I miss this feeling. Maybe it makes me crazy as a Red Sox fan, but it’s a little bit nostalgic when the Yankees are the monster under the bed. It’s been a while since the Sox and Yankees were both competitive and closely matched. I missed the days of when one or two moves would look like the tipping point, the little boost that pushed one of them ahead of the other. Today, that move happened again when the Yanks pulled off a deal for Oakland ace Sonny Gray.
I felt it coming the whole way too. I woke up today and I just knew deep down that the Yankees were lurking and that they’d push their chips into the middle of the table to snag Gray while the Sox would be left in the dust. It’s sick, but it felt right. It just felt like the old days when the Yankees would rip your heart out because it felt like they would do whatever it takes and they’d get their man. The Evil Empire is back, they have built a new Death Star and everything in the world has gone back to normal.
It’s not that I even wanted the Sox to get Gray. He’s a good, not great pitcher with some flaws. His stats aren’t outstanding, but he fills a big need for New York. Plus, they didn’t give up a whole lot to get him considering what the going rate for pitchers is. The Sox probably could have pulled something off, or at least driven the price up more but instead they seemed to be content with Addison Reed (a needed bullpen arm but nothing special) and Eduardo Nunez (a needed third baseman but also nothing special).
I know that Boston is going to be in it with New York down to the wire. I honestly think they’ll both make the playoffs. But the Yankees have the edge now and with a half game cushion over a team in a tailspin, they remained aggressive to try to bury us. Their rotation is fairly balanced, their bullpen is ridiculous and their lineup rocks with the best of them.
I hate to say it, but I’m excited about the future of this rivalry because of how quickly New York turned into contenders. They are a formidable foe and baseball is so much better when they are relevant. Maybe we’ll even get the first ALCS matchup between the rivals since the classic in 2004.