Is the Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Now the Red Sox-Yankees-Rays Rivalry?

Mike KentSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2009

As we all know, the Yankees did not have their best season last year. They finished third in the division, six games back of the Wild Card-leading Red Sox, and eight games away from the AL East champion Rays. So I think the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees has slowed down.

The Red Sox and Rays play a close seven game series in the ALCS so there rivalry is just growing and heating up

But with the Yankees acquiring three great players in Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett, and CC Sabathia, is the rivalry back on?

Last year, the Red Sox's top on-field rival was the Rays, and when you look at the youth on the Rays roster it looks like they are here to stay. Maybe the Yankees will see a big rival in the Rays, too, and that would make this division a three-team big rivalry for the AL East crown. The AL East is one of the best divisions in baseball, so all three teams could be in it until the end.

But the Red Sox and Yankees go way back, way before there was a Rays team, even before the Devil Rays. They go all the way back to Babe Ruth.

But I think if the Rays stay in the race for the top of the AL East for the next 10 seasons they can join the biggest rivalry in baseball, if not in all of the sports world.

If the Yankees don't win the division, it will be a considered another bad season, especially after getting their new free agents. But the Rays and Red Sox will be happy with winning the Wild Card.

I am not saying the Rays and Red Sox would not give it their all to win the division, I am just saying the Yankees play like they don't have any other option.

I think two of these three teams are going to make the playoffs; one will win the division and one will win the Wild Card. The only question is which team will miss the playoffs. 

May the best two teams win.