July 17, 2013
Red Sox Not Only Team That Hates Yankees
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
The standing ovation Mariano Rivera got at Tuesday night's All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York was well deserved.
And all New Yorkers loved it. Even those loyal to the Mets had to acknowledge the all-time saves leader, a sure Hall of Famer, and a classy individual. Rivera is retiring at year's end, and like many other All-Stars before him, he got to have one last day in the sun on baseball's midsummer national stage.
It was rigged for him to either finish the game or set up the closer. Rivera pitched the eighth inning just in case the NL rallied down 3-0. Joe Nathan of Texas was to pitch the ninth. As it turned out, the NL did not rally, Rivera pitched the eighth, Nathan the ninth, and Rivera got game MVP.
Of course, in New England, the point of view is quite different. No one up here likes to see Yankee players feted like that. No Red Sox fan likes to see Rivera pitch because it means the Sox are losing and surely destined to lose (except for 2004). Rivera got MVP because there were no other viable candidates and he was a sentimental choice. It turned into a big Rivera love-fest. Thank goodness Neil Diamond was there for some balance in the evening.
But step back for a second and ponder this: Is it only Red Sox fans who hate to see this sort of thing? Are there other teams out there who hate the Yankees too? Maybe not as much as the Red Sox, but is there a lot of enmity when you see the pinstripes and their shrine in Yankee Stadium?
Believe it or not, there are other teams out there with as much, if not more, reason to despise the Yankees. The Yankees are a regional rivalry that got big almost a hundred years ago when Babe Ruth was sold down the river. But over the years, the Yankees have broken other teams' hearts and not just your team.
With that, here are the top ten non-Red Sox baseball teams who hate the Yankees, with the highest honor going to the team that has the most reason to hate them.
#10 -- Rays
The Rays hate the Red Sox more than they hate the Yankees. But make no mistake, the Yankees get under their skin, too. Though their fans would not make you believe such, the Rays want to be where the Yankees are. The Yankees are just as much a division rival to them as the Red Sox are. 2008 remains the franchise's one moment of high glory, but they lost the World Series to the Phillies in 5 games that year.
If the Rays are to attain the sustained greatness they wish to have, they will tell you that it is the Yankees they aspire to be like, not the Red Sox. The record unfortunately bears that out. Since 1996, the Yankees have finished first in the AL East in all but four seasons. In two of those four seasons, it was the Rays that got first place. The Rays suddenly came of age in 2008 when they dropped the name "Devil" from their brand, and can match the Yankees pitcher for pitcher. Once they get offense and fan support like the Yankees and Red Sox have, watch out.
#9 -- Athletics
This dates back a few years, but Oakland has never beaten the Yankees in a postseason series of any kind. 2001 remains the most galling of all, and it cuts deeper considering Billy Martin at one time managed both teams.
Along with the Twins, the Athletics are the biggest argument against sabermetrics and small ball. They design a team that can win a weak division but then get killed in the playoffs. This wasn't really the case in 1981, when the playoffs were altered following a strike year. There were two tiers of playoffs heading into the World Series that year, much like it is today, and the A's lost the ALCS in three straight to the Yankees. That was the series where the wave was invented, and "BillyBall" took over Oakland thanks to Martin at the helm, but the Yankees blanked them en route to a World Series loss to the Dodgers.
The sabermetric issue comes into play in more recent times. In 2000 and 2001, the Yankees beat the A's in five games to advance to the LCS. The 2001 series is famous for that crazy play at the plate where Derek Jeter caught a relay throw from the outfield and backhanded a throw that cut down Jason Giambi (while he was with Oakland) at the plate (though replays show that the call could have gone either way). "BillyBall" now refers to Billy Beane, the A's GM, who creates playoff teams from literally scraps, but in the playoffs, teams like the Yankees and, in more recent years, the Tigers, show that they are better equipped to go deep in the playoffs.
#8 -- Rangers
This franchise, which began in 1961 as the second Washington Senators franchise, went from 1961 to 1995 without even a whiff of the playoffs. Then from 1996 to 1999, they made the postseason in three out four seasons. But they lost each time in the playoffs to the Yankees. They won one game in 1996 and were swept in the other series.
In more recent years the Rangers have been able to make it to the World Series, but lost both fall classics they were in. The Rangers of today know better how to handle the postseason. But it didn't used to be that way, and the Yankees were the reason why.
Of course, in each of those three earlier playoff seasons, the Yankees went on to win the World Series.
#7 -- Phillies
The Phillies don't have a ton of World Series memories to fall back on. Consider that they were born in 1883 and didn't win their first World Series until 1980. They have won two World Series and lost five. One of those losses was to the Red Sox, in 1915.
But two of those losses were to the Yankees. The 1950 Whiz Kids were overmatched by a powerful Yankees team in the midst of winning five World Series in a row. 2009 is what might make Philly fans a bit prickly when they think of the Yankees.
The Yankees had just signed Mark Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia in the offseason, and the last thing anyone outside of Gotham wanted to see was those guys get a ring that quickly. The Phillies won the pennant but got zinged in six games by a Yankee squad that hadn't been to the World Series since 2003 nor won one since 2000. Only Yankee fans took any delight in seeing this triumph.
The enduring image of that series was seeing Pedro Martinez return to Yankee Stadium for Game 6, which turned out to be the clincher for the Yankees. Pedro got the "Who's Your Daddy" treatment, he loved it, but he simply could not force a Game 7. Martinez is now a consultant to the Red Sox, and neither the Phillies nor Yankees have been back to the Big Show since.
#6 -- Braves
Jim Leyritz. "Nuf Ced!", McGreevey shouted.
The Braves had the Yankees by the throat in 1996, winning the first two games of the World Series in Yankee Stadium. But the Braves surrendered the next four, including all three in Atlanta. Game 4 featured that improbable homer by Leyritz, which became the enduring symbol of that series.
All in all, the Braves and Yankees have met four times, with the Braves winning in 1957 (based in Milwaukee) and the Yankees winning in 1958, 1996 and 1999. The last two losses were really bothersome to the Braves, who had their glittering pitching staff (Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz) but could only win one World Series with all the division titles they won (1995). The 1996 loss is the most storied, while the 1999 loss was a four-game sweep.
#5 -- Giants
This is an antiquated rivalry. These teams last met in a World Series in 1962, and have no relevant history since. This is why the Giants don't rank higher in this list.
But old timers might disagree. The Giants and Yankees have met seven times in a World Series. The Giants won the first two (1921 and 1922), but the Yankees have won the last five. After the "Shot Heard ‘Round The World" home run by Bobby Thomsen to win the 1951 pennant, the Giants went on to lose in six games to the Yankees to take much of the luster off that epic homer. The 1962 loss, the only one in San Francisco, might be more painful as Willie McCovey barely missed a walkoff two-run single in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7. His liner was snared by second baseman Bobby Richardson to end the series.
Three inches higher, lamented Giant fans.
#4 -- Royals
This team hasn't even been in the playoffs since they won the 1985 World Series. The halcyon days of this franchise was from 1976 to 1985, where they were perennial playoff contenders and made the postseason in seven out of ten seasons.
In three of those seven playoff seasons, they resulted in losses to the Yankees. Beginning with Chris Chambliss' walkoff home run to win the 1976 AL pennant, the Royals lost the pennant three straight years to the Yankees. They finally broke through and beat them in 1980 thanks to George Brett's three-run bomb at Yankee Stadium, then lost the World Series to the Phillies. But the rivalry between the Royals and Yankees back then was as keen as it gets.
And the Yankees perhaps weren't afraid of them at all. In his book The Bronx Zoo, Sparky Lyle's concluding remarks sound dismissive of the Royals and the NL pennant winning Dodgers, calling the 1978 Red Sox "the second best team in baseball that year".
#3 -- Twins
Go back and re-read the section on Oakland, and you have the Twins, too.
Since winning the 1991 World Series, the Twins have been in six postseasons. Four of them have ended at the hands of the Yankees. The Twins are like the Athletics in that they are built to win a weak division, but not built to go deep in the playoffs. The Yankees would hammer that point home every year.
Johan Santana and Brad Radke would get outpitched. Closer Joe Nathan would either blow saves or not be needed because his team was behind. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau seemingly can't hit in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were deeper and more seasoned than the Twins. The Twins were always good, well managed and a sound baseball team. The Yankees were simply better.
The Twins were always fun to watch. Then comes October, and the Yankees merely put them in their place and move on.
#2 -- Mets
This is one of the few good things about interleague baseball, that these two teams got to play each other outside of the World Series. What resulted was a bloodbath relationship between the two teams, and a polarizing effect that has really been in place since the Mets came into being in 1962.
The Yankees and the football Giants are the white collar, elitist teams. The Mets and Jets are the blue collar, Everyman teams. When these teams meet in their respective sports, the entire city stands up, takes sides and takes notice.
These teams met in the 2000 World Series, with the Yankees winning in five games. This series is more known for Roger Clemens throwing a broken bat at Mike Piazza, then denying he intentionally threw it at him later. It was a throwback to all the subway series of yesterday between New York teams. It made you wish the Dodgers and Giants had never moved out west.
#1 -- Dodgers
This is the team that has much more reason to hate the Yankees than anyone else. Yes, that includes the Red Sox.
The Dodgers lost their first seven World Series, one to the Red Sox, one to the Indians, and the next five to the Yankees (1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953). Brooklyn never lost its rabid fan base over these years, they loved their Bums with a passion. But all those losses to the Yankees were painful. Finally, in 1955, the Dodgers broke through and won, but lost again in 1956 (Don Larsen threw his perfect game in that one). While based in Brooklyn, the Dodgers were 1-6 against the Yankees in the World Series.
After the move to Los Angeles in 1958, things perked up a little. The Dodgers have won five World Series out west, three of them with Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, the only time the Dodgers could truly match the Yankees in pitching. They faced the Yankees four times, splitting the series with wins in 1963 and 1981 and losses in 1977 and 1978. In all, the Dodgers are 3-8 against the Yankees all time in World Series.
Try and complain to a Dodger fan about 1949, 1978 and 2003 and you'll get a big "So what?!" Then he or she will bring up 2004 and tell you to shut up. The Red Sox have their pain(s), but so do the Dodgers. They perhaps have the market cornered on Yankee hatred, but the two sides can debate on and on who hates the Yankees more.
Just don't debate in front of a Yankee fan. They've laughed enough over the years.
Follow Bob George on Twitter: @bob_george
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