For Red Sox fans it is all about the Yankees and always will be

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Mookie Betts
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Mookie Betts /

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees engage in a baseball version of MAD as they sign players, shuffle players and attempt to manage payroll. This season will see it fully blossom.

The Red Sox are looking down the barrel of a gun and the holder has on a pinstriped uniform. Yes, folks, it is full-blown worry time about defending a very shaky division championship. The reason is quite simple – the Yankees are a better team, but barely (JMO).  Even PECOTA using the most technically advanced Ouija Board available on Amazon has the Red Sox second to the dreaded Yankees.  From my perspective, the rotation ills place a damper on the early going.

Why do I perseverate on the Yankees? Just about every Red Sox fan does since it is usually all about the Yankees.  We look at the standings and see where the Yankees are, who they will play, what their home/road record is and on and on.  If the Yankees win the World Series, we go into a funk that would be just ho-hum if any other team took it all.

More from BoSox Injection

The rivalry goes well beyond baseball, centuries back

as the two areas are competitors.  Toss Philadelphia into the mix and you have the history of the economic, political and educational rivalry. And sports just magnifies it.

I hate to lose but have certainly mellowed since my youth. That, however, also applies to following the Red Sox – I hate it when they lose.  I grudgingly accept, but it leaves a week-long bile when it is the playoffs.  When it is the Yankees I think about cutting myself. I do believe many of the residents of RSN live vicariously through their team.

While Dave Dombrowski has been cashing his checks the Yankees GM – or whatever they call themselves these days – Brian Cashman has brought the “Evil Empire” back to life. Astute trades, reconstructed farm systems, payroll reduction and an energized atmosphere for the notoriously abusive fan base. But DD awoke and put the royal seal on a contract for J.D. Martinez – a deal that was a must to align with New York.

I certainly “hate” the Yankees – even more than I “hate” the Patriots, but hate must be tempered with reality.  Reality also has another “R” word attached and that is respect.  Even in my long-gone youth I admired the Yankees but hated what they would consistently do to the Red Sox and every other team in the American League.

There was no rivalry in the 1950s as Boston was just another minor excursion on the Yankees entitled destination – the World Series.  My highlight of those years? Seeing Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon in the Broadway musical “Damn Yankees.” Comeuppance took place on the stage and not the ball field.

A second and more pronounced highlight was 1959 when a dismal Red Sox team knocked the Yankees off their usual first-place perch.  The Yankees were in a tight race with the Chicago White Sox and came to Boston for a five-game set. Boston swept. New York missed out and then recovered for five straight WS visits.

The 1950s have not surfaced – yet, but it is not looking that promising. Boston under Dombrowski appears in reverse while the Yankees are in overdrive.  But suddenly the Red Sox rejuvenated with the signing of J.D. Martinez.  Will that match Stanton?

The bench issues remain in flux but the addition or return of Eduardo Nunez gives that a nice lift. The bullpen is stationary and the rotation? This is a solid rotation, but the idea is total health and the next ice age will happen before that. The big “if” raises its letters regarding the rotation and just what condition they will be in? And that payroll? And that farm system?

Next: Re-signing Mitch Moreland wasn't necessary

So much in Boston Red Sox baseball revolves around the Yankees and now they are out gaming Boston in the management area and will soon out game them on the field – maybe. A future that looked bright when Dombrowski walked through the door is beginning to look like the beginning point of a slide back – way back – for the Red Sox.  Or is it? Remember it is darkest before dawn. And that dawn will begin in mid-May – watch out, New York!