Champs Playing Themselves Into Unfamiliar Territory

Off to their worst 25-game start since 1996, seeing the champs playing themselves into unfamiliar territory is a little more than concerning. As we know, the Red Sox have won 4 World Series championships in the last 15 years. From 1967-’82, the Sox put together 16 consecutive winning seasons, and 14 more from 1998-2011, Since the inauguration of the AL East in 1969, Boston has won the division in three consecutive seasons just once. That accomplishment came to fruition last year in 2018, as the team won AL East titles from 2016-’18. Plain and simple, the Red Sox don’t like losing.

Since 1967, which is regarded as the “Impossible Dream Team” season of the franchise,champs playing Boston’s longest stretch of consecutive losing seasons is just 3, from 1992-’94. In ’92, they went 73-89. A year later, 80-82, and 54-61 in ’94 (the lockout shortened the 1994 season to 115 games). In 2012, after the team changed managers from Terry Francona to Bobby Valentine, the team finished in last place with a 69-93 record. Through Boston’s first 25 games that season, they had 11 wins, which is one more than this year’s 10.

In 2014, a year removed from winning their 8th World Series, the Sox finished last again with a 71-91 record. The following season resulted in consecutive last place finishes in the AL East (78-84). It was the first time the Sox finished in last place in consecutive seasons in the history of the AL East.

So, can they still turn it around?

I believe they can salvage a 90-win season, but it’ll be tough. In 2010 and ’11, they started 11-14 each year. They missed the playoffs, but not by much. They reached 89 wins in ’10 and 90 wins in ’11. The Sox had a chance to make the postseason on the last day of the season in 2011, but a loss to the then last place Orioles had them ousted.

The Sox swept the Rays on the road last weekend and came home to play the Tigers on Monday, which began a 10-game home stand. Monday’s game was washed out by rain. Boston responded, discouragingly, with back-to-back losses in Tuesday’s double header. They won last night in impressive fashion, 11-4. The series finale is tonight. I believe if they win tonight, and split the series, it would be a huge win.

Champs Playing A Tough Schedule In May

They begin a tough 3-game set with Tampa Bay on Friday, where they will have to face Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow on the mound, again. April has clearly been a lost month for the Sox. They begin May with one game at home against the A’s. They will have to face Seattle, Colorado, Houston twice, the Indians, and the Yankees all in May. Things do not get any easier.

1960s Turmoil Intensified Yankees Resentment

Ever since April of 1912 when the Boston Red Sox played their first game against the New York Yankees (known as the Highlanders back then) there’s been an intense rivalry against the fans of both teams. For years, the chants of “Yankees Suck” have echoed throughout Fenway Park whenever the Yankees come to Boston. Red Sox fans, and many fans in general, hate the Yankees. How many know why? 1960s turmoil intensified Yankees resentment, which in turn intensified the rivalry.

People in the 1960s rebelled against authority. President Nixon wasn’t a popular guy,1960s Turmoil Intensified Yankees Resentment especially after doing little to de-escalate the Vietnam War that President Johnson had lost control over. People resented President Nixon because he was stubborn and powerful and couldn’t relate to most people, much like the Yankees. They were seen as the authority, the very figures that represented everything that war protesters and Civil Rights activists were fighting against. This came as a result of years of dominance in Major League Baseball where the Yankees were seen as a powerhouse— a team stacked with so much power that few other teams had little chance.

1960s Turmoil Intensified Yankees Resentment

Later in the decade, protesters saw the Yankees as a team that wielded too much power and yielded next to nothing to the underdog. That’s why everyone in New York City flocked to the New York Mets in the late 1960s. The Mets symbolized John Q. Taxpayer, a beacon of hope to former Brooklyn Dodger fans still reeling from their departure to California. The Mets represented the idea that things could get better for the little man, especially after years of finishing in the cellar in the National League. Since the Yankees had accumulated so much power and authority by then, they were rejected along with the rest of the establishment.

Even after George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in the 1970s they continued to be seen as the establishment. The famous baseball writer Roger Angell once said that winning isn’t fun if it continues forever. The Yankees exemplified that by winning generic World Series trophies with little or no effort. Players like Wade Boggs signed with the Yankees because they knew they’d get that World Series ring, but for what? Hard work and effort? Doubtful.

The Red Sox Yankees Rivalry Intensifies

The Red Sox, on the other hand, despite going 86 years without winning a title of their own, won titles in 2004, 2007, and 2013 in spectacular fashion. They won with teamwork, utilizing the brilliant strategy authored by Billy Beane in Moneyball. It was a team effort that won those World Series, not the doing of one man like Joe DiMaggio or Reggie Jackson. No, as 1960s turmoil intensified Yankees resentment, other teams finally got the chance that had always been denied to them.

There’s a reason why the Yankees are called the Evil Empire. The Red Sox, on the other hand, represent all of New England, the very place where many of the Founding Fathers lived. Like the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox prove that anything is possible. Like the Miracle Mets of ’69, the Red Sox Impossible Dream Team of 1967 gave hope to Boston during a time of political and social strife, while 1960s turmoil intensified Yankees resentment. The Red Sox represent all that is great about New England and America because it was hard-earned and didn’t come without patience and determination. That’s why they’ll always be better than the Yankees.