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Monday, August 08, 2011

Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry is Dead

The Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is dead and baseball has helped kill it: Eighteen meetings a year at four hours each has watered down the product to the point of overkill and taken the starch out of things. These games have become overdone and overblown, almost meaningless.

Where’s the angst, the bitterness, the brushbacks? Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez don’t square off at home plate anymore. The days of Don Zimmer sprinting out of the dugout and bull rushing Pedro Martinez are over…

Stop playing 18 times a year. It’s way too much. Make the division rivalries—with all clubs, not just the Red Sox and Yankees—special again. It’s not an event if they play 18 times every season.

Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:35 PM | 90 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, yankees

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   1. I Left Tim Raines Down In Africa Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#3895684)
The Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is dead and baseball ESPN/FOX/MLB Network have helped kill it.

Fixed.
   2. Millon deFloss Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:31 PM (#3895689)
They played 22 times a season pre-1961.
   3. steagles Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:31 PM (#3895690)
Stop playing 18 times a year. It’s way too much.
no, it's really not.

the problem with the redsox-yankees rivalry, aside from the length of the actual games, is that both rosters have become laden with mercenaries. why should adrian gonzalez have any animosity towards nick swisher? why should john lackey brush back mark teixeira.

at this point, both rosters are mirror images of each other. they're full of aging sluggers and mediocre pitchers, all of whom are being paid at market value or above for their production. i'm sure the players want to win another world series, but i can't imagine there are too many on either roster who are as hungry for it, as say, prince fielder.


also, the games are an absolute drag. even allowing for the extended commercial breaks, there's just way too much dead time as neither the hitters, nor the pitchers, for either team, are terribly concerned with maintaining an acceptable pacing.
   4. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:38 PM (#3895698)
Isn't the problem that they haven't played each other in an elimination game/series since 2004?
   5. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#3895699)
The games are unwatchable -- 270 minutes of pointless monotony.

Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for Leona Helmsley. Rooting for the Red Sox is like rooting for Penn Badgely.
   6. ray james Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3895701)
they're full of aging sluggers and mediocre pitchers,


???? Aging sluggers? Mediocre pitchers?

6 of the 9 staring position players on the Red Sox re in their twenties. And the team has a collective 106 ERA+

The Yankees have two starting position players over the age of 31 and a team ERA+ of 121.

Criticize all you want but it's absurd to say either team isn't that good. They are, and it's why they are dominating the American League.
   7. ray james Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:41 PM (#3895703)
Isn't the problem that they haven't played each other in an elimination game/series since 2004?


Bingo.

Well, that and they haven't had a dust-up in awhile.
   8. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:42 PM (#3895704)
Isn't the problem that they haven't played each other in an elimination game/series since 2004?

What problem?
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#3895705)
why should john lackey brush back mark teixeira.

So many reasons. So little time.
   10. Greg K Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#3895706)
???? Aging sluggers?

To be fair, they're only old compared to that lineup of young whipper-snappers the Phillies have.
   11. Vance W Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3895707)
but i can't imagine there are too many on either roster who are as hungry for it, as say, prince fielder.


Kind of unfair to expect other players to be as hungry as Prince Fielder
   12. PepTech Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3895708)
The regular season problem is they're both in already, so who cares who's first and who's second. I think the Rays are done making it interesting, so it's going to be those two for the next few years, every year. The real rivalry will now occur more or less every other October, and nothing in between matters between these clubs.
   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:50 PM (#3895712)
They played 22 times a season pre-1961.


But there really wasn't any rivalry then.

People talk about the Yankees-Red Sox as if it had this grand and glorious tradition, but the rivalry really only flourished from about 1946-49, 1975-78, and 1998-present. The rest of the time, one or the other of them wasn't good enough to be worried about.
   14. Rollie Fingers' moustache Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:57 PM (#3895716)
Its hard to root for one corporation over another. Its a better story when one of them is the upstart like the RedSox were for a number of years. Now its just an arms race of who can sign the most free agents evey year.
   15. ray james Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:58 PM (#3895719)
Tom, I think there's a lot more to it than that. When the American League first started, the precursers, the Americans and Highlanders, had something of a rivalry. And then Ed Barrow moved over to the Yankees and shortly after that, a slew of Red Sox players went with him. Then it heated up again in the early forties when the Red Sox got good again. And it was there in the eighties when both teams were pretty good.

So the rivalry is always there, like a desert plant, waiting for the rain to come so it can flower again.
   16. pkb33 Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:59 PM (#3895721)
Last ratings I saw suggested that Sox-Yankees was the highest-rated matchup Fox can put forward. That suggests on the whole, baseball fans recognize the quality of the games. I completely understand hating the hype, and agree the quantity of mercenaries impacts the 'feel' but some of the comments in this thread are silly.
   17. Dan Evensen Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#3895723)
People talk about the Yankees-Red Sox as if it had this grand and glorious tradition, but the rivalry really only flourished from about 1946-49, 1975-78, and 1998-present. The rest of the time, one or the other of them wasn't good enough to be worried about.

You forgot about 1904.
   18. villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#3895724)
The prior Sunday on ESPN was Cubs/Cardinals, another historic rivalry that gets relatively frequent airplay. That game had arguably less meaning than the Red Sox/Yankees matchup, and certainly a lack of backlash.

I think the issue isn't so much the matchup as (a) the time, given that these two teams tend to play longer games; and (b) the hype surrounding the matchup, as though each game is the equivalent of Game 163 in 1978.
why should john lackey brush back mark teixeira.
"This here field ain't big enough for two horse-faced players."
   19. Buzzkill Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#3895728)
Loved that game last night. Felt great for Reddick.
   20. Gamingboy Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3895731)
Not dead. Merely in the hibernation nearly all rivalries often go through.


I honestly think that the plan to have 2 Wild Cards instead of 1 will help revive it, though. Consider, under the proposed "the two Wild Cards play each other" format, last season would have had the Yankees and Red Sox play each other with entry into the ALDS on the line. Similarly, the fact that winning the division would then mean avoiding a sudden-death/best-of-3 (depending on who you ask) would probably put the actual division race into a bigger deal.
   21. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:14 PM (#3895733)
they're full of aging sluggers and mediocre pitchers

Ray in post 6 covered the overall, but Ellsbury, Pedroia, Cano, Lester, Beckett and Sabathia all say hello. Steagles, that is the silliest thing you've posted in awhile and I will be most pleased when either the Red Sox(preferably) or Yankees beat the Phillies in the series.

Sure some of the games take a long time, but I for one don't mind it. Then again, I can follow a cricket test match for 5 days, so what do I know....
   22. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3895735)
mediocre pitchers
The Yankees have the best ERA+ and best SO/9 in the American League.
   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:18 PM (#3895737)
Last ratings I saw suggested that Sox-Yankees was the highest-rated matchup Fox can put forward. That suggests on the whole, baseball fans recognize the quality of the games.


I think it suggests the size and spread of their fanbases as much as the appeal of the matchup.
   24. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:25 PM (#3895743)
People outside the rivalry think it's dead. People who are fans of either dead beg to differ.
   25. robinred Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:31 PM (#3895751)
It's not "dead" at all. A few points:

1. It is different since the Red Sox won. That removed an element of drama from it and made it a little more like a geographically tight Lakers/Celtics, such that the two fanbases still care, but everybody else hopes the teams' charter jets crash into each other. The Yankees winning in 2009 also took a little edge off.
2. Again--the Wild Card giveth and the Wild Card taketh away.
3. The 18 meetings have nothing to do with it--what people are sick of, like vi said, is the ESPN/FOX hype machine + game length making it seem like 72 meetings a year.
4. And yes, it is the size/spread of the fanbases. Suzyn Waldman said as much last night.
5. As noted, the current players don't seem to dislike each other on a collective level.

The Yankees earlier in the decade added a lot of players people disliked: Brown, Sheffield, Giambi, RJohnson, Rodriguez. It is harder to hate Curtis Granderson (a personal favorite of mine, actually) Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Nick Swisher, Ivan Nova, Russell Martin, and David Robertson.

Schilling was the most hateable guy on the Red Sox. They still have Beckett, Papelbon, and Youkilis; I guess some people hate Pedroia. But Ellsbury, Crawford, Gonzalez, Lester, Reddick, Scutaro, Wakefield, Bard--not a really hateable group. Ortiz is sort of just a fixture now; ditto Varitek. Cashman and Epstein; Francona and Girardi. Luckily, Randy Levine and Larry Lucchino are still around.
   26. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:35 PM (#3895756)
OK, now there are plenty of you whinging about the pedestrian pace of the game, offer some solutions which you don't think will affect the quality of play. Because as a Sox fan, I'd rather have a longer game and a win, then have 3:20 games and already have lost 10 games to NY. Maybe that's what NY should do...speed up the game and throw the Sox off their pace.

As pointed out in the other posts, these games will always be longer by some measure as the batters simply work deeper counts and you tend to get more baserunners anyway.
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#3895763)
I think it suggests the size and spread of their fanbases as much as the appeal of the matchup.


Yep, I think the first conclusion reached was somewhat of an overstatement.
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#3895796)
OK, now there are plenty of you whinging about the pedestrian pace of the game, offer some solutions which you don't think will affect the quality of play. Because as a Sox fan, I'd rather have a longer game and a win, then have 3:20 games and already have lost 10 games to NY. Maybe that's what NY should do...speed up the game and throw the Sox off their pace.


Throw the damn ball. Stay in the damn box. Quit going out to the mound every other batter. There's nothing about requiring any of these things that will make victories harder to come by for the Sox.
   29. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:35 AM (#3895807)
The other thing is, both teams have a lot of homegrown talent. They augment that by spending freely, including to retain that talent, but it's not like they're exclusively mercenary. And that ignores players who have been with the team for a long time, like David Ortiz. Sure he technically falls under the "mercenary" label but he's been with the team for most of a decade and is pretty well beloved by the fans.

At the same time, given how often the Yankees and Sox get national coverage, I can completely understand how other fanbases get irked.
   30. flournoy Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:41 AM (#3895819)
I haven't watched a Yankees-Red Sox game in probably about a decade, and have no desire to ever do so again, really. The number of games I've watched featuring either one of those teams during that time span is probably in the single digits, including playoff games. They just completely kill my interest. Don't want it.
   31. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3895847)
People keep saying the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is dead about as often as they keep saying the Maple Leafs/Canadiens rivalry is dead.
Yet, they are still the highest rated games of the year, and the fan base for both teams are the biggest in the country and love the games.

(and the Maple Leafs haven't been relevant in the NHL in almost a decade now)
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:06 AM (#3895867)
People outside the rivalry think it's dead. People who are fans of either dead beg to differ.

Bingo. I don't even hate the Red Sox in the abstract, and yet when Gardner rammed that shot off Beckett's shin last night, the smaller half of me was hoping that his leg was broken and that it would knock him out for the rest of the year.

Of course I got over it within a few seconds and immediately felt guilty over the fleeting thought, but the point is that it was only the Red Sox uniform that made me react like that at all. If it'd been any other team I would have gone straight to the "God, that's horrible" instinct without any preliminary detour.

At the same time, given how often the Yankees and Sox get national coverage, I can completely understand how other fanbases get irked.

I can "understand" it, too, but I don't give a flying ####. The only fans who have a legitimate gripe are fans of teams like the Phillies that win as consistently as the Yanks and the Sox, or teams like the Rangers or Giants that have proven that they can hold their own with the big boys. Let those other teams earn their way onto the national schedule. #### this affirmative action #### for mediocre teams.
   33. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:13 AM (#3895887)
Bingo. I don't even hate the Red Sox in the abstract, and yet when Gardner rammed that shot off Beckett's shin last night, the smaller half of me was hoping that his leg was broken and that it would knock him out for the rest of the year.

Of course I got over it within a few seconds and immediately felt guilty over the fleeting thought, but the point is that it was only the Red Sox uniform that made me react like that at all. If it'd been any other team I would have gone straight to the "God, that's horrible" instinct without any preliminary detour.


I felt the same way and I'm not a Yankees fan. Beckett is a #########.
   34. Buzzkill Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3895918)
@30 - You sure you're a baseball fan? You didn't wacth a single Yankee or Red Sox game since 2002? I find that incredibly difficult to believe.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:50 AM (#3895978)
I felt the same way and I'm not a Yankees fan. Beckett is a #########.

No question he's as creepy as they come, but as an honest Yankees fan I know damn well that if Beckett were wearing pinstripes he'd be instantly transformed into OUR #########. There really isn't anything personal about any of this except for the uniform. O'Neill would have been every bit as loved in Boston as he was in New York, and Little Petunia would probably be getting more ##### in New York than Jeter himself if he ever decided to switch sides. The farm raised players probably get more love than the imports if all things are equal, but if Nunez keeps cutting brain farts like he did last night, all the homegrown breeding in the world isn't going to do him much good.
   36. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:14 AM (#3896013)
Beckett's been fine this year since he's good. It's only when he struggles that he becomes Commander D-Bag.
   37. robinred Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#3896020)
I can "understand" it, too, but I don't give a flying ####. The only fans who have a legitimate gripe are fans of teams like the Phillies that win as consistently as the Yanks and the Sox, or teams like the Rangers or Giants that have proven that they can hold their own with the big boys. Let those other teams earn their way onto the national schedule. #### this affirmative action #### for mediocre teams.


Heh. Nothing like a little old-school fanboy trolling to help a thread.

The Red Sox and the Yankees are on TV a lot because they get ratings due to national (a portion of which is fair-weather) fanbases. The Phillies are getting like that as well--see/hear a lot of PHI fans when the Phillies are on the road now.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:35 AM (#3896025)
Every true baseball fan is a fanboy of one team or another, Robin. Some people just don't like to admit it. You find me someone outside Colorado or Arizona who says he wants to see more Rockies or D-Backs games on ESPN, and I'll show you a man with a house number that ends in "1/2" with a sign that says "Go to side entrance".
   39. pkb33 Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#3896038)
I think it suggests the size and spread of their fanbases as much as the appeal of the matchup.

That's a massive overstatement of the number of Sox and Yankee fans relative to all TV watchers. Or even all watchers of baseball. So, no, I don't think that's really a reasonable description of things.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:30 AM (#3896052)
So what matchup draws more viewers than Satan's pajamas vs. Lucifer's carmine hose? What team has as many fans outside their own local market? What other team's fanbase routinely converts many opposing ballparks into homes away from home? Nobody's saying that the Yanks/Sox fanbase makes up a majority of TV watchers or national rooters, but they're still ahead of whatever fanbase is third, and that's what the TV producers pay attention to.
   41. ptodd Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:40 AM (#3896059)
If it was not for the Red Sox-Yankee games I would not watch much baseball. Watching the Red Sox play Triple A teams like the rest of the AL (ex Texas) is awfully boring.

Only think killing these games IMHO is Fox and ESPN hijacking the broadcasts. ESPN has improved this year but Fox has gotten worse (Buck and McCarver are awful and they can't even show you the pitch counts).

The one thing hurting the rivalry just a tad is the Yankees have not woke up and discovered they are underdogs and that the Red Sox are their daddys. They have a bunch of players who are older and have not figured out the sun is setting. They are content with what they have done in the past and collecting their fat paychecks and don't seem all that hungry. Red Sox pitchers plunk them at will and they go ouch and don't do anything. At times it looks as if they may apologize for getting hit.

Yankees need some young blood to come up but seems their farm system is pretty poor developing the talent, and the team is fearful of bringing up any position player who is not ready to be an All Star from the get go. Montero is a good example.
   42. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:08 AM (#3896065)
OK, now there are plenty of you whinging about the pedestrian pace of the game, offer some solutions which you don't think will affect the quality of play.


I think MLB games in general would benefit from limits on reliever warmup time. Set it to the shortest time to get from the bullpen to the mound and throw a couple pitches, more if the pitcher hustles. But not enough time to run any commercials.

Obviously limiting breaks between innings would be a far better solution, but that much ad revenue I dont see them foregoing.
   43. Chicago Joe Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:37 AM (#3896070)
I'll show you a man with a house number that ends in "1/2" with a sign that says "Go to side entrance".

Someone who lives in an apartment?
   44. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:11 AM (#3896078)
The Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is dead and baseball has helped kill it: Eighteen meetings a year at four hours each has watered down the product to the point of overkill and taken the starch out of things. These games have become overdone and overblown, almost meaningless.
This is bizarrely backwards, and completely misunderstands the idea of a rivalry. It's true that playing each other eighteen times "waters down" things, but what it "waters down" are individual games, not the rivalry. But that's fine, because -- as I keep trying to explain to some people -- baseball isn't football. Football is about individual games. Baseball isn't about individual games; it's about a pennant race.

The problem is the wild card, which destroys pennant races. The two teams aren't competing with each other, because both are going to make the postseason. And the only way that that last statement wouldn't be true is if (a) one team isn't good, which would obviously dilute things, or (b) if they're actually competing with some other team in a different division, which also dilutes things.
   45. robinred Posted: August 09, 2011 at 06:05 AM (#3896084)
If it was not for the Red Sox-Yankee games I would not watch much baseball. Watching the Red Sox play Triple A teams like the rest of the AL (ex Texas) is awfully boring.


The less you watch, the better off baseball is.

The problem is the wild card, which destroys pennant races. The two teams aren't competing with each other, because both are going to make the postseason


This year, yes. One reason the ptodds in the Boston and NYY fanbases are "bored" is that there is no pressure on either team right now. If one of them were actually going home when the season ended, the vibe and experience would be much different for much of the fanbases.
   46. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: August 09, 2011 at 06:05 AM (#3896085)
The yanks-sox rivalry was especially strong during the the beginning of the wildcard era, but a big part of that had to do with them meeting each other in postseason series a few times. For the last seven years, both teams have managed to miss each other in October. But yeah, the wildcard does make it a lot harder for such opportunities to come up.
   47. robinred Posted: August 09, 2011 at 06:11 AM (#3896086)
@ 46

It is, obviously, a trade-off. They may play in the ALCS and go 7. But right now, they are just jockeying for playoff seeding.

Every true baseball fan is a fanboy of one team or another, Robin


Sure, but the Yankees and the Red Sox are on TV all the time for obvious reasons.Pointing out that they're superduper good and have superduper fans and all these other teams suck etc...well, deserves a little mild snark.
   48. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 07:17 AM (#3896098)
This year, yes. One reason the ptodds in the Boston and NYY fanbases are "bored" is that there is no pressure on either team right now. If one of them were actually going home when the season ended, the vibe and experience would be much different for much of the fanbases.
I addressed that. The only way one of them would actually be going home is if one of them wasn't good -- which wouldn't be less boring -- or if they're competing with some third team, which would be less boring, but would also dilute the race.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2011 at 11:58 AM (#3896124)
I'll show you a man with a house number that ends in "1/2" with a sign that says "Go to side entrance".

Someone who lives in an apartment?


I was thinking of an old high school friend of mine who lived in a series of LA and Diego area rental basements. It was a standing joke among everyone who knew him that his adulthood would commence the day he could ditch the "1/2" number. He finally graduated to an apartment when he was about 30.
   50. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:11 PM (#3896129)
I tried to watch the ESPN game Sunday night. Good Christ was that some boring assed baseball.

Criticize all you want but it's absurd to say either team isn't that good. They are, and it's why they are dominating the American League.


More likely they're dominating the American League because all of the good teams are in the NL.
   51. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:40 PM (#3896139)
So what matchup draws more viewers than Satan's pajamas vs. Lucifer's carmine hose?

The NFL Hall of Fame exhibition game? Not played this year, but in 2010 the games went head-to-head.

Your overnight TV ratings: NFL 7.6, Greedy Thieves vs. Pink Hats 2.7.

(Last Sunday's did a 3.6. The games are sub-niche viewing; the commentary about the rivalry the ultimate exercise in mutual onanism.)
   52. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:55 PM (#3896146)
The NFL Hall of Fame exhibition game? Not played this year, but in 2010 the games went head-to-head.


You may not know this but the NFL Hall of Fame game is actually a football game.

If baseball is "sub-niche" then that's one big ####### niche they are drawing from because it's a multi-billion dollar industry.

From the "inside" I don't think the rivalry is dead at all. I think there is a lack of venom right now but that is largely a function of two things;

1. As others have noted, the fact that this feels like a run up to the post-season.

2. Residual effects of 2004. One of the things that made 2003 and 2004 so insane was that there was a sense of desperation among Sox fans. The Sox had put together a hell of a team that year and with Schilling/Pedro it felt like a team well suited to win in the post-season. With all the free agents the Sox had (Nomar, Pedro, Varitek, Lowe) it felt like the end of a run and if that team didn't win there was a fear that it would never happen.
   53. Norcan Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:03 PM (#3896150)
(Last Sunday's did a 3.6. The games are sub-niche viewing; the commentary about the rivalry the ultimate exercise in mutual onanism.)


If you're going to classify the games as "sub-niche viewing" based on how they fare against the ratings juggernaut that is the NFL, then all baseball games are sub-niche and commentary thereof ultimate digressions of mutual onanism.

I'm not understanding why this rivalry is supposedly dead. That's news to me. The Yankees are still hated and this past series might end up having a significant role in who gets home field throughout the AL playoffs, a not insignificant point in my opinion. I found the games compelling but I can't speak for non-Red Sox, Yankees fans.
   54. AROM Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#3896151)
why should john lackey brush back mark teixeira


For far more important reasons that some petty rivalry amongst the overpriveleged and unwatchable Eastern kingdoms.

Once, while they were teammates in Anaheim, John Lackey left the mound after battling 7 2/3 innings, when to the dugout, and was in dire need for a swig of gatorade. But Mark Teixiera had drank the last bottle of gatorade. So go get him John!
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#3896163)
Although the rivalry peaked in 2003, it's still MLB's best product, as evidenced by the TV ratings, not just in the two teams' markets but nationwide. You're not going to see fewer Yanks-Red Sox national games until some other combination produces more viewers. It is a business, you know.
   56. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#3896171)
It is a business, you know.
It is, and the Sox and Yanks are annually the two biggest businesses even when they're not the two best.

I refer to them as the Axis of Evil.
   57. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3896174)
Although the rivalry peaked in 2003


I basically agree with you, but of course can't help be amused that you conspicuously left out 2004. You can't have the yin without the yang, the chicken without the egg etc etc. But yes, 03/04 is definitely the peak of this go-around of the rivalry.
   58. zack Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#3896182)
The Red Sox and the Yankees are on TV a lot because they get ratings due to national (a portion of which is fair-weather) fanbases. The Phillies are getting like that as well--see/hear a lot of PHI fans when the Phillies are on the road now.


I live in DC, and the mid-week MLB network games have featured either the Phillies, the Yankees or the Red Sox (in that order), every single time I've tuned in. The MLBN games are regional, though, which explains part of that. I usually flip the channel in less than five minutes because I just don't want to watch any of those teams any more. More often than not, I was excited for the West game listed as the alternate, and disappointed when it's the Phillies feed yet again. Even this doesn't compare to the ####### Penguins - Caps, though.


Every true baseball fan is a fanboy of one team or another, Robin. Some people just don't like to admit it. You find me someone outside Colorado or Arizona who says he wants to see more Rockies or D-Backs games on ESPN, and I'll show you a man with a house number that ends in "1/2" with a sign that says "Go to side entrance".


Then again, there's a 1/2 on my mailbox.
   59. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#3896188)
The problem is that the Red Sox and Yankees are basically playing for bragging rights. Imagine how much more fun the games would be if the two teams weren't 7 or 8 games up on a playoff spot, and it was win or go home.
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3896193)
Every true baseball fan is a fanboy of one team or another, Robin. Some people just don't like to admit it.


Huh? Everyone "admits" this. The problem is when someone can't admit that his fanboyism leaves him completely unable to be objective.
   61. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#3896196)
Huh? Everyone "admits" this. The problem is when someone can't admit that his fanboyism leaves him completely unable to be objective.
Which is funny to say in this particular thread, since you two generally agree on all points here.
   62. Greg K Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#3896199)
People keep saying the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is dead about as often as they keep saying the Maple Leafs/Canadiens rivalry is dead.
Yet, they are still the highest rated games of the year, and the fan base for both teams are the biggest in the country and love the games.

I always feel strange because despite being a Leafs fan the Habs are my 2nd favourite team. And I love watching Leafs-Habs games, they're almost invariably hotly contested and close. It's somehow riveting rivalry hockey, without me having any animosity towards the opposing team.

I remember the last game of the season in 2006/2007. Leafs/Islanders/Habs were all within a point of the last playoff spot with Toronto needing to win against Montreal, and then have the Isles tie at the most.

The Leafs give up a 3-1 lead in the 2nd with 4 straight goals to make it 5-3. Raycroft gets pulled and the season seems over. Cue the crazy comeback for a 6-5 win!

Then the next day the Islanders play the Devils (who had already wrapped up their playoff spot). Islanders need 2 points to carry the 8th spot. Down 2-0 with 5 minutes left the Devils have a miraculous comeback with John Madden scoring with LITERALLY less than a second on the clock to send it to OT. However it goes to shootout and Wade Dubielewicz saves the day for New York. Might have been the most exciting two days of hockey for me since that no good cheater Wayne Gretzky viciously assulted Doug Gilmour and then heartlessly crushed the Leafs in the Conference Final. And they let that guy in the Hall of Fame, can you believe it?
   63. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3896205)
Which is funny to say in this particular thread, since you two generally agree on all points here.


Not really. I don't care which teams are shown on Sunday night on ESPN, while Andy seems to. I can watch any Red Sox - Yankees game at any time (DVR'ing it and watching it later if necessary), and I don't mind watching other good teams with something to play for on Sunday night.

My complaint about how the games are televised is that the FOX window on Saturday blocks out pretty much the whole day other than two games (or really the one game they're showing in your area), so now instead of getting day baseball for our favorite teams (so you can listen in your car or tune in while doing chores) we have to wait until Saturday night.
   64. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3896212)
You find me someone outside Colorado or Arizona who says he wants to see more Rockies or D-Backs games on ESPN, and I'll show you a man with a house number that ends in "1/2" with a sign that says "Go to side entrance".


I agree with this, but it wasn't always like this. MLB used to actually market their other teams and matchups. I remember really getting excited to see the Barry Bonds Pirates vs. the Daryl Strawberry Mets on ABC Monday Night Baseball because well they were good teams and I never got to see the NL teams.

I think its silly to say the Red Sox/Yanks rivalry is dead, but I think it is accurate to say the rest of the country is weary of the rivalry and no longer cares about it as much. And Ray and others are right, the Wild Card has made the regular season matchups much less meaningful.
   65. Lassus Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3896216)
Haters gonna hate. That recent series was incredibly entertaining, and I'm a fan of neither team.
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3896222)
I don't care which teams are shown on Sunday night on ESPN, while Andy seems to.

Not at all, since I can always watch it on Extra Innings. The only time I get irritated is when a Saturday afternoon Yankees game conflicts with another game on FOX, and gets blacked out outside New York and the opponent's city. All I'm really defending is the financial logic that seems to compel all of the national networks to show the Yanks and the Sox at nearly every opportunity, but if it were up to me, I'd rather watch all their games on YES and let ESPN / FOX / TBS / MLB network show something else.
   67. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3896230)
Haters gonna hate. That recent series was incredibly entertaining, and I'm a fan of neither team.


The question is not whether it was "entertaining," but whether it (and the games down the stretch) would be more entertaining if there were an actual race going on.
   68. Greg K Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3896234)
The question is not whether it was "entertaining," but whether it (and the games down the stretch) would be more entertaining if there were an actual race going on.

You guys are both way off. The question is whether it would be more entertaining if they installed one randomly hidden landmine in the field before every game.

Thusly
   69. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3896242)
Barry Bonds Pirates vs. the Daryl Strawberry Mets on ABC Monday Night Baseball because well they were good teams


emphasis mine. This is the crux of the issue. We can talk all we want about bias and this and that but at the end of the day the only damned thing ESPN and Fox care about is money, and money NOW, not down the road. There are many fair criticisms of the coverage of MLB by Fox/ESPN but let's not pretend that at worst the 2nd and 3rd best teams in baseball weren't on display this weekend. Fox also covered Phils/Giants so the two series that could have been realistically considered LCS Previews were nationally televised.

Hey, I'd prefer to see more widesperad baseball coverage (one of about 500 reasons MLBN is better than Fox/ESPN) but these networks are not going to cover crappy teams.
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3896248)
emphasis mine. This is the crux of the issue. We can talk all we want about bias and this and that but at the end of the day the only damned thing ESPN and Fox care about is money, and money NOW, not down the road. There are many fair criticisms of the coverage of MLB by Fox/ESPN but let's not pretend that at worst the 2nd and 3rd best teams in baseball weren't on display this weekend. Fox also covered Phils/Giants so the two series that could have been realistically considered LCS Previews were nationally televised.

Hey, I'd prefer to see more widesperad baseball coverage (one of about 500 reasons MLBN is better than Fox/ESPN) but these networks are not going to cover crappy teams.

I put this on baseball. MLB needs to exemphasis mine. This is the crux of the issue. We can talk all we want about bias and this and that but at the end of the day the only damned thing ESPN and Fox care about is money, and money NOW, not down the road. There are many fair criticisms of the coverage of MLB by Fox/ESPN but let's not pretend that at worst the 2nd and 3rd best teams in baseball weren't on display this weekend. Fox also covered Phils/Giants so the two series that could have been realistically considered LCS Previews were nationally televised.

Hey, I'd prefer to see more widesperad baseball coverage (one of about 500 reasons MLBN is better than Fox/ESPN) but these networks are not going to cover crappy teams.


I put this on MLB. The league should have been working with its broadcast partners at promoting the sport as a whole, even if it means taking less money in rights fees. And, for the last decade, MLB has wholly abandoned that idea. And if MLB doesn't require it as part of the package, then Fox and ESPN are only going to broadcast the games that have the best ratings promise right now.

This is one area where the NFL has largely gotten it right, and has reaped the benefits through the years.
   71. pkb33 Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3896274)
That's backwards, though. The NFL has not in any way, shape, or form sought to tell the networks to air crappier games---quite the opposite, as MNF scheduling and now 'flex scheduling' make very clear. Their sellout requirements for a local broadcast are much tougher than MLB has (no team has an equivalent agreement). They have simply built a product that sells better. So while I agree MLB has erred in not growing the overall fanbase, I don't think the NFL TV policy is remotely the way to make that case.

Instead, I think we should be looking at the economic landscape that makes NFL teams a heck of a lot more balanced than MLB teams are. An environment where most teams are competitive at some point in a several-year cycle is what grows local interest. And the NFL system does this better than MLB's does.

Which, to loop back, is part of why people hate the Sox-Yankees rivalry....those are the two teams that best epitomize MLB's failure in this regard.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3896281)
The NFL has not in any way, shape, or form sought to tell the networks to air crappier games---quite the opposite, as MNF scheduling and now 'flex scheduling' make very clear.


Not true.

The NFL has gone away from it in recent years, but the NFL under Rozelle (and possibly the early days of Tagliabue) limited the number of times teams could play in prime time, which is tantamount to requiring the networks air crappier games. This helped grow the league as a whole.
   73. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3896282)
The league should have been working with its broadcast partners at promoting the sport as a whole, even if it means taking less money in rights fees.

Good luck with that.
   74. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3896286)
but let's not pretend that at worst the 2nd and 3rd best teams in baseball weren't on display this weekend. Fox also covered Phils/Giants so the two series that could have been realistically considered LCS Previews were nationally televised.

Hey, I'd prefer to see more widesperad baseball coverage (one of about 500 reasons MLBN is better than Fox/ESPN) but these networks are not going to cover crappy teams.


Agreed. What is tiring is that those teams are ALWAYS among the top three teams in baseball it seems.



The NFL has gone away from it in recent years, but the NFL under Rozelle (and possibly the early days of Tagliabue) limited the number of times teams could play in prime time, which is tantamount to requiring the networks air crappier games. This helped grow the league as a whole.


There was also a rule (I think they abandoned it finally a few years ago) that every NFL team had to be on national TV at least once, no matter how bad they were.


Instead, I think we should be looking at the economic landscape that makes NFL teams a heck of a lot more balanced than MLB teams are. An environment where most teams are competitive at some point in a several-year cycle is what grows local interest. And the NFL system does this better than MLB's does.


And I don't even think that's the case in the NFL. Many teams haven't been that competitive, while the Steelers, Colts, Patriots and Eagles are good EVERY year. But in the NFL, it seems there are more "elite" teams like this. I mean there are several compelling teams - you could throw in the Packers, Falcons, Saints, Ravens and Chargers into that group as well.

In baseball you have the Red Sox and Yankees, the Phillies, Braves, Angels and Cardinals....and who else would be considered at that level consistently? I think what FOX and other broadcasters want to put on are consistent winners - they don't want some flash in the pan like the first-half Pirates. And baseball gives them precious few of those kinds of teams I guess. I guess it just seems like the NFL has more compelling matchups - any random game of two good NFL teams seems interesting, whereas all the oxygen has been sucked out of the room by the Red Sox and Yankees that a random Cardinals/Phillies games doesn't seem as exciting to the casual fan.
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3896288)
Good luck with that.


That's my biggest problem with Bud's leadership (well, that and interleague play. Oh, and the wild card). To me, it seems everything under his leadership is about maximiing short-term profits with little to no concern for the longterm health of the sport, and as the commissioner he should be thinking that way.
   76. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:19 PM (#3896303)
The NFL has gone away from it in recent years, but the NFL under Rozelle (and possibly the early days of Tagliabue) limited the number of times teams could play in prime time, which is tantamount to requiring the networks air crappier games. This helped grow the league as a whole.

MLB also has this rule.

Edit: Also, every team has national games.
   77. pkb33 Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3896316)
Not true.

The NFL has gone away from it in recent years, but the NFL under Rozelle (and possibly the early days of Tagliabue) limited the number of times teams could play in prime time, which is tantamount to requiring the networks air crappier games. This helped grow the league as a whole.


It is, actually, true on balance....that's why the other examples were listed, which swamp the one you cite. On top of which, as someone else already caught, the prime-time limits were true of MLB as well. The TV policy just is not the way to make the point you want to make about the leagues.

The point made on NFL economic landscape was not meant to be that teams can't be consistently good; as noted above, there are NFL teams that are. It is that the economic playing field is significantly more equal (not equal---just significantly closer than MLB's) and thus that over a multiyear basis this gives far more teams a credible chance than MLB's approach does.
   78. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3896333)
It is, actually, true on balance....that's why the other examples were listed, which swamp the one you cite. On top of which, as someone else already caught, the prime-time limits were true of MLB as well. The TV policy just is not the way to make the point you want to make about the leagues.


The point I'm making about the leagues is that MLB has done a terrible job of working with its broadcast partners on selling the league, and has instead allowed Fox and ESPN to broadcast a handful of teams an with built-in markets an overwhelming percentage of the time while hardly giving any exposure to other clubs. That contrasts with the way the NFL handled its national broadcasts in the days of Rozelle and Tagliabue, though it has moved away from that to some extent.

I believe the former commissioners did a great job of selling the NFL as a whole. I think Bud Selig has done a terrible job doing likewise with MLB.
   79. Gary Truth Serum Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3896337)
The NFL has gone away from it in recent years, but the NFL under Rozelle (and possibly the early days of Tagliabue) limited the number of times teams could play in prime time, which is tantamount to requiring the networks air crappier games. This helped grow the league as a whole.

The actually haven't even gone away from it. Even with flex scheduling, teams are still limited to six appearances each season on the nationally televised appearances SNF, MNF, and NFL Network.

The flex scheduling has a minor effect on helping teams bag that limit of six games, but the bigger effect is to avoid a dog game in November that looked good in April when the schedule was drawn up. Since Fox and CBS can protect a handful games in advance, marquee matchups like Cowboys-Colts and Colts-Patriots (the games that look good well in advance) don't get flexed anyway. That leaves NBC (ESPN isn't allowed to poach) to replace a dog game with a good but not great alternative.
   80. pkb33 Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3896343)
The point I'm making about the leagues is that MLB has done a terrible job of working with its broadcast partners on selling the league, and has instead allowed Fox and ESPN to broadcast a handful of teams an with built-in markets an overwhelming percentage of the time while hardly giving any exposure to other clubs. That contrasts with the way the NFL handled its national broadcasts in the days of Rozelle and Tagliabue, though it has moved away from that to some extent.

What several have noted is that there is no factual basis supporting the theory, however, at least as contrasted with the NFL.

While I agree MLB has not done a good job working to grow the base, the NFL simply isn't the example to cite for a contrary approach.
   81. BDC Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#3896344)
I'm so happy to have tickets to a game in the fierce Mariners-Rangers rivalry tomorrow night. I pity the rest of America :)
   82. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3896349)
What several have noted is that there is no factual basis supporting the theory, however, at least as contrasted with the NFL.

While I agree MLB has not done a good job working to grow the base, the NFL simply isn't the example to cite for a contrary approach.


We're going to have to disagree here pk, because I see nothing you or Fly have posted that refutes what I've written.
   83. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 09, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3896356)
We're going to have to disagree here pk, because I see nothing you or Fly have posted that refutes what I've written.

I didn't intend to refute anything, just point out that MLB has limits to the number of Fox/ESPN games that one team can get, just like the NFL does, and that every MLB team has nationally broadcast games. In fact, every MLB team had a nationally broadcast game within 1 month of the start of the season, this year. Unless there was a rainout or something, but you get my point.
   84. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3896362)
In fact, every MLB team had a nationally broadcast game within 1 month of the start of the season, this year.


Are you including MLB Network?
   85. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3896439)
Why wouldn't I be?
   86. zack Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3896451)
As a Buffalo Bills fan, I would like to here about these league-mandated nationally televised games.
   87. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3896460)
Why wouldn't I be?


As it relates to the argument...

First, MLB Network isn't in as many homes as ESPN and Fox and TBS, so it's not quite as national. Furthermore, even in the homes its in, it's far more of a niche network than any of those.

Second, it's primarily owned by MLB, so it's relationship with MLB is somewhat different than MLB's relationship with the others.

Third, it didn't exist four years ago, so it doesn't really cover the way MLB has sold the league as a whole during Bud's tenure.
   88. phredbird Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3896470)
The Phillies are getting like that as well--see/hear a lot of PHI fans when the Phillies are on the road now.


there were a TON of phillies fans at the dodger game last night. i think it was about 50-50 for the two teams in my section.
   89. Greg Franklin Posted: August 09, 2011 at 10:00 PM (#3896512)
The latest from Maury...

Blowout TV ratings for recent NYY-BOS series - even MLB Network approached Strasburg-level viewership.
   90. pkb33 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 12:13 AM (#3896597)
We're going to have to disagree here pk, because I see nothing you or Fly have posted that refutes what I've written

I'm quite sure you believe that is the case....

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