New York Yankees: 5 Reasons They Hate the Boston Red Sox
For over a hundred years, Red Sox players, management and fans have held nothing back when the New York Yankees emerge as a topic of discussion.
The rivalry has turned into not only the most prominent in the U.S., but possibly even the world.
Boston’s hatred of the pinstripes goes back to the legendary “Curse of the Bambino,” where Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth for $100,000 cash in what would be known as one of the worst trades in sports history.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Yankees would tear through the twenties and thirties, winning four World Series to the Red Sox three with Ruth in the lineup.
Some of the younger readers may remember Aaron Boone’s blast off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2003, a home run that would live in infamy and deny the Sox of yet another World Series.
The Sox would achieve redemption against their old rivals the following year and break the curse.
So, the Sox hate the Yankees, we got that, but where does the Yankees hatred of the Sox come from?
Here I’ll take you on a trip through time, laying out the origins of the Bronx Bombers ingrained hatred of the Boston Red Sox.
Believe it or not, before the legendary “Curse of the Bambino,” the Red Sox were actually quite good.
In fact, the Boston Americans, now Red Sox, won the first ever World Series in 1903, a feat they continue to take credit for to this day.
They led the Majors in pitching and hitting, and beat the New York Highlanders, now Yankees, in 13 out of 20 games.
They ended the 1903 season with a 91-47 record and a special place in history.
The Sox would go on to be one of the best teams in baseball over the next 15 years, recording 12 winning seasons, five division titles and taking home five World Series.
Prior to 2003, Sox fans leaned on their early success to combat Yankee fan’s heckling during their 85-year World Series championship drought.
The Red Sox success in baseball’s infancy set the foundation for what the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is today.
1973: Munson vs. Fisk
August 1, 1973 may have marked the beginning of Yankee fans’ hatred towards the Sox beginning with catcher Carlton Fisk.
It was a 2-2 game in the top of the ninth when Yankee catcher Thurman Munson, expecting a suicide squeeze, took off from third, attempting to score the go-ahead run.
Gene Michael whiffed on the bunt and Munson lowered his right shoulder into the mask of Sox catcher Carlton Fisk.
Benches cleared, punches were thrown and the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry took an ugly turn.
Those 10 minutes of madness would be the first step in a staircase full of incidents over the next 40 years. Much of the grittiness of this rivalry can be attributed to what went down on that warm summer day in 1973.
1975: Pinella vs. Fisk
The sequel to the Munson-Fisk faceoff came in 1975 when “Sweet” Lou Pinella attempted to score from second on a single by Otto Velez.
Pinella rounded third and, like Munson, was on a direct course with Fisk’s head. The collision at home resulted in, once again, punches being thrown and the benches clearing.
If it was any other matchup, the teams likely would have gone back to their respective dugouts and resumed play, but this isn’t just any other matchup.
Before play resumed, the Yankees’ third baseman Greg Nettles began jawing at Boston pitcher Bill Lee. The dugouts cleared again and a barrage of punches were thrown.
Fisk was injured in the chaos.
This was ideally the turning point in the rivalry. No longer were these isolated incidents between the teams. Now, it was personal.
Fast forwarding three decades, the Yankee hatred towards the Red Sox was undeniable.
Growing up in a family of soccer players, I never fully comprehended the hatred Yankee fans had towards the Red Sox...that is until I watched the 2003 ALCS.
The drama began in Game 3 when Sox ace Pedro Martinez drilled Karim Garcia in the ribs. Garcia exchanged a few choice words with the Red Sox righty and the benches cleared, but nothing malicious came of it.
In the bottom half of the inning with Roger Clemens on the mound and Manny Ramirez at the plate, Clemons threw one high and inside. This time, to call what occurred next malicious would be an understatement.
One of the most intense brawls ever seen in baseball followed. In the chaos, Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer was shoved to the ground by Martinez.
The game proceeded until the ninth inning when Yankee reliever Jeff Nelson and Garcia got in an altercation with a groundskeeper in the bullpen.
Boston Police claimed the groundskeeper was provoked by Nelson and Garcia.
The Yankees would go on to win the ALCS, but lose the World Series to the Florida Marlins.
For younger fans, this is the moment that lives in infamy, a moment that will never be forgotten.
Yankee fans you knew this was coming.
Down 3-0, the resilient Red Sox fought back to win the next four games in the ALCS.
Heart-breaking, agitating and unbelievable are just some of the words that could be used to describe what occurred that October in 2004.
The Oritiz walk-off home run in extra innings in Game 4, another Ortiz single in the ninth in Game 5, the “bloody sock” performance of Schilling in Game 6 and, of course, the slaughter which occurred in Game 7 all factored into the undeniable, No. 1 reason the Yankees absolutely hate the Red Sox.
Never has baseball seen a playoff series comeback down three games to none, and it likely never will again.
Follow David A. Cucchiara on Twitter @cucch22