Recall the last two postseason meetings between the Sox and Yanks. Both were epic struggles between two great ball clubs. Who can forget last year? The Red Sox were only five outs away from beating the Yanks, when fans watched Grady Little allow the Yankees to torch a weary Pedro Martinez, tying the game. Red Sox fans’ misery was made complete when the overpaid Aaron Boone—or as he’s known in Boston, Aaron bleeping Boone—drilled a walk-off home run.
The game cost Little his job, broke Sox fans’ hearts and set the stage for a great American League Championship Series this year.
And a great series it was.
The Yankees coasted to a three-games-to-none lead, battering the Red Sox in Game Three, 19-8. Yet any true baseball fan had to know that the Yankees wouldn’t complete the sweep. No Yankees-Red Sox series could end that quietly. The Red Sox stormed back, defying history, as Boston shut down what had been an unstoppable Yankees offense, and finished their astonishing comeback by cruising to a 10-3 Game 7 win, devastating Yankee fans.
But we’ll never have games like these again if the Red Sox win the World Series. What made the battles between the Yankees and Red Sox special was the venom Sox fans had for the Yankees. Think about the Red Sox’s favorite chant, “Yankees suck!” It doesn’t mean the Yankees are terrible. Any team that wins more games than you, has won more World Series than you and has historically owned you in the postseason isn’t bad.
Rather, the chant means, “We hate the Yankees because they’ve won 26 World Series, they spend millions more than any other team, and their fans gloat over the team’s success with such irritating glee.”
With a World Series win, Red Sox fans won’t be as desperate to beat the Yankees. Boston will have lost their jealousy of New York and will no longer be praying for that championship. Meanwhile, Yankee fans will have lost what drives them, the enjoyment they get from watching Boston screw up one more time. Sure they still have their swagger, but chanting “You’ve only won one World Series in the last 86 years!” just isn’t as satisfying as the simple “1918!”
What’s more, all the casual fans that rooted against the “Evil Empire” and for the underdog Sox won’t be interested anymore. They’ll cheer on those lovable losers, the Cubs, or lose interest in baseball altogether. It’ll be the death of Red Sox nation, and an event that energized the entire student population in a way second to only Harvard-Yale will be lost.
So this World Series I’m pulling hard for the Cardinals, and things look good. The Red Sox have already won the first two games, paving the way for another Red Sox collapse. And if we are so fortunate as to have the Red Sox lose—and if at all possible, lose in a way more crushing than the ball going through Buckner’s legs in 1986—then we can all look forward to next year. Boston fans will be screaming, “Yankees suck!” with even more passion. Yankees fans will scream back “1918!” And we’ll all again be absorbed in the best, most intense rivalry in sports.
Andrew B. English ’07, a Crimson editorial comper, is an economics concentrator in Cabot House.