Yesterday, the New York Yankees faced off against the Boston Red Sox in an important matchup for the Yanks, but not so significant for the Sox. At this point in the season, the Yankees need to win every game they play to make a playoff push, being 7.5 games out in the AL East and six games back in the wild card standings.
The game was very entertaining, a back-and-forth event that ended up going the Yankees way. But what was really interesting was that the rivalry between the two teams heated up again.
Some Red Sox players had been speaking out about their distaste for Alex Rodriguez and his being able to play while he appeals his suspension. They don’t have a very good argument because that’s what the players voted for in the collective bargaining agreement. But regardless, they don’t approve of A-Rod and his being on the field.
That aversion was shown last night in the final game of the series, when Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster threw the first pitch of the second inning behind A-Rod, proceeding to throw two more inside before finally plunking him squarely. The home plate umpire immediately warned both teams
Yankees manager Joe Girardi ran out on the field and was followed by both benches and bullpens, but he was the show as he screamed at the home umpire, who the skipper felt should have warned Dempster earlier in the at-bat before he ultimately hit A-Rod. Girardi said some inappropriate words to Dempster and was tossed out of the game.
This was the most heated moment of the season between the two teams, and it brings to mind the early 2000s when the rivalry was the best in baseball. It is still considered the best rivalry in baseball, but hasn’t reared its ugly head recently. But, with A-Rod being the ultimate controversy starter, he helped bring back something that baseball has been without — an animosity between Boston and New York.