We all knew this was coming. The New York Yankees, the the Boston Red Sox, everyone. Way back when the 2012 schedule was released, that little pessimistic voice inside of me said, “The Red Sox. Three games in October. They could ruin everything.”
Sure enough, here we are.
Every Yankees fan’s worst nightmare is standing front and center, ready to pounce: a three-game series against the Red Sox to end the season. Seriously, to possibly end the season. It’s karma, really. All of the pleasure taken in the miserable end to the Red Sox 2011 season could be wiped away come Wednesday night. As of right now at this very minute as I type this, the Yankees are tied with the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East. The Orioles. Not the Tampa Bay Rays, not the perennial sleeper Toronto Blue Jays, but the Orioles. It’s almost funny to see it written in text.
For the first time in 15 seasons, the Red Sox will be heading into the off-season with a losing record. But this isn’t the familiar gallery of Red Sox players whom Yankees fans have come to loathe over the past decade. David Ortiz is on the DL, and may never be clapping those hands under the Fenway Park lights ever again. Franchise stalwarts Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis were dealt away for ten cents on the dollar. A mere twenty months after adding declared franchise saviors Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, Boston cut ties with both players and shipped their fragile psyche and mega-contracts along with the disgruntled Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Red Sox are on the ropes with not only their fans, the media and their players, but they also aren’t getting any help from the always combative Bobby Valentine, who was supposed to invigorate the clubhouse, not further divide it. So it’s strange to think guys like Pedro Ciriaco and James Loney could be the ones that take the Yankees down. Then I remind myself who the Yankees are fighting for first place with and all I can do is shake my head and continue along.
Going into this three-game series in the Bronx, the Red Sox literally have nothing else to lose. Seeing that the Yankees played a very big part in the Sox missing the 2011 playoffs, one would have to imagine that it suits the Red Sox just fine to pay back their rivals in the most devastating fashion imaginable: sweep.
Let’s be honest—if you’re from Boston, this is the perfect end to a horrible season for the Red Sox. It’s the only end, really. Knocking the Yankees into a one-game playoff gives their fans something to keep them warm during those cold winter months in the Back Bay. It gives management and players the proverbial fodder that allows them to crow, “Let’s build on this.” If I were a Red Sox fan, I would be rooting for a sweep like I was rooting for another World Series title. It’s only right to want to see your enemies suffer with you. It just doesn’t feel right any other way.