BRONX, NY – The Yankees and Red Sox renewed pleasantries once again this week, so I’ve decided to devote today’s column exclusively to trout fishing. Whether in streams, lakes or ponds, trout fishing can sometimes prove challenging to even the most experienced anglers. I’m a reminded of this one time when me and my buddy Gunrack were fishing in this irrigation ditch in Fresno…
OK. I’ll talk about the Yankees and Red Sox, but I’m not gonna be happy about it.
Is this thing technically a rivalry when both teams have come out of the gate playing such piss-poor baseball? On top of this, who is even left on these teams to get one another’s blood boiling? Chris Sale? He’s pitching batting practice these days (as I started writing this, the Yanks were clobbering him). Friendly Easter Island statue, Aaron Judge? Mookie Betts? By all accounts, he’s so nice he makes Mr. Rogers look like a war criminal. To keep a rivalry like this going you need horrible, polarizing “gasoline humans” like A-Rod and Clemens and Reggie and, maybe the worst human of all, Curt Schilling.
But, just mentioning some of these names makes me wonder, how come it’s always been Red Sox players coming to the Yankees and not the other way around? I know tools like Clemens and Boggs were always destined to wear pinstripes, and probably that rag-armed wolfboy Johnny Damon too, but not Luis Tiant! That was just wrong. I know thick-skulled Bombers loyalists would explain, “they wanted to win rings bay-bee!” While wildly-racist Sox fans would retort tons of inappropriate sh!t I can’t even begin to print here.
Still, there were players that made this rivalry a hell of a lot of fun, and most of them played in the 1970s and early ’80s. Names like Yaz and Nettles and Rice and Thurman and The Rooster and Sweet Lou and Pudge and Mick the Quick and Dewey… Christ, those teams could play some ball. I seriously miss them.
The Sox/Yanks also gave us 2 incredibly memorable brawls, and one minor dust-up with a major moment. The first one was in 1976, when Piniella ran over Fisk, who then decked him. While Nettles absolutely destroyed an already-injured, but still yappy, Bill “Spaceman” Lee. What a good old-fashioned violent affair that was. In the 2003 ALCS we got to see Pedro Martinez use Don Zimmer’s staggering head weight against him, as he sent Popeye tumbling to the ground, in an otherwise victimless affair. Then, one year later, there was the long-awaited bookend to the 1976 donnybrook, when Jason Varitek gave Alex Rodriguez a truly-satisfying catcher’s mitt face wash, and all hell broke loose once again. Good times.
Today, the two fan bases still hate each other even though most of the real fans can’t afford to attend the games. As for the teams, the lineups that played this week were dotted with a few unfamiliar names on both sides and the Yankees swept the Sawx. The mighty Chris Sale is now 0-4 on the season and the Yankees are going to call up DJ Eberle to play alongside DJ LeMahieu if they suffer any more injuries. Not a whole lot of momentum on either side for a renewal of hostilities, but it’s a long season.
Had enough of NY vs Boston and fishing talk? Check out Buddy Diaz, and his NBA MVP talk. And remember, he was a better ballplayer than Buddy Biancalana, but not Buddy Bell or Buddy Harrelson.