New York Yankees' 2004 Loss to Boston Red Sox Not the Worst

Harold FriendChief Writer IApril 21, 2012

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 20:  Former Boston Red Sox players Kevin Millar (L) and Pedro Martinez lead a toast during 100 Years of Fenway Park ceremony before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park April 20, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

“Whatever the Yankees bring up as far as having success, you can easily knock it out by saying we knocked you out after being 0-and-3. The one the Boston Red Sox were able to get from the Yankees was probably the most painful ever, I think, in any sport to the Yankees fans.” 

Pedro Martinez, the Boston Red Sox management, Red Sox players and Red Sox fans just don’t get it.

Listen carefully. The loss to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS is the 14th-worst in New York Yankees history. Nothing is worse than losing the World Series. No, getting there and losing is not better than not getting there at all.

The Yankees have lost the World Series 13 times. It is not easy to rank the pain created by those defeats, but some hurt worse than others.

Until 2001, the most agonizing was the 1960 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. What the Arizona Diamondbacks did in 2001 was worse. When the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first and only world championship in 1955, it was one of the worst moments in Yankees history.

The fact that the Red Sox came back from a three-game deficit is commendable, but it must never be forgotten that it was in the playoffs, not in the World Series.

Losing after leading three games to none is a disgrace, but it doesn’t compare, despite having occurred only once, to losing the World Series.  Several teams have come back to win the Series after trailing three games to one.

Younger fans might not realize it, but until recently, thanks in part to inter-league play, fans rooted for their league in the World Series. In 1967, I took the Red Sox loss to the St. Louis Cardinals almost as hard as I would have if it had been the Yankees that lost.

One of the worst losses for me, a Yankees fan since 1951, was the Red Sox loss to the New York Mets in 1986.

Once inter-league play started and free-agency became part of the game, the leagues have slowly but steadily lost their separateness. In 2013, when the Houston Astros move to the American League, there will be an inter-league game every day.

The Yankees have won the World Series 27 times. Most fans know that fact. Fewer fans know about their 13 losses.

Tell me, what is the Yankees’ ALDS record? How about their ALCS record?

You get the point.