There’s an old baseball quote that goes:
A baseball game is a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings.
The four-hour contest between the Red Sox and Yankees last night epitomized that quote, and it made me feel something I hadn’t felt in quite some time. Last night, we watched a rivalry that’s been somewhat dormant over the last few years spring back to life. Of course, Alex Rodriguez took center stage.
Not only was his 446 ft home run the longest this year by a Yankee (ESPN Stats and Info), it was also the loudest. A-Rod hater or not, you couldn’t help but be pumped up by what Rodriguez had done. The Yankees were pushed around by Dempster in the second inning, and Joe Girardi, Rodriguez and the rest of the Yankees pushed back after being down by a score of 6-3 in the sixth to win 9-6. The Sox bullpen emptied, perhaps looking for a fight. Brett Gardner had to be restrained by Robinson Cano just outside of the dugout. Girardi was yelling things at Dempster I can’t repeat.
The games between these two franchises over the past few years lacked the intensity, drama and storylines that we saw last night. We were spoiled in the early 2000′s, when it seemed like something strange or controversial would happen at any given moment. The rivarly has seen it’s fair share of peaks and valleys, though. After it was established in the 1970′s, it cooled until the 21st century. After a lull over the last half-decade or so, last night was another landmark moment in the drama between the two teams.
Of course, nothing will compare to the Pedro-Zimmer fiasco, or the A-Rod-Varitek throwdown, but last night gave us that spark back. It gave us that feeling of emotional attachment to every pitch, that “us vs. you” mentality – regardless if you like A-Rod or not. The Red Sox were the enemy again, and vice versa. The game felt like it was a soap opera.
The Red Sox will come to town on September 5 for a four-game series. Overall, these two teams play each other SEVEN more times before the season is over. If last night was any indication, we’ve only just begun.