Okay, here’s the thing. I’m really tired of hearing about the Red Sox and the Yankees. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my baseball team. Probably more than is healthy. And I love that they’ve got a double-digit lead on the Yankees in the division. No, really, diggin’ that something fierce. But as for the constant “OMG WATCH YANKEES/SOX OR DIE YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON IT’S THE ONLY THING ON TV OMG BASEBALL APOCALYPSE WOOO!” I’ve had just about enough of that.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been paying more attention to teams other than the Red Sox this year (most notably the Orioles and the Mets). Maybe it’s because, you know, double digit lead. Or maybe it’s just fatigue over a moldy storyline. But I couldn’t be happier that we don’t have to deal with the Yankees and all the attendant drama again until August.
And yes, I realize that the timing of this declaration is somewhat suspect. Obviously, after dropping two of three to the Yankees over the weekend, it’s gonna seem like I’m going all, “Screw that noise. I don’t want to hear about it anymore,” and while that’s probably true, I honestly felt like that BEFORE this weekend.
I can understand why fans of other teams – who really have no rooting interest one way or the other – hate both the Yankees AND the Red Sox. And though that seems like sacrilege to many a Sox fan, well, the cold, hard truth is that without the Yankees, the Sox would BE the Yankees. It’s not really that big of a stretch.
Of course, I will continue to love my Sox to little, gooey bits (with the notable exception of the following: JD Drew, Julio Lugo and Wily Mo Pena because DUDES, YOU ARE KILLING ME), but I understand where other people are coming from. I mean, how frustrating must it be for say, a Pirates fan to turn on SportsCenter looking for score updates only to be bombarded with the ticker and the upcoming news updates and the “No, for reals, we’re gonna talk about the Sox and Yankees again in like three minutes and you might miss something so don’t move and also, your team sucks and doesn’t deserve our Defcon 3 coverage?”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I positively DELIGHT in the misfortunes of the Yankees because, wow, what is going on there, seriously? But at this point, it’s not so much a “Wow, the Sox are totally gonna benefit from this” mindset as it is a “This is fascinating from the standpoint of watching a formerly great team crash and burn.” It’s especially fascinating because so many of these things seem beyond their control. Like the freak injuries and the Mike Lowell Wrestlemania business. Hee. But as for the hype surrounding the GREATEST RIVALRY IN SPORTS? Can we take it down a notch, please? Maybe it seems especially ridiculous specifically because of the current standings. Certainly no other fourth place team is getting this much ink. And yes, it’s because it’s the Yankees – God’s chosen team – but I mean, the Cardinals won the World Series last year and they’re AWFUL and that’s kind of mentioned in passing before the talking heads are all, “You know who else is awful? The Yankees! And did you hear they have a rivalry with the Red Sox? More coverage right now!” It’s not that I’m clamoring for the Sox to be in the spotlight any more than they already are – I’m not sure that’s possible – it’s that I’m screaming “uncle” on the whole thing. Give it a rest, honestly. There is other baseball out there. There are 28 other teams. We play lots of them. Why don’t we talk about them for a while? Just last weekend when I was visiting the ‘rents in New Hampshire, we made use of Marianne’s MLB TV subscription to create a little Baseball Norad for ourselves. Sox/Rangers on the big screen, Mets/Marlins on my laptop, Yankees/Angels on my dad’s, Orioles/A’s on Marianne’s and my grandmother watching ChiSox/D-Rays in the basement. Seriously, we had five games going at once. And it? Was great. It might’ve prompted my mother to telephone the closest psychiatric hospital and inquire about a group rate, but still, great.
All of that said, I choose to look not backwards at this past weekend’s series but forwards to tonight’s match-up between everyone’s favorite recreational bowler, Julian Tavarez and perma-stoned Danny Haren (with a scary low 1.64 ERA). I can’t imagine what a conversation between those two would be like. Would they talk about music, cinema, their favorite meat product on a stick? One never knows. And this? This is why we need dugout cameras and more frequently miked up starters. I’m sure Tavarez’s traffic cop routine out there would lead to some especially delightful soundbites. While I petition NESN for a “Livin’ La Vida Loca with Julian Tavarez,” you all get ready for tonight’s game. It’s a late one, start the caffeine IV now.