankee greats Manager Billy Martin (left) and Captain Thurman Munson.

The Boston Red Sox/New York Yankee rivalry is one of the most storied in all of worldwide professional sports. Both teams seem to play their best when they play one another regardless of whether they are playing in the Bronx or at Fenway. And although I would not wear pinstripes to Fenway, it’s generally safe to watch…

I have watched Cricket matches between India and Pakistan, widely considered the greatest rivalry in all of sports. Even greater than cricket between England and Australia. After matches, you can count on riots, arrests, tear-gas, and hospitalization. Their fans take it to another level. Pakistan has won 72 times of the 136 general test matches. Interestingly, Pakistan can’t win in the “post-season.” In 4 World Cup appearances, India has blanked Pakistan 4 out of 4 times. Got Rings?

It’s often said that you can throw team records out the window when rivals meet. I believe that is generally true, but one has to differentiate between the regular season and the post season. Players “rise to the level.” This year, Boston has been in first place since the season began – at one time by a margin of some 14 games in the early part of the season. Those were dark days. New York pitching was…wait, we didn’t have any pitching to speak about so I’ll move on.

The Yanks played the Red Sox this weekend and took 2 of 3 games. They won the first game 8-7, overcoming a 5-run deficit in the 8th inning. Tonight, Jeter hit a 3-run shot OVER the Green Monster to break a 1-1 tie and the Yankees held on to win 4-2. Boston killed us 10-1 in Game 2, pitching, or lack thereof was the deciding factor. We don’t get consistency from our starters. The Yanks swept Boston in the Bronx a few weeks ago, taking 3 of 3 games.

They still lead the Yankees by 4.5 games in the AL East. The Yankees will make the playoffs worst case with a Wild Card berth. We’ll meet Boston in AL Championship Series and go on to win the World Series. We are in store for some great baseball.

I don’t hate the Red Sox despite the rivalry. Without the Red Sox, I don’t think that I’d enjoy being a Yankee fan as much. Many of my relatives are from New England and are Boston fans – and we brawled. Growing up, watching baseball at my house in the Fall was like living in Belfast (Béal Feirste) during The Troubles. Nowadays, someone doesn’t always have to die. But then again, there’s nothing like a good wake.

So if the Bronx gets lit up this Fall, it’s likely because New York GM Brian Cashman doesn’t make A-Rod a player/owner of the Yankees once he exercises an Opt-Out Clause in his contract as he is expected to do. Don’t blame Boston if the Bronx is Burning.

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