You don't have to have a dog in the fight to appreciate some fun baseball. And this Red Sox versus Yankees series was some fun baseball. The Rivalry was at its peak during the recently concluded American League Divisional Series, with the tension getting to the players (and the fans), both on and off the field.
In case you live under a rock (or anywhere but NYC or Boston), I'll summarize the series. Game one started off strong at Fenway, with an early 5-0 lead partly thanks to a JD "Just Dingers" Martinez three-run homer into the Monster seats in the first. The Yankees tried to climb back but came one run short, and the Sox took game one 5-4. The Red Sox could only manage two runs, dropping game two to the Yankees by a score of 6-2, with slugger Aaron Judge hitting a solo shot in the first. Game three got interesting at Yankee Stadium, and by interesting I mean completely and utterly beautiful. Thanks to, uh, the whole Red Sox lineup, the BoSox jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the fourth (no big deal). The Yankees managed to score one, but the Sox weren't done with the slaughter. They plated SIX MORE runs to make the final score 16-1, the Yankees' worst loss in their franchise's entire postseason history. But game four was great too. The Yanks scored one, but the Red Sox held a strong 4-1 lead going into the ninth. Craig Kimbrel made it interesting, allowing two runs in the ninth and letting the Yanks creep within one, but a spectacular play by Eduardo Nunez and Steve Pearce clinched the ALCS birth for the Sox, winning 4-3.
The Rivalry peaked when Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier yelled at Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez to "get in the [batter's] box," but there were plenty of tense moments. After the Yankees' only win of the series, Aaron Judge walked by the Red Sox clubhouse at Fenway Park blasting Sinatra's "New York, New York." Great song by Frank, classless move by Judge. The Sox retaliated as only the Red Sox could: eliminating the Yankees and playing "New York, New York" in their clubhouse at Yankees Stadium during their celebration.
And the drama didn't end with the series. When CC Sabathia, the Yankees starting pitcher, talked with the media following the game, he threw the umpire under the bus, saying that "I don't think Angel Hernandez should be umpiring playoff games. He was terrible behind the plate," referring to Hernandez's questionable strike zone. But Rick Porcello, the Red Sox starter, when asked about Sabathia's comments, rebutted, "Angel Hernandez called a good game," adding, "Throw the ball over the white part of the plate, CC."
This year, The Rivalry felt stronger than ever. In case you forgot, during the second Yankees-Red Sox matchup of 2018, on April 11, a bench-clearing fight occurred after Red Sox strong-arm Joe Kelly drilled Yankee Tyler Austin in the back in retaliation for Austin's dirty slide earlier in the game. Austin slammed his bat to the ground and charged at Kelly, who threw the Yankee to the ground, pinned him down, and pulled off a few punches before being dragged off of Austin. The fight added a much-needed spark to the century-old rivalry, and made Joe Kelly a Boston hero.
This ALDS marked the first time since 2004 that the Red Sox had met the Yankees in postseason play, the year that the Sox completed the improbable comeback after being down in the best-of-seven series, three games to none. This series proves that this rivalry is unlike any other across sports. But now we face Houston tomorrow nigh'. And need only eight more wins to win the World Series.