The New York Yankees’ playoff hopes suffered a blow in a series with the Boston Red Sox that ended on Sunday, as New York was swept in three games.
The Red Sox took the first game on Friday by a score of 8-4 and the second on Saturday 5-1. The Yankees couldn’t salvage anything from the series and were defeated 9-2 for the third time in as many days on Sunday.
“They were tough losses to take in,” said Yankees fan Greg Mascola, a junior. “Not just because we lost by a lot, but because this really hurts the Yankees’ playoff chances and it just had to be the Red Sox to do it.”
The Yankees entered the three-game series just a single game back of the number two wild card spot. With all the momentum swinging their way from a 3-1 series win over Baltimore, a team the Yankees are battling for a final playoff spot, the Yanks could have moved into the playoff picture. Instead, they failed to earn any wins in their last series of the season with Boston.
Red Sox fans like senior Dave Ballan say that they love beating the Yankees, especially if this series sweep amounts to the Yankees failing to qualify for the playoffs.
“It’s such a powerful rivalry, so whenever we beat the Yankees, I’m happy. It’s especially sweet now because I don’t think the Yankees can make the playoffs,” said Ballan.
The Yankees have qualified for the playoffs in 17 of the last 18 seasons.
The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has been famously documented since 1918, when the Red Sox sent superstar Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Ruth was widely considered the best player in the league at the time. Baseball enthusiasts today say that he is still arguably the greatest player of all time.
The trade became known as the curse of the bambino. The Yankees went on to win 26 championships in a span of 86 years while the Red Sox were never crowned champions in that time.
By 2004, the Red Sox broke the curse and surpassed the Yankees as the more dominant team in baseball, winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007.
At this time, the Yankees had not won the World Series since 2000, after being crowned champions three times in a row in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
In 2009, the Yankees reloaded on some big names including ace pitcher CC Sabathia and first baseman Mark Teixeira.
The Yankees went on to win the championship that year and once again became the dominant team in the American League East through the 2012 season.
Last season, the Red Sox spiraled and finished in last place, but they made a trade late in the year to change the course of the franchise from dismal to contenders.
Though the Red Sox got some young talent in their blockbuster trade with the Los Angles Dodgers, the real benefit was what they gave away. They traded first baseman Adrian Gonzalez who was productive, but came with a huge price tag.
Gonzalez’s salary for the 2013 season is $21 million, according to baseballplayersalaries.com, and he won’t become a free agent until 2019.
They also traded outfielder Carl Crawford and pitcher Josh Becket, who were both under-productive and overpaid. This cleared up cap space and allowed the Red Sox to rebuild for the following year.
The Yankees have seen a major decline on the back ends of some of their big contracts, particularly the downward plummet of star pitcher CC Sabathia, now struggling to compete for a starting position. While the Red Sox dumped their bad contracts, the Yankees are still handcuffed by theirs.
Even after Sunday’s game, there is still hope for the Yankees this season. They are still three games out of the second wildcard playoff spot, giving them a punchers chance at finding their way in, currently at a 79-72 record.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox sit comfortably at first in the American League East and boast an MLB best record of 92-60.