YANKEES-RED SOX RIVALRY NOT THE SAME

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Despite all the history and mutual hatred, something is missing as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees prepare to go head-to-head again this postseason: Drama.

You don’t have to dig very deep to find the cast of characters who would thrive on talking trash and throwing shade at the opponent. Here’s a short list of Yankees and Red Sox known for their infamous verbal prodding: Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, Lou Piniella, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Curt Schilling, Kevin Millar, Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski …

Yes. The legends of talking smack come in all shapes, sizes and professional affiliations. The best are equal opportunity offenders. They spare no one; give no quarter. But the art of talking trash has become almost extinct.

With the most famous rivalry in all sports about to create a new chapter, both teams faced the media this week to discuss the rivalry, the history and the disdain for one another. Well, that was the hope anyway.

It didn’t take long for those hopes to be dashed. No one — not Chris Sale, nor Aaron Boone or Alex Cora — uttered a single negative word. Zip. Zero. Nothing.

Each press conference was filled with cliches and shallow platitudes. Boone and Cora describe the series as “fun.”

Wait.

Fun? Really?

The soft, boring approach made me long for days when Curt Schilling called out Alex Rodriguez saying it “was freakin’ Junior High baseball at its best” and Yankees GM Brian Cashman firing back, “When you win you can talk.”

And, who can forget the bench-clearing fight in 2003 that led to Pedro Martinez throwing Yankees coach Don Zimmer to the ground. Zimmer was fined $5,000, Martinez $50,000, Ramirez $25,000 and Karim Garcia $10,000 for their respective roles in the incident.

Let me clear: I don’t hope for fights and bloodshed, but I wouldn’t mind some old school drama to spice things up a little this postseason. At this point, I’d be happy with a bloody sock.

ALEX CORA Q&A

How much are you looking forward to playing the Yankees in this series?

ALEX CORA: I was looking forward to the playoffs, regardless who we played. I’ve been lucky enough throughout my sporting life to play in rivalries: Miami-FSU, Miami-UF, Dodgers-Giants, here … I think as far as the fan bases, they were looking forward to this. It should be fun. One thing for sure, man, that stadium is loud. It was fun to play there. It should be fun here. It should be fun playing at Yankee Stadium.

There’s not a lot of secrets between the two teams. When you look back at the most recent series, is there anything that you take out of that going into this one?

ALEX CORA: No, we were dying to turn the page. It felt awkward playing them here, the last one, because we already clinched everything. It was just about staying healthy and getting your repetitions and move on.

They are playing great. You know how I feel about them, keeping the ball in the ballpark. They’ve been hitting the ball out of the ballpark for a while. We play these guys so much, we’re pretty familiar with what they do. The same with us. Boonie probably feels the same way. There’s no secrets. At the end of the day — I know it sounds boring, whatever — but whoever plays better defense and executes better pitches and gets clutch hits is going to win the series.

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John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. Thanks for visiting my website. I write primarily about my passion: baseball. In addition, I occasionally publish posts and podcasts related to sports media, journalism and technology impacting the industry. You can also connect with me on social media @johnstrubel.

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