The Boston Red Sox (59-52) head into a double-header today in the Bronx against the New York Yankees (69-39). Chris Sale (5-10) faces Domingo German (13-2) in the afternoon, and Brian Johnson (1-1) takes the ball against someone on the Yanks pitching staff, presumably, in the night cap. Boston’s 4-2 loss in the Bronx last night stung, to be sure, but following the game, my sadness turned to bewilderment as the Yankees’ twitterati took to the interwebs to celebrate. Now, I may be a sad, bitter Red Sox fan, but this struck me as passing odd, as there’s 51 games left in the season and the Astros are heavily favored to win the American League, with odds at 5/8 to the Yanks’ very respectable, but still mathematically distant, 3-1. What, precisely, were they celebrating?
But the more I thought about it, I realized that the Yankees haven’t really been there in awhile. Forget about the “27 rings” t-shirts or the very concept of the “Yankees’ Universe” (a first ballot hall of fame example of sad, reactionary marketing if I ever saw one). Forget about the fact that fully 20 of those “27 rings” came before league integration or meaningful civil rights legislation. Forget that the titles of the late 70’s were largely predicated, and indeed, enabled, by the unprecedented collapse (so nice they did it twice!) of the Yankees’ oldest, most bitter rival. Forget that, despite 2009, people still don’t really seem to like ARod all that much. Forget, Yankee fans, that your favorite team has 1 MLB title this century to Boston’s 4, or that, even if by some miracle the Yanks did make the World Series, that the Dodgers would likely eat them alive. Forget about all that, and revel, revel, I say, in the fact that you beat the third place team in your division in game 111 of the 2019 MLB regular season.
You celebrate. And anybody who says you shouldn’t or that it might be a teensy eensy weensy bit soon or “sir, this is the Port Authority – would you please put your shirt on”? Anybody who says any of that mess? They’re haters. HATERS. And you don’t need to listen to haters because you’ve been a Yankee fan for a whole two months now and quite frankly, this season is lasting forever and where in the f*** are my nachos?
Which brings us to today.
Today, we’ve got a double header, which, to me, is depressing, as it gives the Red Sox an extra chance to lose. Needless to say, I’m not optimistic. Shades of what happened in Detroit aside, any momentum (I know, it’s not a thing, but still) they had after the Yanks series up in Fenway is gone because the Rays kidnapped it, took it across state lines, changed its last name, and are raising it as their own. Boston’s lost five straight games at one of the most crucial times of the season, and they’ve got their underachieving Ace and a spot starter trying to staunch the bleeding. Forgive me, but I’m not seeing a light at the end of this tunnel. I’d love it if they swept two today, but I don’t think they will – in fact, I would not be surprised if the Yanks swept us. Edge to the Yanks – I hope I’m wrong, but fear, down to the marrow within my sternum, down to the core of every synapse firing within the depths of my lizard brain, that I am not.