New York Yankees Will Have to Settle for Second Best in the AL East

James Stewart-MeudtCorrespondent IIJune 9, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08:  A.J. Burnett #34 of the New York Yankees reacts after giving up a home run to David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox who rounds the bases during their game on June 8, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

There are some things people just can't do.

Paint a picture; run a marathon; boil an egg.

The New York Yankees simply cannot beat the Boston Red Sox.

It's nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, most teams can't. But when you're in the same division, competing every year for a playoff spot, the shortcomings are simply more apparent then for other teams.

After last night's 11-6 loss to the Red Sox, the Yankees are now 1-7 against their hated rivals this season.

Last season, they split the season series even against Boston's injury-riddled lineup.

Most Yankees fans will not allow anyone to accuse them of "buying" championships; not after Boston's offseason spending spree on Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.

The entire concept of "buying" championships is flawed. Big market teams will have big market payrolls. The Yankees might have the largest by far, but there are 10 other teams with payrolls north of $100 million.

Small market teams must build their rosters through the draft and player development. It's not impossible to win that way, it simply takes longer.

But the Red Sox and Yankees simply operate in a different universe. Their spending and the players they target are almost geared specifically to combat each other.

Is is a coincidence that two of the top first baseman in baseball, Gonzalez and Mark Teixeira, are two sides of the Boston-New York coin?

To borrow a line from The Untouchables, "They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue."

It's tit-for-tat, and that's where we are in the best rivalry in sports.

The problem for the Yankees is that the Red Sox are sending way more pinstriped bodies to the morgue.

The Red Sox get up in the morning looking to hurt the Yankees. The competition brings out the best in them.

Some have said that the rivalry has gone stale, and there is some truth to that.

It's almost certain that this year's AL wild card team will come out of the AL East. That means that whichever of these two teams wins the division, the other is likely making the playoffs anyway.

But it's hard to believe either team would settle for simply making the playoffs. No one wants to play second fiddle in this situation.

But so far the Red Sox are the band leaders, and the Yankees have become the roadies.

In Tuesday's matchup, Red Sox DH David Ortiz hit a two-run homer off Yankee reliever Hector Noesi and took a moment to admire his deep drive, flipping his bat before rounding the bases. The hit gave the Red Sox a 6-2 lead and irked Joe Girardi and Russell Martin in the process.

And how do the Yankees respond last night?

They let Ortiz beat them again with a first inning two-run smash again, this time off starter A.J. Burnett.

No brushbacks; No heckling.

The Yankees have simply accepted that the Red Sox are the better team. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted that was the case even before the season started, and fans weren't happy to hear it.

Turns out Cashman was right.

Now one game behind Boston, it might as well be 10 games.

The Red Sox have the Yankees' number. They own the division, the series, the momentum.

They're buying up property in New York and setting up shop.

The Yankees might just have to accept things the way they are.