Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Yankees have won more championships than any other North American professional sports franchise, with 27 World Series titles.
The Boston Red Sox have won eight.
End of discussion. Anytime you get into “my team is better than your team,” it ultimately comes down to hardware. Right?
Over at Yanks Go Yard, a particular writer took exception when some Sox fans said “I told you so” after Jacoby Ellsbury, the Bombers’ $153 million man who missed 264 games as a member of the Red Sox between 2010 and 2013, pulled up lame with a calf injury.
The Yankees signed a fine player in Ellsbury — his .297 career average and 241 steals are a testament to his considerable talent. But pretty much everybody agrees backing off and letting the fleet footed center fielder bolt for New York was the right move for Boston. At this point, any Ellsbury ailment is going to raise a red flag.
So when Red Sox fans gave the Bombers a little lip about their new charge, of course it’s because they’re jealous the Sox are the Yankees’ “Triple-A affiliate.” And, oh yeah, 27 world championships, baby!
As a Boston Celtics fan (wearing a faded “Beat LA” shirt as I write this), I recognize my team has 17 NBA championships, more than any other team in the basketball realm. But the Celtics only have one title since 1986.
So I kind of understand what it’s like to be a Yankees fan right now (cue the chorus: but seriously, you don’t understand, dood. We’re da best team, in da best city in da world! — wow, my stereotypical Yankees fan is apparently straight outta Chicagoland).
To my point: remember when the Celtics caught fire with a plucky group of three-point chuckers and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002? The Lakers won the title that year — their third in a row, to be exact. It was no time to dial up the hardware argument. So I didn’t.
The San Antonio Spurs captured four titles between 1999 and 2007. The common thread? Tim Duncan. He’s the Big Papi of the Spurs. And his team has remained a title contender to this day with smart personnel moves, steady coaching, and team play. You know, kind of like the recipe for the 2013 Red Sox.
Now, the Spurs (founded in 1967) don’t have the Celtics’ history. But I can credit them for being a successful, innovative franchise that has been at the top of the league for nearly two decades.
But for some Yankees fans, unless you unload 28 trophies on the table, you might as well use a butter knife at a steak house. There’s no recognition that the Sox have had the upper hand on the rivalry for the better part of a decade. You know, where it counts — championships.
It does come down to hardware. Janet — Miss Jackson if you’re nasty — once asked, “What have you done for me lately?” I ask that of my favorite basketball team, the most successful franchise in NBA history. I’d humbly ask Yankees fans to consider changing their tune, but I know they won’t.