Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why Can't We Be Friends? (Part 3 in a Series)

In an effort to deconstruct the rivalries within baseball, we decided to get to the bottom of the mother of all baseball rivalries: Yankees/Red Sox. We went about it in a more intelligent way than our investigation into the Mets/Phillies rivalry (we promise to revisit this at a later time when we can get more Phillies fan participation). Since we don't know many Red Sox fans personally, we waited for a Yankees/Red Sox game and for the Red Sox fans to come to us...sort of. In order to conduct thorough research, we got tickets to Saturday night's debacle of a game. Thinking that drunk fans would be the best fans to talk to, we paid Billy's a visit prior to the game. Here's what actually happened at Billy's:
Note: This is a recreation of what happened at Billy's. This was taken at Croxley's. No relation to Billy's.
Billy's is now a bumping bar/club with neon lights, staircases, a dance floor, real working DJ playing AMAZING music, and douchebags galore! We bought beers and starting getting down to Montel Jordan, Justin Timberlake, Eminem, House of Pain, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and just all around greatness. The music was so loud that we could barely hear each other rapping along with Will Smith, therefore conversations with complete strangers proved difficult. Lisa DID spot Serena's soul mate (as she described it: "He looks like Justin Verlander in a Bernie Williams jersey!"), but it turned out that he was already humping another girl...which is awkward. Also, there were hardly any Red Sox fans at the bar, which was the whole point in us going there. Next thing we know, we're 2 beers in and Auntiedukes is texting Serena to let her know that she's arrived.

Unsuccessful, we left Billy's to meet Auntiedukes and Uncle Alan in front of Gate 4 for the game. Once inside the stadium, we headed up to our section. Auntiedukes and Uncle Alan went to our seats immediately while we went in search of food...cos' we're fat. Lisa finally got her Lobel's steak sandwich and Serena tried the chicken sliders for the first time. Lisa's sandwich/fries combo was $20 and Serena's platter was $12. We each got a souvenir beer for $11 (it was a new cup...we obviously needed it). By the way, Lisa loved her sandwich. Anyone who doesn't enjoy the Lobel's steak sandwich is un-American. And probably an a-hole.
When we got to our seats, Uncle Alan turned to us and said, "you guys hit the jackpot. Look who is sitting behind us." Behold: Zack and Sarah.
As you can see, Zack is a Sox fan and Sarah is a Yankees fan. They've known each other for a year and it seems like they get along pretty well considering they're sitting on opposite sides of the fan spectrum. When we began questioning them, Sarah admitted that she wasn't as big of a baseball fan as Zack, so she wasn't as passionate. She did not hate the Red Sox, but Zack was pretty clear on why he hated the Yankees. He felt that the team spent way too much money on fielding an All Star team instead of developing their own prospects (though he did admit that they've been better about this of late) and while they're willing to just pay the luxury tax, other teams like the Twins and A's have difficulties attracting the big name free agents to their market. Both looked forward to the Yankees/Red Sox matchups because it was "more exciting" and Zack referenced that they were usually the nationally television games because people care more.

We didn't meet our next Red Sox fan until later. In the meantime, we watched Phil Hughes let the game slip through his fingers in his signature style: via the home run. In this case, it came as grand slam off the bat of Mike Napoli.
Apparently the action was so stimulating that this man in front of us couldn't tear his eyes away from Candy Crush:
We decided it was time to take a potty break and while we're were at it, we'd search for a Red Sox fan to talk to. As we walked down the ramp, we passed a group of fans taking a picture. We couldn't figure out exactly what was going on, but it seemed like the tall girl who was the subject of the photo intended to pull herself up on the beam and do some sort of pull-up type pose. What happened instead was that she attempted to lift herself and then fell flat on her back. Being the mature adults that we are, we burst out laughing. In fact, Lisa also added, "my friend does way cooler yoga moves than that and she's never fallen on her ass." It just so happens that we ended up laughing with our next Red Sox fan, Justin (who was truly a darling young man).
Justin is a Red Sox fan hailing from the Fairfield area. He hates the Yankees because he had grown up in a Red Sox household hating the Yankees (this seemed to be a common theme among the fans we pooled). He also added that he even likes the city of Boston better than New York. The people are more low-key and Fenway is better than Yankee Stadium, citing its historical factor. Serena then asked if he'd been to the former Yankee Stadium. He had and he liked the old stadium better than the new one. Interesting...

Since Justin is in Fairfield, he falls into the tri-state network area and only gets Red Sox games when they play the Yankees, so that's why he looks forward to these matchups. Justin also hobbled down half a ramp with us on a broken leg for no reason to do this interview, so we thank him and hope he's feeling better!

On our way back to our seats, we met Kelly and Derek, who've been married for 5 years (in fact, the game was on their anniversary so happy anniversary to them!). They don't argue about their teams, but according to Kelly, Derek tends to pick on her a lot.
Both cite growing up in a Red Sox/Yankees household as being the reason behind their animosity for the opposing team. As Kelly put it, she was "born that way." Kelly looks forward to these games because there's no bigger rivalry around whereas Derek was wishy-washy about the whole thing as he "has no time for 5-hour games."

We returned to our seats in time to witness the true meltdown. The only good thing to come out of this game is the fact that we're pretty sure Ichiro Suzuki and Kevin Youkilis read our blog (which probably gives Youk really low self-esteem) because both men came out songs we suggested on our "at bat" blog post. Ichiro came out to Snoop Dogg's "Drop it like it's Hot" and Youk came out to Eminem's "Til' I Collapse." Well done, fellas. On the field, it was an anal raping. In fact, by the top of the 9th inning when Jarrod Salty hit a ground rule double over Gardy's head, Serena muttered, "your mother's a whore, Tribek." Which has absolutely nothing to do with baseball. Or Salty. Obviously the heat and the outcome of this game had led to a complete mental breakdown. In our notebook, Serena also wrote, "Yankees - pack of a-holes." So that should pretty much sum up our night.

Our next Yankees fan in question is James.
As you can see, James is a Yankees fan. James is one of the few fans who gave us a pretty detailed reason for hating the Red Sox that did not include, "I grew up in a Yankees household." Of course, James hates the Red Sox for being division rivals, but it goes deeper than that. "I didn't always hate them this much. I used to hate the Sox like you hate some annoying kid in your class that isn't really a threat to you, but just kinda pisses you off. But since 04', it's been different. Now the Red Sox are a significant threat and they humiliated us in the worst way. I [also] feel that they have this undeserved underdog reputation as a scrappy team. In reality, they are one of the richest teams in all of sports and are consistently among the highest payroll teams. I realize that they still spend far less than the Yankees, but their fans (real and recent) have this smugness about them that they are the good guys simply because they aren't the Yankees. That's what I hate. The fact that in reality, they are the team most like the Yankees, but are perceived to be the anti-Yankees."

Meet Herv:
You might remember Herv from our blog last season featuring his son, Aidan, who has awesome dance moves. Herv hates how Red Sox fans "flex their muscle when the score is 27-2 [World Series championships] over the last 100 years." He looks forward to this series. It's probably why he continues to stay in touch with his family members in Mass so that he can throw it in their faces when the Yankees win. Sounds very stable.

Our last Yankees fan is Lauren D. (with Curtis Granderson...which pretty much qualifies her as a Yankees fan):
Lauren hates the Red Sox because they've always been the Yankees' biggest competition. She looks forward to these games because of the "playoff" feel these games tend to have. They always bring in the big crowds and the stadium's atmosphere becomes "electric." "I guess that's why they hike up the prices for these games."

Our "last" Red Sox fans interviewed really weren't last at all. Lauren works with Serena at her proper adult job and was nice enough to drag her husband, Sal into this nonsense. Lauren and Sal were technically the first fans interviewed since Serena talked to them before the game.
Lauren and Sal are married Red Sox fans. Sal's father was an Orioles fan and since he didn't want to root for the same team as his dad [we're always so nice to our parents when we're younger, aren't we? (:], he chose the Red Sox (his best friend was also a Red Sox fan, so it was a natural fit) and as a result, just grew up hating the Yankees. Lauren doesn't hate the Yankees, but she wouldn't necessarily root for them. She became a Red Sox fan while attending college in Rhode Island, where everyone was a Red Sox fan. She didn't grow up having a "team," so she just joined the fun while at school. Like most fans, Sal enjoys the playoff atmosphere that comes when the Red Sox and Yankees face each other. While Lauren also finds it exciting, it "also annoys me how crazy the games/fans can get. Love and support your team, don't bash the other." Well said, Lauren!!!

Across the board, most of our fans haven't had negative experiences with the opposing team's fans. Serena was starting to feel like she went to school in the Twilight Zone because thanks to her brief period at Emerson College, she had a lifetime of negative experiences with Red Sox fans. Only Lauren D. witnessed a man throw another man down a few rows of seats (which is absolutely terrifying) and Herv had a personal experience with a Red Sox fan. In Herv's case, his own cousin took his $109 Matsui jersey and threw it into a bucket of red paint because the Red Sox lost to the Yankees. His own family. So...that's a win. Lauren D. did make a good point about how the rivalry between the teams has changed over the last few years, which may have something to do with the positive responses we received from our fans. "During 2002-2009(ish), it seemed to me that the players really hated each other. AROD and Varitek got into it, Pedro Martinez and basically every Yankee got into it. That's when things were really intense. Now, it's still intense, but the players are more friendly." Derek Jeter needs to stop being the mayor and talking to everyone and their mother while he's standing in the infield, whether he's at short or on base. That's what that means. Stop asking the traveling gnome, Dustin Pedroia, how his wife and kids are. In fact, punch him in the d*ck. That'll make for great television and spice up the rivalry! : ) If the players aren't going to fight, we, as fans, aren't going to fight. We're all too nicey nice.

Most of the Red Sox fans didn't have a team they hated more than the Yankees, BUT both Zack and Kelly noted their disdain for the Miami Heat. Sal's reasoning is that "nothing compares to the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. Biggest one in sports," Duke/UNC the only rivalry to come close (by the way, he hates Duke). Lauren was the happy go-lucky fan in the mix, saying she loved all baseball teams ("especially the ones with the cute players") because the "games are fun, the weather is great, the sport is a pastime. Having a team to love and support, even when they are losing is the best." On this subject, our Yankees fans were a different story. Derek hated the Patriots (it seems that the common theme is to hate other sports' teams more) and Herv hated both the Patriots and Celtics more, saying "if they lose, I have a good day. Funny how a team's success or lack thereof is tied to me having a good day, but I'm a sports nut." Both Sarah and Lauren D. said they hated the Mets more, but more for the fans than the team. As Sarah put it, "it's more of a rivalry within your own city and it's fun to have a friendly competition with your friends who are Mets fans." In all of our years being annoyed by a-holes during the Subway Series, this concept never dawned on us, so it was really interesting to hear this point of view. James hates the White Sox, so apparently he is Sox-prejudiced. He enjoys traveling to watch the Yankees play at other stadiums and he has never "experienced the venom that he received at the Cell [US Cellular Field]...some drunk chick White Sox fan tried to fight my mother." Who does that? Who picks a fight with someone's mother?

Everyone, except Herv seems to think their team is going to take this weekend's series. Herv feels that Buccholz is really tough and the Yankees offense has sucked recently. Kuroda would have to match him inning for inning in order for the Yankees to beat the Red Sox. Almost everyone seems confident that their team will take the division as well. Only James and Herv offered alternate options. James thinks the best team in the East is Tampa Bay, BUT still admitted that "the Replacement Yanks have performed and kept them in the race. I wouldn't be surprised if, as they get healthy, they find a way to win the East." Herv felt that if the Yankees didn't take the division, the Orioles would, saying that "I don't believe the Sox are as good as they seem right now."

Since everyone seems so nice to each other now, we weren't really able to dissect this rivalry too much either. We were hoping for some serious animosity and we didn't get it. Maybe we need a time machine to go back to the era Lauren D. referenced. There's a little bit of, "I grew up hating the Red Sox/Yankees," a little bit of, "the Yankees have too much money," and a dash of, "the Red Sox are delusional if they think they don't spend a crap ton of money too." That seems to be the crux of it.

Are you a Yankees or Red Sox fan with additional thoughts? Post a comment!


  1. OK, first, it's "Yankee Stadium" not "Yankees Stadium"

    Second, the Sox won in 15, 16, and it's not 27-2 in the last 100 years.

    Which is the main problem I have with Yankees fans...that they actually think it matters to this series in June 2013 which team won the World Series in 1916.

    1. Okay, simmer down. There's no need for you to get snippy with us for reporting on what other people had to say.

  2. Obviously I meant the other guy...not you!

    1. Then obviously specify that you are talking to Herv and not the entire Yankees community, of which 1/2 of this blog writing team consists of!

      You've been so unfeisty on your Twatter account. Go back to being an unfeisty person.

  3. Thanks for the 'hero' plug. It's nice to be appreciated! As far as the 'haters' go, I really don't think that there's a team I hate right now. I used to really dis-like the ChiSox, because they seemed to be a team the Tigers just couldn't beat, and I thought that Ozzie Guillen was a complete d/bag.

    1. Of course we appreciate you!! :)

      And Ozzie Guillen IS a d-bag. Present tense, not past. LOL

  4. I gotta wonder what's up with the water in the Northeast part of the country . . . someone must be dumping zanax into the Boston water supply. This IS kinda like traveling to the Twilight Zone when Sox fans are not willing to fire one across the bow.

    Or . . . . maybe its a territory issue. I'm doubting that if you went to Fenway, you'd find the denizens of that Shrine of Baseball purity quite so warm and fuzzy when it came to the rivalry.

    I think, ladies, THAT may be at the core of the reason most baseball fans have a special place in their hearts for the Yankees, and by extension, their fans. You can't even get into a decent baseball smack down with a Yankees fan without hearing the 27 World Championship pop out of their mouth within the first 5 seconds. ( I also think its interesting that the only obnoxious fan you interviewed was Herv, who in turn complained about how obnoxious Sox fans were for flexing their muscles, then spouts off with the 27 Championships line. Really Herv? Not seeing this are you? )

    I mean, fine, Yankee have more stinking Championships than anyone, we all get that. But do you have to go all elitist on us every time we just want some nice banter? Sheesh its like Nuclear First Strike when you talk to Yankees fans. You guys actually exist in an entirely different world than all of us. (Obviously, I am not talking about Serena here, who I find charming and adorable . . . even when she is talking smack )

    Anyway, back to my original point . . . There is something seriously wrong with the rivalry if you can't get any dirt. But, far be it from me to let things go all huggy kissy. Let me supply some fuel.

    Back in 2000 I was attending a training seminar in the month of October. The trainer of the seminar was from New York and a Yankees fan, and, because the setting was pretty informal, at lunch we all sat at a conference table and talked about normal stuff, i.e. baseball.

    Now this yahoo could not contain himself about how cool the impending World Series between the Bombers and The Mets was gonna be, and this just had to be the ultimate World Series, didn't we all think?

    Seriously dude?

    I literally had to take a deep breath and try to explain to him that no one in the entire country cared much for his little fantasy, that the folks in California were not going to miss dinner to watch the intramural scrimmage between two New York teams. And the worst part about this is . . . I doubt a Mets fans would have made the same assumption. As sociopathic as Mets fans can be ( Obviously I am not talking about Lisa here, who I find charming and ador. . . wait, Lisa can be a little unbalanced . . . hmmm ), I think they understand, like the rest of us, how obnoxious it is for Yankees fans to pop out the 27 C word every chance they get.

    For the REST of the country, The Yankees-Red Sox is a CLASSIC rivalry, and we almost all fall on one side. Literally I think 95 percent of all other fans are Red Sox fans when it comes to a game between the two teams. And while we all know that fans of the opposing teams are a-holes when that team is playing Yours, we give the Sox fans a pass on this one, because we are jealous, and sick and tired of the Yankees getting all the fun, just like the Red Sox fans are. And, isn't that what being a FAN is kinda about;, envy and jealousy ? Unless of course you win 1 out of 4 World Series over the last 100 years.

    Okay . . Okay . . . (takes another deep breath) . . . . That all being said . . . St. Louis is the REAL obnoxious team. And as far as fans . . . nah, Phillies fans are the worst, just ask anyone.

    1. Okay, we are not responding to every single point you've made here. You've written a blog on our blog. But we will address certain parts.
      1. 27 championships. Lisa has not once heard Serena mention that number or that word in the entire time that she's known her. Is it an impressive historical statistic? Absolutely. However, as Babe Ruth once said, "yesterday's home runs don't win today's games." A championship last year does not equate to a championship this year. That's not how it works. If that was the case, as Islanders fans, we'd still be clinging desperate life raft labeled "Stanley Cup Champions 1980-1983."

      Also a random worthwhile note, while in college in Boston, Serena met a lot of students that traveling from Europe, India, and Asia to the United States to pursue higher learning. They cared nothing for the Red Sox or Yankees, only that they found it incredibly arrogant and American that the MLB would call its championship series the "World Series" when it only featured teams from North America whereas the World Cup features opponents from many nations. Just food for thought.
      2. As for the Subway Series, you are wrong on the assumption that only Yankees fans were excited for it. We felt it stupid and annoying. In fact, the same people who were excited for that series were also excited at the prospect of a Jets/Giants Super Bowl. That's not exciting. It's just dumb. And stressful.

    2. Sorry . . . sometimes I talk a lot too.

      One point, I didn't mean only Yankees fans were excited for a subway series, I meant that this particular Yankees fan thought everyone in the country would be excited for it.

      And obviously, as I mentioned, Serena is not your typical Yankees fan, and the fact she doesn't brag on the Championship things is just another indication of it.

  5. would be cool if Ichiro drops down a drag bunt when he walks out to Drop It Like It's Hot.

    no Bucky F'in Dent comments? no Evil Empire? no FU Johnny Damon? what kind of Red Sox fans are these...

    1. Apparently we got sedated red sox fans. They were all a nice bunch we must say.