Taking Comfort From The Red Sox

When speaking about the New York Yankees, there’s always a mention of the lore, the past, the ghosts, the history. The Yankees are the most storied franchise in sports. No other team on the planet comes very close. They are also the best known brand in sports. Much like Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse, there’s not a country you could travel to that doesn’t have a navy blue baseball cap with that white interlocking “NY” on somebody’s head.

The Yanks are the most successful team in sports history. They have won their championship 27 times over their 110 year existence. But, of course, they are also among the most hated teams by their rivals because of that. And it seems that nobody wants to see the Yankees win anything.

Now, the Bronx Bombers biggest rivals are the Boston Red Sox. Of course, this dates way back to the famed year of 1919. The Yankees, an upstart, hapless and unsuccessful franchise at the time acquired the services of a pitcher named George Herman Ruth, who the Red Sox sold to them for cash, and history was made. Babe Ruth became an outfielder and also became the centerpiece that the Yankees built their team (and their stadium) around, and suddenly it was the New Yorkers, not the Bostonians, celebrating victory after victory, year after year.

Flash ahead to 2004 and the American League Championship Series. Another Yankees v. Red Sox series. Just the year before, the Yanks dispatched their New England counterparts with a bottom of the 11th walk off home run from Aaron Boone, to end the series and send the NY into yet another World Series. And in this ALCS, the Yankees had a stranglehold on the Sox, holding a 3-0 lead as they were about to play game 4. and after the bludgeoning the Yank bats gave Boston in that 3rd game, it looked very bad for their side.

The Yankees held the lead in both games 4 and 5, but couldn’t hold on, and the Red Sox forced the issue by jumping out early in their game 6 mode, and absolutely demolished the Yanks in game 7 to become the first team in Major League Baseball to rally from an 0-3 deficit to win their series.

The 2010 Yankees’ challenge isn’t quite as difficult as that, as they do have a victory in the series, but we can look to the 2004 ALCS as an inspiration. The Red Sox of that year were clearly a worthy team and a team of ability and character. Though they were on the brink of elimination for the bulk of the series, they did not give up. They didn’t quit, didn’t feel sorry for themselves, didn’t complain and didn’t lose!

So, we look to the ghosts of the past, and we see that the teams that have the mettle, the determination, the burning desire to win, to make it through adversity, to continue to play the game the right way and who don’t curl up at the first sign of trouble are the ones that get the accolades, the headlines, the ticker tape parades through the Canyon of Heroes.

CC Sabathia hurls for the Yankees later this afternoon. As Derek Jeter, captain of the team explained, you have to win games one at a time. We’re just looking to get a win.

Let the history lesson start, today.

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