Arguably, the weirdest half in regards to the prior 17 years of sports activities’ biggest rivalry isn’t that the Red Sox turned the tables on the Yankees, profitable 4 championships beneath John Henry to the Steinbrenners’ one. It’s that such a lopsided margin occurred regardless of the Yankees serving as a mannequin of stability and the Red Sox, properly, not that.
The Yankees certified for 13 postseasons from 2004 by means of 2020 beneath basic supervisor Brian Cashman and a trio of managers (Joe Torre, Joe Girardi and Aaron Boone). The Red Sox made 9 playoffs in the identical interval, whereas 4 totally different folks (Theo Epstein, Ben Cherington, Dave Dombrowski and Chaim Bloom), plus two interim teams (in 2005-06 when Epstein briefly give up and in 2019 after Dombrowski’s firing), ran their baseball operations and 5 males (Terry Francona, Bobby Valentine, John Farrell, Alex Cora and Ron Roenicke) managed them, with Cora now on his second tour of obligation.
The Yankees have posted a profitable document each season on this span and since 1993 total. The Red Sox personal 4 dropping data, every of them touchdown the franchise within the American League East basement (together with final yr), throughout the identical interval.
You get the thought — and judging from my emails, a lot of you suppose the Yankees’ stability is exactly their drawback.
Now the Red Sox find themselves on the upswing once again, reporting to Yankee Stadium on Friday for this season-series opener with a 33-23 document a season after they depressed New England with a 24-36 mark within the COVID-shortened schedule.
And if this retains? If these Bosox, harm by not one however two sign-stealing scandals and turning over a good portion of their roster, handle to leapfrog over the Yankees once more, that may characterize fairly an indictment of the steady bunch.
“We felt like we had a good team,” Cora, who rejoined the Red Sox final offseason, mentioned Friday earlier than the sport, “a team that also has to keep working and keep getting better. Defensively, our bullpen, we still have to work with it, but overall, I’ve been saying all along, we have a good baseball team.”
Not solely did the Sawx end in final place final yr, however they took direct hits, first from the 2017-18 Astros sign-stealing scandal (Cora, the bench coach for the 2017 Astros, and Boston parted methods in January 2020), after which from Major League Baseball’s discovery that the 2018 Red Sox, the franchise’s most up-to-date championship membership, engaged in some hanky-panky, if not to the extent of the Astros’ trash-can banging. That ensured Cora’s season-long suspension and value the Red Sox their second-round draft decide final yr in addition to (yawn) sidelining video replay system operator J.T. Watkins.
Throw within the February 2020 trade of the iconic Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, and this was a staff in critical transition. For good measure, the Red Sox bade farewell to the remainder of their ring-winning, homegrown outfield this previous offseason, when Jackie Bradley Jr. signed with the Brewers as a free agent and Andrew Benintendi was traded to the Royals.
Despite all of that upheaval, the Red Sox confirmed up in The Bronx boasting of a vastly superior offense (4.93 runs per sport) to the Yankees’ (3.74) and a pitching workers and protection that, if not as sturdy because the Yankees’ 3.67 runs allowed per sport (second within the American League), put them within the league’s higher half at 4.14.
“When you look at our rotation, before the season, that was something that caught my attention, because a lot of people questioned our pitching,” Cora mentioned. “This is night and day compared to last year. Let’s be honest.”
From day to evening and again, the Red Sox have weathered many storms since ending The Curse of the Bambino and nonetheless lead the business in parades. The Yankees lead the majors in playoff appearances over the identical stretch. It would tremendously behoove the Yankees, off to such a regarding begin in 2021, to convert a type of October invites right into a title earlier than the Sawx achieve this once more.