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Sense of dread watching Yankees and Red Sox in playoffs

Leslie Monteiro

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The last time the Yankees and Boston Red Sox faced off in the playoffs was October 2004. Everyone remembers the Yankees choking a 3-0 series lead against their AL East archrivals in the American League Championship Series. It was the series that set the stage for the Red Sox finally winning a World Series championship.

The rivalry reached its peak after that. Since then, it has been the Red Sox celebrating two more championships while the Yankees had one championship. Also, the Red Sox have won more series against the Yankees in the regular season. It has not been even for quite some time.

Both teams will meet again in the playoffs for the first time in 14 years on Friday evening at Fenway Park. They will play in the American League Division Series for the right to go to the ALCS.

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It was a matter of time until both teams would play each other for high stakes. It’s surprising that it took 14 years for this to materialize. The Yankees and Red Sox have the highest payroll in baseball every year, so that gives them a chance to play in October and face each other. In a way, it’s a miracle this hasn’t materialized before this year.

The Red Sox built a foundation where they can spend for players, develop players and build a farm system that could use players as assets to make a trade to address their needs. It’s how they won championships in this recent era.

The Yankees are now doing the same thing after spending money on players under the late George Steinbrenner. They even know baseball is a young man’s game, and it means they need to win by developing young players. They finally accomplished that objective by developing players such as Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird. The foundation is in place now for them to compete for championships.

Both teams are in position to play each other in the playoffs for years to come, and that’s bad news for baseball fans who want no part of watching both of them in the postseason.

The last thing a baseball fan wants to hear is how great the Yankees and Red Sox are whether it’s a newspaper, ESPN, MLB Network or any media outlet. For fans that root for a small-market team, it’s a helpless feeling knowing their team has no shot to win a championship as long as the Yankees and Red Sox exist. Think of it as an NBA fan knowing that his or her team has no shot of winning the title as long as the Golden State Warriors are around. 

Living in a North Jersey that is pro-Yankee, it makes me sick to deal with Yankees fans and Red Sox fans talking about how great their team is. Just reading about the Yankees and Red Sox in my newspaper make me want to squirm so much that I am not buying the New York Post until the ALDS is over. Forget listening to sports radio, too.
The fanbases for both teams are insufferable. They know nothing about baseball. It’s hard to have a conversation with a Yankees and Red Sox fan since their mentality is their team is better and your team sucks. They are obnoxious, and they are not shy to let anyone know how good their team is.

At one time, the Red Sox fans were fun to talk baseball. That was before their team won championships. Their passion for their team made it easy for anyone to root for the Red Sox, especially in 2003 and 2004. But since the Red Sox won three championships, their fanbase has behaved like a diva. It got old hearing them crying about suffering, and it also got tiredsome hearing them talk about what a passionate fanbase they are.

The Red Sox fans have now become the new generation of Yankees fans.

As for Yankees fans, they ain’t good, either.They never were. If anything, they have gotten worse more than ever since their team became a World Series contender last year.

It’s going to stink knowing someone was going to win the series. It will be doubly painful if either the Yankees or Red Sox win the World Series.

There are no winners in this. It’s hard to root for either of them.

It’s understandable why baseball fans would be turned off from it. There’s no hiding from it, either since ESPN and MLB Network will beat this series to death.

They have no choice but to grin and bear it.

Leslie Monteiro is a syndicated sports columnist who writes about the Tri-State area teams for the Upstate Courier. He is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and can be reached on Twitter @MongoGoesInSane.