Right now there are many fans that are very excited to watch a baseball game tonight, and rightfully so. Tonight, the Yankees and the Red Sox will be playing against each other, effectively re-starting the rivalry for the 2009 season.
You would be wrong to think that when the Yankees play the Red Sox it is just two regular baseball teams playing against each other. Some people would like it that way, and there is no problem with that, but the truth is it is not just two regular old baseball teams playing each other. The games between the Yankees and Red Sox are typically more intense than regular games, and I know I speak for many when I say that I love that intensity. Will we see Joba throw at Youkilis (I for one do not mind if a pitcher backs a hitter off the plate, but if a pitcher throws at a batters head for instance, I think that is crossing the line)? Maybe. Will we see the benches clear? Maybe.
Some players such as Jorge Posada will say that there is no difference between Yankees-Red Sox games and Yankees-(insert other opponent here) games. “It’s the same old, same old,” Jorge Posada said. “You’ve still got to throw strikes and run 90 feet between bases. It doesn’t change.” However, other players, such as Mark Teixeira, recognize that the intensity level goes up, and for some players makes it easier to focus. “This is one of the greatest rivalries in sports,” Teixeira said. “It’s great for baseball and it will always be great for baseball. If anything, the energy that comes from the fans being into it locks you in. I remember when I was in the playoffs last year in Boston, I never felt more focused in my career. The boos, the energy, whatever you call it, it really kind of just locks you in.” Some players, such as Nick Swisher, might like to think that Yankees-Red Sox games are just another game, but they accept the fact that they are not. “As much as you want to think to yourself it’s just another game, it’s not,” Swisher said. “It’s completely different. There’s just an electricity in the ballpark you don’t get very often, except for the postseason. I know we’re looking forward to it and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be intense.”
Now Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher have not actually played on either side of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, but I am sure they at least have an idea of what it is like. Mark Teixeira knows how Red Sox fans are not very welcoming to the Yankees, especially Alex Rodriguez who is used to getting the loudest boos from the Fenway faithful. However, tonight Mark Teixeira will be getting the loudest boos and he knows that. “I never hear anything, there’s so much noise, you never really hear any words. I’m sure it will be the same. I expect heavy boos.” Said Mark Teixeira. “I expect nothing less from those fans.” It’s going to be fun, because Red Sox – Yankees is always fun. It’s what I’m used to on the road.”
(All quotes are from the Yankees official site)
The pitching match ups for the Yankees-Red Sox three game series
Tonight at 7:10 pm: Joba Chamberlain against Jon Lester
Tommorow at 4:10 pm: AJ Burnett against Josh Beckett (Should be a good one)
Sunday at 8:10 pm: Andy Pettitte against Justin Masterson
PS. I probably will not be live game blogging tonight’s game, I rather just enjoy the game the simple way. Sorry.