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Are you “amped” for the Red Sox-Yankees series?

Aug 30, 2011, 8:49 AM EDT

Varitek Arod

Red Sox President Larry Lucchino was asked about the Sox-Yankees series that kicks off tonight. Specifically, whether or not there’s anything special about it given that both teams are more or less assured of a playoff spot at this point:

“Absolutely,” Lucchino said when asked if he’s still amped. “We want to win, we want home-field advantage. And by the way, if we were playing them in a Tiddlywinks match, or a checkers game, we’d get amped up. At least I would.”

Two questions:

1. When was the last time anyone actually played a game of Tiddlywinks? The 50s? Maybe the 60s?  Definitely a long time ago. I used to think the reference was dated even when I was a kid. Which is fine — I’ll make 1970s and 80s references for the rest of my days because that’s just how people tend to be — but I do notice that kind of thing.

2. You feelin’ the same way, Sox and Yankees fans?  I was on a radio show last week and the topic of Red Sox and Yankees came up. The consensus was that it’s been a long time since it seemed like something more than any other normal series. There’s hype, sure, but it’s just not a hot rivalry right now.  And no, I can’t measure it. Just a feeling.

A feeling based on a lot of things, really.  The fact that each team will, as noted above, make the playoffs.  The fact that it may, tactically speaking, be better to win the wild card this year because I think Detroit will be dangerous in a short series (assuming Detroit finishes behind Texas overall).  The fact that there hasn’t been much in the way of personal animosity between the players in several years (I mean, look how old that pic I used is).  The fact that, since the Sox have won two World Series and the Yankees returned to championship status in 2009, there is less urgency for each team to demonstrate its bonafides.

And of course the unbalanced schedule and the reality of the TV rankings which give us so, so many Yankees-Red Sox games contributes. It’s hard to keep up the intensity for so long. There are too many baseball games for most rivalries to remain hot both on the field and in the public consciousness, and it really does require both.  I like temporary rivalries the sprout up due to a couple of years of close races or a particularly memorable series and then fade away.

Mets-Braves were like that a few years ago. They’re by no means natural rivals — they didn’t share a division until the mid-90s — but both teams being good and playing some really memorable games ten years or so ago was cool.  Same with Reds-Cardinals last year. Giants-Phillies.  Those have come and they will go fairly quickly, and they’re pretty hot when they happen.  And I think they’re more enjoyable because of it.

But the Red Sox-Yankees?  It takes more than history, I think, to really sustain this sort of thing.

  1. ice90 - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    God, please tell me when this series is over. Between the usual (and boring) commentary between Sox and Yankee fans and the, excruciating, 4-hour games, I would rather watch a 0-0 soccer draw. At least that game will be over in less than 2 hours and I won’t have to listen to Tim McCarver explain every nuance of adjusting one’s jockstrap during the broadcast.

    • Kevin S. - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      Have you ever watched a nil-nil draw? It can actually be quite exciting. People bitching about the low-scoring soccer matches don’t understand where the excitement in the beautiful game comes from.

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Enlighten me.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        Enlighten me.

        B/c often what does happen, great run of play, great ball work, absurd passing, is far better than some shit goal a team scores. See two weeks ago’s Arsenal/Liverpool match. While Liverpool won 2-0, their first goal was absolute crap. In other words, scoring goals doesn’t make the game exciting. The game itself is exciting.

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        So it’d be like watching the Lakers vs. Celtics circa 1984…..only neither team shoots the ball.

      • kopy - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        It would be more like a pitcher’s duel. For those that appreciate the game (“the game” being any sport really, not just soccer) there can be as much entertainment in watching a team try to score as there is in seeing the actual success.

        A low scoring game in baseball, football, or soccer (or hockey, basketball…), can be attributed to bad offense or good defense. A high scoring game can be attributed to bad defense or good offense. You can’t gauge the excitement, intensity, or execution of the game simply based on the score.

    • ditto65 - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      Than go watch soccer. Bye-bye.

    • jeffa43 - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:57 PM

      It is all about the 0-0 game, 1-1 game..going into the bottome of 9. If you think different, you really do not get the game… you dont…

      High scoring games (that are close) are exciting as well, but a pitchers duel is special.

      The pressure in a 0-0 game late is awesome, no player want to be the one who blows it.

  2. 24missed - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    I was at the last Sox/Yankees game at Fenway. The rivalry was alive and well. Having been at others throughout the course of the ‘softer’ years, the fans in the stadiums have kicked it back up a bit.

    In fact, I went to the third game of the Sox/Yankees first meeting this year and only a few Yankee fans were around. They were taunting just a bit, no big deal. The Sox were really struggling then.

    Now, at that August game, tons of Yankees fans made the trip. The Red Sox fans and the Yankee fans were ripping each other apart like back in the day.

    There were a lot of drunk and sober assholes from both sides there. I nearly got pounded once, but his friend held him back. Walking back to the car was scary.

    *Disclaimer: When Beckett pitches and takes his sweet time, I don’t care. That’s how he rolls. If another pitcher does their thing and it takes time, I’m there to watch, I don’t care. I might not sleep much, but, I love the game. Even if it takes 17 innings. I respect others who disagree and just want Beckett and others to move on, but that’s just my take.

  3. jamkarat - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Yes I am amped. Say what you will-when the Yanks and Sox play you are assured of a game where every player gives110%. That is what makes it a good series, every game , every year.
    Craig, you really are such a child. Prior to the eastern division realignment, the bitter rivalry for several decades was the Yanks/Tigers. it has only been since the realignment that the Yanks/Sox rivalry began.
    There will always be a rivalry with teams within the division who are top tier.

  4. electstat - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Ditch the wildcard and people would be more amped. Right now they are both in, and playing Texas looks much more appealing.

  5. dasher521 - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Nope! Good for Yankee fans and Sawks fans, and I hope they enjoy their rivalry. But for all of those folks who are not in the Boston / New York market – stop shoving them down our throats. (I’m talkin’ to you FOX Sports and ESPN!)

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    CC Hughes and AJ…Yankees fans are probably not so “amped”

  7. jeffa43 - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    It is all about the 0-0 game, 1-1 game..going into the bottome of 9. If you think different, you really do not get the game… you dont…

    High scoring games (that are close) are exciting as well, but a pitchers duel is special.

    The pressure in a 0-0 game late is awesome, no player want to be the one who blows it.

  8. damnyankee13 - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    To the writer of this>>>If you dont like the yanks/redsux why do you write aboutt them?Oh, you need a paycheck. Get a job at walmart, you wont have to worry then about writing about what you dont like.

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