Hank Steinbrenner: Member of ‘Red Sox Nation’

As we all know by now, Hank Steinbrenner — a.k.a. Vinny From the Bronx — thinks Red Sox Nation was created by ESPN, which by the way is totally biased for the Red Sox, and that the Yankees rule the universe.

As we also all know, Steinbrenner is a bit fuzzy on the true origins of the Nation concept (the name is more than 20 years old, was created by a Boston Globe writer, and derives from the Royal Rooters, who predate the existence of the Yankees themselves). But John Henry is giving him the opportunity to learn all about it.

“I’m a big Hank fan,” wrote Henry in an e-mail. “Just to ensure he knows how cool Red Sox Nation is, (Saturday) we officially inducted him as a member of Red Sox Nation and we are sending him his membership card giving him access to an array of options including our newsletter, bumper stickers, pins, Green Monster seats and a hat personally autographed by David Ortiz.”

I’m completely opposed to the Red Sox’ officializing of Red Sox Nation (I was hoping it would go away with Charles Steinberg). I grew up using the term, and I didn’t need a membership card to do so. But you gotta give Henry his props for putting this silly argument in its proper perspective.

It’s pretty clear based on the tenor of the comments by the clubs’ owners — Steinbrenner’s angry whining and false bravado versus Henry’s calm, humorous response — which team is on top, and which team isn’t.

108 comments… add one

  • And it’s pretty clear based on the tenor of the comments here that some fans still have a huh-oooge chip on their shoulder, even after two championships in four years. :)

    A YF March 2, 2008, 1:27 pm
  • What comments are those A YF? Can you give some exact quotes so we actually know what you’re talking about? ;-)
    Buchholz comes into the game and gives up a lead-off homer. Get it out of your system now, Bucky!

    Atheose March 2, 2008, 1:40 pm
  • It seems that’s a convenient line of argument, but not one that’s at all cogent.
    What is the point of a rivalry if the fans of the team that’s on top for the moment are forbidden by some unwritten rule from criticizing the other? Am I supposed to forget the first 21 years of my life as a Red Sox fan because the Sox have been more successful for the past four? Does that now preclude me from hating the Yankees or making comments to that effect?
    Short answer: No. It did not preclude the Yankee fans I knew during the late 1990s from talking trash about the Red Sox (who hadn’t won in many, many years, as they kept reminding me). Under the rules of your game, A, it sounds like you would have been forbidden from even talking about the Red Sox from your birth until 2005, lest you be accused of having a “huh-ooge” chip on your shoulder.

    Paul SF March 2, 2008, 1:59 pm
  • I’m a Yankees fan and I really wish the Steinbrenners would just shut their mouths and go play some golf or something.

    Josh March 2, 2008, 2:05 pm
  • What? I’ve never had a chip. It’s always been fun to rag on Sox fans and it always will be. We’ve had good times. Now I’m glad your boys are catching up :)
    But I’m not angry about anything. Comments like “detestable” and “angry whining” show otherwise from your side. In the time I’ve been hanging here there’s solid anger directed at me completely disproportional to what I’ve said. I understand where it comes from. I suppose the twenty years preceding the last four leaves deep scars that will never heal. But it’s just sad that will never go away, not even with the very good times of now.
    And during the 80’s the Yankees weren’t always the better team. During the early part of the decade it one way. The latter went the other. Early nineties sucked for YFs too.
    I think we can all enjoy the rivalry and discuss topics without so much anger and spite. It would make everything more enjoyable. I’m happy the Sox are doing well. It makes the season that much more enjoyable.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 2:16 pm
  • I’m happy the Sox are doing well.
    Wow, the site’s BS-ometer just broke.

    SF March 2, 2008, 2:23 pm
  • Sox fans, do you really want to be in a fan club that officially includes Hank Steinbrenner? He didn’t even have to pay for it!
    In trying to be humorous, Henry halfway legitimized Hank’s comments about how much bullshit the entire thing is. Oh boy, a memebership card, and access to cool awesome bumper stickers and pins!!! I love throwing money at the Red Sox!!! They are sooo hip and cool!

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 2:27 pm
  • Why would you say that? I mean it. The baseball is much more exciting with a genuine rivalry. As proof, the last two times we’ve faced each other in the post-season, those have been the best playoff games of the last decade, besides the 2001 series. If you disagree, what series was more exciting beginning to end since 2002?

    A YF March 2, 2008, 2:27 pm
  • Nice, Andrew. Still, I’d take the monster seats and Papi fat hat ;)

    A YF March 2, 2008, 2:29 pm
  • I agree with A YF. September of 2006 was not nearly as exciting or fun as September of 2005 or 2007. When both teams do well, the rivalry is more fun.

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 2:30 pm
  • Since the “detestable” line was mine, it’s fair to say that you’ve applied a generality to that which isn’t deserved. I like many of the Yankee players. I like many Yankee fans. So for me to apply that descriptive to someone is a reaction to specific actions and comments made by that person. You make it sound like there’s a blanket hatred of an organization, a chip on a shoulder that overrides any other sentiment that has been channeled into a Hank-hatred, and that’s just wrong. You should be careful making such broadstroke generalizations. Thinking that Hank is a detestable figure (and yes, I stand by that description — I like my Yankee fans somewhat classy and articulate, two traits that Hank lacks almost entirely, it would seem) and making it seem as if that characterization comes from some deep well of psychic pain is amateurish armchair psychology. I actually do dislike the Yankees for a lot of reasons sports-related, but what I think of Hank has almost nothing to do with that dislike and almost everything to do with the way Hank carries himself.

    SF March 2, 2008, 2:30 pm
  • I have to agree with A YF’s initial response to this post.
    Pot. Kettle. Black.
    Why are we even going here? Obviously, both owners are looking for cheap publicity. a comment like “which team is on top, and which team isn’t” is needlessly inflammatory, and doesn’t even make sense, given that we’re beginning a new season.

    YF March 2, 2008, 2:31 pm
  • When both teams do well, the rivalry is more fun.
    Well, as a proprietor of this site it goes without saying that when the teams are both doing well the traffic increases. In an ideal world the Yankees would be a soap opera, the Sox World Champs. Last year was just about perfect. So I guess I prefer when the Yankees do well enough to fail in style in early October. But that’s greedy, right?

    SF March 2, 2008, 2:34 pm
  • Hate is a very strong emotion. To say it about things you only know from a great distance, I think belies something deeper. You tell me. If it’s not the team-affiliation, what is it? Did you hate Big Stein too?
    I like Hank because he’s a smarter version of his Dad with all the bluster and none of the seeming ability to treat his employees like crap. But maybe my feelings will change, especially if he trades a bunch for Teixeira and Sabathia. Still, with Hal around, I can’t see that happening.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 2:35 pm
  • Again, I used the term “detestable figure“. I didn’t say I hated Hank personally. In fact, I addressed that exact issue in the thread from which you took that adjective.
    You are stretching this too far, A. If I had to pick someone from the Yankee organization that sums up what I dislike about the team, right now it would be Hank. He’s a figure in the terms of this discussion. I don’t know him personally. I can’t hate him personally. What’s the big deal here? Lots of Yankees fans hate Jason Varitek and Pedroia and have discussed that on this site, but do they hate those guys as Red Sox players and as part of an organization or hate them as people, and have those discussions become about deep-seated psychological histories? This is way over-parsed on your side.

    SF March 2, 2008, 2:44 pm
  • Obviously, both owners are looking for cheap publicity.
    Ah, the false equivalency thing again. That’s unfair to Henry in this case, who didn’t say anything silly and/or inflammatory (unlike Paul and Hank).

    SF March 2, 2008, 2:47 pm
  • Here’s the other thing too: I’ve been waiting three seasons for the Yanks to beat the Sox in the post-season again. That’s something to look forward to. It’s not an if but a when. Am I an arrogant prick for saying that? Absolutely. But it’s still something to look forward to, and winning the series in the process is an ultimate season. The Sox had 2004. The Yanks had 1999 (but not nearly the same thing). I’m still waiting for the payback. If the Yanks win one in the process, but without beating the Sox, somehow that will be a bit, just a bit, less satisfying.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 2:47 pm
  • Sorry, I kinda see where you’re going but not really. I can’t say I hate anything to do with the Sox. I hate the PED scandal in baseball, but that’s so impersonal to still be really different.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 2:50 pm
  • Farnsworth still sucks. Oh well.

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 2:53 pm
  • If the Yanks win one in the process, but without beating the Sox, somehow that will be a bit, just a bit, less satisfying.
    So who has the chip?
    Seriously, the funny thing is that I never cared if the Sox won a series by going “through” the Yankees. 2004 has its own place in history for obvious reasons and it has provided collateral benefits that I never imagined, but I know that I always wanted the Sox to just win a championship, and as much pain as the Yankees caused me throughout my childhood and adult life I never really desired “revenge” for a Sox success to be “whole”. I know some Sox fans who felt the exact opposite, that going through the Yankees made it that much sweeter, that much more complete. Me, I just wanted the Sox to win, it didn’t matter who they beat along the way. But of course you accuse me/us, generally, of having the chip, while it is you who wants some revenge and closure, 26 rings and all.

    SF March 2, 2008, 2:54 pm
  • And who’s attributing what emotions to whom? I don’t want revenge. I just want the Yanks to even the score against their rivals. I don’t think there’s anything nefarious about that. In my mind it’s the old winning the battle vs the war analogy. The “war” will exist as long as there’s the sport. The battles are on-going and the Sox have won a few big ones recently. Sports is all about winning and losing. For me, as a YF, a win is a win, but beating the Sox scores a few extra points. It’s hard for me to believe you don’t see it that way when your name is on a site called YF vs. SF.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 3:02 pm
  • It too is hard for me to believe that, if given the choice between winning the World Series with or without beating the Yankees in the process, SF wouldn’t choose the path that has the Sox beating the Yankees.

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 3:06 pm
  • Thanks for telling me what I want/wanted, guys.
    This illustrates a wide gap between fan understanding, in a nutshell. You assume that payback is necessary. Whereas I, having (as of 2004) never seen the Sox win a series, just WANTED THEM TO WIN A SERIES. This is something that a number of Yankee fans, it would seem, don’t get or didn’t get. The comeback against the Yankees was gravy, I would never assert differently. But it wasn’t necessary, as far as I was concerned. It was gravy. This past year, which wasn’t hazy from dealing with a ten day old child (as 2004 was) was totally, utterly satisfying. It would, for me, have gained nothing from beating the Yankees in the ALCS. Believe that or don’t, it doesn’t really matter. I speak only for myself, I am sure there are many Sox fans who would have wanted to beat the Yankees along the way. We are all different.

    SF March 2, 2008, 3:14 pm
  • Hank Steinbrenners response:
    “I would never join any club or organization that would have someone like myself as a member”

    the shantee March 2, 2008, 3:23 pm
  • SF – you come across as trying to take some kind of ‘high road’, by attempting to tell us that you care nothing for what the Yankees do or don’t do. Yet you say yourself that beating the Yankees was GRAVY. So, it did add something to the experience, no matter how much you try to tell us Yankee fans how much we don’t understand about being a Sox fan.
    I don’t think A YF is saying revenge is necessary. I think he even said he would more than welcome the Yankees winning it all regardless of the situation. But at least he’s telling the truth that beating the Sox in the process would make it even more satisfying. Please don’t try to sell us some BS that beating the Yankees added nothing to the experience. It did, you even said so yourself in the same post that you tried to deny it, and it doesn’t make you any less of a fan to admit that.

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 3:48 pm
  • You beat me to it, Shantee. I was just about to write the same thing.
    (I believe … and I really should look it up to verify, but I’m lazy … that that quote is originally attributed to W.C. Fields.)

    I'mBillMcNeal March 2, 2008, 3:48 pm
  • Break up the pissing match, boys. Don’t make me come over there.

    I'mBillMcNeal March 2, 2008, 3:49 pm
  • “It too is hard for me to believe that, if given the choice between winning the World Series with or without beating the Yankees in the process, SF wouldn’t choose the path that has the Sox beating the Yankees.”
    Andrew, there is no doubt with me that beating NYY in the 04 ALCS made the championship that much sweeter. And it wasn’t just the comeback from down 0-3 (which, by the way, was not a choke). I point this out as a matter of record, not to rub salt in the wound.

    I'mBillMcNeal March 2, 2008, 3:52 pm
  • Chicago Tribune reporting that pitcher Jason Marquis unhappy that he’s not guaranteed a starting role with the Cubs, asks to be traded. Red Sox scouts have been watching Marquis and supposedly Cubs might be interested in a Crisp for Marquis swap.
    I’m not sure I like the idea of acquiring a No. 5 guy who isn’t guaranteed a slot in a weak Cubs rotation. I would think Theo could get more for Covelli than that.

    I'mBillMcNeal March 2, 2008, 4:10 pm
  • Thanks Andrew. Indeed, I said:
    “For me, as a YF, a win is a win, but beating the Sox scores a few extra points.”
    I don’t see how that’s different from “gravy”.
    I’ll even compare 1999 to 2004, as I see it. In 1999, I can’t say beating the Sox was any sweeter than beating the other teams in the preceding or subsequent years. They were just a bump in the road. Then 2003 was such an amazing series, that losing the big one afterwards was a huge let down. By that point the rivalry was white hot again.
    But for Sox fans, after the history and then the 2003 stomach punch, I can’t imagine how 2004 couldn’t be extremely satisfying in beating the Yanks. The notion of “The Choke” seems designed to drive that home (even as the Sox were the better team going in).
    The next time the teams meet in the post-season is the real test. If the Sox lose, and the Yanks go on to win it all, I don’t think it’s going to feel the same for SF as 2005 (i.e., losing to the eventual champ). By contrast, if the Yanks lose and the Sox go on to win, I can’t imagine it will be as bad for me as 2004. That was a once in history moment, but very momentous in the rivalry. All wins are not created equal. The Yanks just owe you SFs the next stomach punch. :)

    A YF March 2, 2008, 4:13 pm
  • I think we are typing past each other. Beating the Yankees is always fun and satisfying, moreso than beating the Rays or the Orioles. No argument.
    But I don’t actively think about what happens beyond the regular season. I hope that the Red Sox win the division (or the WC), and I hope they do so at the expense of the Yankees during their regular season series. I would love if the Sox swept these games. But beyond that, I don’t really think much at all about beating the Yankees in the post-season, and I certainly don’t actively hope that a championship goes through the Yankees. I just don’t. That being said, if circumstance gets the Sox and Yanks together, a little schadenfreude doesn’t exactly disappoint me. But it’s not part of my own best-case scenario. A best-case scenario is just a championship, no matter the opponents left in a wake. I hope that clears up what I meant earlier.

    SF March 2, 2008, 4:14 pm
  • Okay, SF, but consider the scenario I just presented. Would losing to the Yanks feel worse than losing to the White Sox?

    A YF March 2, 2008, 4:29 pm
  • Hard to say, A. I have already been through 1978 (the playoff game was on my 10th birthday). The Yankees won it all that year, if I remember correctly. Same with 1999, right? 2003 already happened, even though the Yankees didn’t win it all it didn’t really matter that much (it mattered a little, but only a little). The Yankees beating the Sox and then winning a title just isn’t (and wouldn’t be, at this point), a shocking development. And I’ve been through singularly horrific events with the Sox in the past, so the theoretical “Yanks beat the Sox and win a title” doesn’t really faze me at this point.
    Also, the two recent championships make the prospect of the Yankees beating the Sox then going on to win it all a lot less upsetting to me, by a lot. The Yankees winning a championship at all is what I’d like to avoid having to witness!

    SF March 2, 2008, 5:03 pm
  • I understand, thanks. I think it’s sorta the same as 2004 was for me, except that was 10x worse on many levels :)

    A YF March 2, 2008, 5:05 pm
  • Wait, I need to clarify…
    Losing to the Yankees is worse than losing to other teams, as I said above. But, hypothetically, let’s say:
    the Sox play the White Sox in the playoffs, lose. The Yankees face other teams, end up winning the Series
    vs.
    the Sox play the Yankees in the playoffs, lose, the Yankees end up winning the Series.
    Both scenarios suck in my book. One is better for the blog. But either way, the result (independent of special historic accomplishments in that head-to-head series a la 2004 that make for idiosyncratic and hyperbolic psychic pain) sucks.

    SF March 2, 2008, 5:13 pm
  • doesn’t even make sense, given that we’re beginning a new season.
    Except that we’re beginning that season with one team as the defending champs, and the other not, so I don’t really buy the outrage over the fact that Steinbrenner is acting a lot like Luchhino did when his team wasn’t on top.
    By May, this could change, of course, but right now, the Sox are on top.

    Paul SF March 2, 2008, 5:19 pm
  • Nothing against you, but I think you’re in the minority in not feeling a bigger stomach punch in the latter scenario.
    Here’s another way to approach these feelings:
    In the White Sox case, do you root for or against them in the World Series?
    In the Yankee case, same deal.
    With me, I’d always root against the Sox. But otherwise, something makes things a teeny bit better if the Yanks lost to the eventual Champ (again, except in the case of the Sox).
    By the way, can we say that March 2, 2008 marks the end of the Craig Hansen experiment? ;)

    A YF March 2, 2008, 5:22 pm
  • And the Kyle Farnsworth experiment as well? Please?

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 5:26 pm
  • Nah, Krazy Kyle is the gift that keeps on giving! I actually think he’ll have a decent year (3.90 ERA), I just hope it’s mostly confined to the 6th and 7th innings.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 5:29 pm
  • Hank today:
    “I think they’re looking at Buchholz and Lester a lot like we’re looking at Hughes and Kennedy. They’re going to be counting on them at some point as we are with our guys.
    I guess Hank didn’t watch the World Series.

    SF March 2, 2008, 5:36 pm
  • Buchholz pitched in the World Series?

    A YF March 2, 2008, 5:39 pm
  • I always root against the Yankees in the World Series (and on other nights, too). I also always root against the Broncos, Duke, the Lakers, the Canadiens (though not so much as of late with Les Habs), and most other New York teams (save the Mets, who I don’t mind and who my son might be gravitating towards so I am going to have to be a good Dad on that front or the Knicks, who are too pathetic to even bother rooting against).

    SF March 2, 2008, 5:41 pm
  • But did you root for or against the White Sox in 2005?

    SF March 2, 2008, 5:43 pm
  • Sorry, that was me responding to SF. Now I’ll remember to keep this box checked.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 5:44 pm
  • Ah, the script-blocker usually prevents that functionality.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 5:45 pm
  • Hey, what’s the IP address: 216.92.218.224?
    Do you guys have a dedicated server running your own scripts?

    A YF March 2, 2008, 5:47 pm
  • I’m sorry. Please feel free to delete those comments and this one, but be aware that it’s easily traceable back to the domain name of the host, if you’re interested. Not like it’s super secret stuff, but it makes hacking a little bit easier.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 6:13 pm
  • But did you root for or against the White Sox in 2005?
    Can’t really remember rooting for or against them. I’ll check the archives to see what I was saying back then, my memory needs refreshing. I think we did have some “you always root for your league” discussions, and I recall that I questioned whether or not some Yankee fans would root for the Sox against the NL. In fact, I think that YF himself said he did that, but then a check of the archives showed him pretty vehemently supporting the Cards in 2004, ending that representation.
    Again, I always root against the Yankees, that’s not in question. But I wouldn’t root against them harder because they beat the Sox. I root against them the same either way. Strongly.

    SF March 2, 2008, 6:16 pm
  • “I think they’re looking at Buchholz and Lester a lot like we’re looking at Hughes and Kennedy. They’re going to be counting on them at some point as we are with our guys.
    I guess Hank didn’t watch the World Series.

    I don’t get it.

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 6:21 pm
  • “counting on them at some point”.
    Lester started and aced the clinching game of the Series, in other words the Sox have already counted on Lester.

    SF March 2, 2008, 6:33 pm
  • Oh, I see. Although, I mean, if it were a deciding game, they would most assuredly have started Beckett on three days rest rather than Lester who had looked shaky all season, especially in his last appearance which was in relief against Cleveland.

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 6:35 pm
  • Wow.
    I just looked at Kennedy’s minor stats for the first time (Yankee hype – yawwwn). The guy was just about unhittable. Too many free passes, for sure, but what exactly does this guy have that leaves at least minor leaguers confused?
    168 pro league IP, 106 hits. That’s pretty impressive.

    Dirty Water March 2, 2008, 7:22 pm
  • Of course understanding that the yankees typically push their kids fast, so those stats may not be very foretelling. Many capable kids show dominance until the book on them is out.

    Dirty Water March 2, 2008, 7:30 pm
  • > Hey, what’s the IP address: 216.92.218.224
    A YF:
    That is the IP address of a server that we use to load everything in the “schedule and standings” module on the top right hand side of the page to provide some functionality that we can’t currently do directly on the TypePad server.
    – ag

    attackgerbil March 2, 2008, 8:54 pm
  • Thanks, ag. The script blocker in Firefox is sweet, but then those explanations are lacking. Thanks.

    A YF March 2, 2008, 9:21 pm
  • ‘Yankee hype’? How are really, really dominant minor league stats ‘hype’? I’d say the kid’s underhyped, mostly because of Chamberlain and Hughes. Kennedy has been a strikeout artist his entire career. He has four pitches, including a plus changeup, he can throw for strikes, and place wherever he wants, and his fastball sits around 90, 91 mph.
    Believe me, DW, if the Sox had a kid who rocketed through three leagues and landed in the majors the same year, we’d be hearing about it all day long.

    AndrewYF March 2, 2008, 10:29 pm
  • Just read this bit over at riveraveblues:
    The Baseball Tonight crew just unloaded on Hank for his comments about ESPN being full of Red Sox fans, claiming he doesn’t know what goes on behind the scenes. John Kruk even invited Hank up to Bristol for the look-see.
    Immediately after that, Kruk said Beckett was a HOF pitcher (based on four playoff starts) and Gammons said Varitek was more important to the Red Sox than any other player on any other team in the game. They also said the Yanks will struggle with two kids (Hughes & IPK) in the rotation, neglecting to mention that Buchholz & Lester will be Boston’s rotation because of the injury to Curt Schilling.

    Add this to two former ESPN employees saying Hank is dead-on, and well, that is pretty embarrassing. And here I didn’t think ESPN could go any lower.

    AndrewYF March 3, 2008, 12:35 am
  • [Hank] Steinbrenner said his “whole family … love(s)” Henry.
    “We’ve got no problem with John, I’ll tell you that much,” Steinbrenner said. “I’m sure we’ll be working on things with him in the future.”
    What!?
    http://blog.nj.com/ledgeryankees/2008/03/could_yankees_and_red_sox_be_p.html

    A YF March 3, 2008, 8:17 am
  • I’m late to joining this conversation, but I have to agree with A YF when he says “Nothing against you [SF], but I think you’re in the minority in not feeling a bigger stomach punch in the latter scenario.”
    In my book the ideal situation is that the Sox win a Championship, but in 2004 the fact that we went through the Yankees (in historic fashion, no less) made it twice as sweet. I still would have loved for us to win a Championship, but it’s significantly more satisfying when we beat the Yankees.
    On the other side of it, I hate the Yankees and root against them. The fact that the Marlins beat them in 2003 made that offseason bearable, whereas myself and many other Sox Fans I know would have been on suicide watch if the Yankees had won it all.
    Of course I’m much younger than SF and didn’t have to live through 1978, so I can understand why he feels differently. But I must agree with A YF when I say that I believe most Sox Fans feel the way I do.

    Atheose March 3, 2008, 8:47 am
  • “”We’ve got no problem with John, I’ll tell you that much,” Steinbrenner said. “I’m sure we’ll be working on things with him in the future.”
    What!?”
    This means that the VERY wealthy often do business with the other VERY wealthy, it’s almost unavoidable. I bet JWH and the Stein family have done business in the past on things outside of baseball and I bet they will in the future.

    LocklandSF March 3, 2008, 9:53 am
  • Nothing against you, but I think you’re in the minority in not feeling a bigger stomach punch in the latter scenario.
    Probably accurate – I won’t really argue with this. In my family my Mom and Dad are the two other significant Sox fans in our clan (amongst my three sisters maybe one of them has a passing interest in the Sox). My Dad would be like me, my mom like those other Sox fans feeling the gut punch.
    So, yeah, in the grand scheme I might be in the minority, but in my family part of the majority!

    SF March 3, 2008, 10:05 am
  • Lock, wasn’t John Henry at one point part of Yankee ownership? I think they are much closer then we know.

    John - YF March 3, 2008, 10:12 am
  • Henry had to sell his interest in the Marlins to Jeffrey Loria in order to buy the Sox. Prior to that he was a limited partner in the Yankees.

    SF March 3, 2008, 10:23 am
  • I forgot about that! So the ownership group that came up with membership cards to RSN is run by a former Yankee owner.
    Now that’s funny.
    Or better, it took a Yankee to kill the Ruth Curse :)

    A YF March 3, 2008, 10:45 am
  • Well, include me in the I’d Rather Go Through The Yankee’s crowd. Last year was not as satisfying as 2004, although I’m not bitching about the result. Indeed, now you have people like Hank implying that if the Red Sox had to go through his Yankees they would have lost.
    Andy, Kennedy does look special, not overhyped. But his stats bear a striking similarity to Joba’s in that he was good in college but outstanding in short pitstops along the Yankee’s farm system. It would be easier to gauge a players abilities if he put a whole season in somewhere, allowing second looks for batters, although I am sure the Yankees kept moving him along because of his abilities and not their dire need for starters.

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 10:49 am
  • Indeed, now you have people like Hank implying that if the Red Sox had to go through his Yankees they would have lost.
    See, this is what I love and why going through the Yankees, while fun, isn’t necessary. This is a perfect example of where I find my schadenfreude. The Sox win it all by NOT going through the Yanks, and in the process the Yankees’ brass devolves into a bunch of WFAN callers. It’s an utterly satisfying collateral benefit. Who needs to go through the Yankees?!
    ;-)

    SF March 3, 2008, 10:58 am
  • Well, Hank does have a point. The Sox lost the season series 10 games to 8 (and that’s after the Sox won the first 5 of 6 – the Yanks won the last 9 of 12). It would have been a fantastic series. Hopefully this year it’s in the cards!

    A YF March 3, 2008, 11:02 am
  • I’m still not buying it, SF. If that’s you’re goal, going through the Yankees is the best way to shut up their fans (and vice-versa). See, the argument I’m making about the season series is some small, teensy, tiny solace I can hold onto and hold out hope for. After 2004, I had nothing, absolutely nothing, to say. It took the results of 2006 season for me to regain my cocksure attitude. And now look at me – I’m on a board discussing baseball with SFs even as you guys are defending champs.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 11:08 am
  • The other reason I hold out hope for 2008: The vaunted Sox pitching staff didn’t exactly shut down the fearsome Yankee lineup in 2007. Beckett was average. DM was below average. And Wakefield was pretty awful. That’s the top 3 in any series. Buchholz scares me, but there’s all the qualifications that goes with the Yankee Trio.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 11:13 am
  • 2004 = satisfying because the “curse” was broken by going through the Yankees.
    2007 = more satisfying (to me) because the Sox won the division, had the best record in baseball and won it all. Plus, I was able to enjoy it more precisely BECAUSE there were no games against the Yankees in the postseason.
    I am glad the Sox beat the Yanks in 04, precisely so we wouldn’t have to hear the silliness that Hal Steinbrenner has tried to posit about 2007. Now that it’s been done once, who cares? The Sox don’t need to go through the Yanks to make their wins legitimate (not that they ever did). Otherwise, by the same logic, the only legit titles the Yankees have to their credit are 1978 and 1999 — when they beat the Sox to get there.

    Paul SF March 3, 2008, 11:30 am
  • The other reason I hold out hope for 2008: The unvaunted Yankee pitching staff didn’t exactly shut down the fearsome Red Sox lineup in 2007. Wang was average. Pettitte was below average. And Mussina was pretty awful. That’s the top 3 in any series. Hughes scares me, but there’s all the qualifications that goes with the Yankee Trio.
    That was easy :)
    Let me guess at what partnership Hank could be refering to. Since Henry made his fortune investing in bonds, and the municipal bond market has pretty much seized up, maybe Hank is inferring that Henry could be a buyer of bonds for the cost overrun of new Yankee Stadium?

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 11:34 am
  • “Otherwise, by the same logic, the only legit titles the Yankees have to their credit are 1978 and 1999 — when they beat the Sox to get there”
    I like that line!

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 11:35 am
  • The vaunted Sox pitching staff didn’t exactly shut down the fearsome Yankee lineup in 2007
    Of course, neither did the Yankee pitching staff shut down the Sox’ lineup. Considering the nature of the games that were played, the Sox just as easily could have gone 10-8 or better. There were eight games decided by one or two runs, including four of the Yankees’ last five wins.

    Paul SF March 3, 2008, 11:41 am
  • Heh. And I never noticed this before now, but the Red Sox actually outscored the Yankees head-to-head in 2007, 99-93.
    I’m not playing the woulda-shoulda game. The Yanks won the season series, and they are a formidable opponent. But simply quoting a 10-8 record is not instructive without looking at the context in which that record occurs.

    Paul SF March 3, 2008, 11:45 am
  • As defending champs, I think it’s unnecessary to be concerned about these arguments, but..
    “Of course, neither did the Yankee pitching staff shut down the Sox’ lineup.”
    Ah, but the Yanks have essentially three new starting pitchers. The best of whom will crack their top three in any series, especially over Moose (who’s going into the season fighting for his slot). By contrast, the Sox top three is unchanged.
    “Considering the nature of the games that were played, the Sox just as easily could have gone 10-8 or better.”
    Considering the Sox were beating guys like Chase Wright and Jeff Karstens, I’m not so sure. In that 9 of 12 run to close out the season the Yanks were beating Matsuzaka, Schilling, Wakefield, and even went 1-1 against Beckett.
    I was going to mention that run differential, but again, that’s counting the early season massacres against the pitching dregs of the Yankee farm.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 11:58 am
  • I realize that this is a rivals site. I realize that there is satisfaction in beating one’s rival. But, despite the “us vs. them” theme of this site, not everything is “us vs. them”. When the Sox won the championship this year, my first thought wasn’t “damn, it would have been better had we faced the Yanks in the ALCS”. In fact, that thought never really crossed my mind, ever. I wish I had time to go back through the archives right now, I am pretty darn sure I was on the record way back when as not caring if the Sox ever saw the Yankees in the playoffs. To me there would have been no added legitimacy or satisfaction in a Sox win based on that head-to-head defeat. But again, I am probably the minority.
    So that’s not to say I don’t understand the idea at hand. I get it. But everything isn’t black and white. If the Yankees win a championship in 2008 it will be by definition at the expense of the Sox, even if they don’t dismiss the team directly. The reverse is true last year. The Sox won the World Series, the Yankees didn’t. That works just fine for me, I can’t think of anything more satisfying than the first part of that last sentence. The second part follows, every time the first part occurs.
    (I did a really fast search, came up with this from the archives, one of my own comments, which gets at the subject in a cursory way:
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2007/06/bob_ryan_likes_.html#comment-72506214)

    SF March 3, 2008, 12:00 pm
  • Not to distract anyone from this thread, but Manny is still talking to the press, which I think it really cool. I just hope he keeps it up in the regular season.
    Most recently, regarding his missing the trip to the White House.
    He was busy meditating, of course!
    “I was doing meditation in my house, so I feel more important,” Ramirez said. “That’s what I do now. In my time off, I read books and I meditate. That’s what I do.”
    Mantra Yoga, which he learned from his Uncle Rico, obviously.
    I love this guy, long live Planet Manny.

    LocklandSF March 3, 2008, 12:11 pm
  • “Ah, but the Yanks have essentially three new starting pitchers. The best of whom will crack their top three in any series, especially over Moose (who’s going into the season fighting for his slot). By contrast, the Sox top three is unchanged”
    What total gibberish. Neither team’s top three has changed as of right now. There is Wang, Pettitte and Mussina (admittedly fighting for that spot), and Beckett, Dice and Wakefield (admittedly fighting for that spot). The only actual change, if any, will be as a result of the younger guys performances and, of course, Schilling’s status in September.

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 12:14 pm
  • Rather than be accused of hiding data that doesn’t help my case, here’s the season series:
    Apr 20 7-6, W-Snyder, L-Rivera
    Apr 21 7-5, W-Beckett, L-Karstens
    Apr 22 7-6, W-Matsuzaka, L-Proctor
    Apr 27 11-4, W-Matsuzaka, L-Pettitte
    Apr 28 3-1, W-Igawa, L-Wakefield
    Apr 29 7-4, W-Tavarez, L-Wang
    May 21 6-2, W-Wang, L-Wakefield
    May 22 7-3, W-Tavarez, L-Mussina
    May 23 8-3, W-Pettitte, L-Schilling
    Jun 1 9-5, W-Wang, L-Wakefield
    Jun 2 11-6, W-Okajima, L-Proctor
    Jun 3 6-5, W-Bruney, L-Papelbon
    Aug 28 5-3, W-Pettitte, L-Matsuzaka
    Aug 29 4-3, W-Clemens, L-Beckett
    Aug 30 5-0, W-Wang, L-Schilling
    Sep 14 8-7, W-Bruney, L-Papelbon
    Sep 15 10-1, W-Beckett, L-Wang
    Sep 16 4-3, W-Chamberlai, L-Schilling

    A YF March 3, 2008, 12:19 pm
  • “Neither team’s top three has changed as of right now.”
    That’s not true. Moose was yanked from the rotation down the stretch. That is not how Wakefield was treated. He comes into camp as the sure #3. The same can’t be said of Mussina.
    And I’d happily face Schilling over Buchholz or Lester in September. He had three L’s against the Yanks last year (as did Wakefield).

    A YF March 3, 2008, 12:25 pm
  • Wow, Bruney and Igawa had three of the Yankees’ 10 wins.

    AndrewYF March 3, 2008, 12:31 pm
  • Just from glancing at that data, Karstens took the loss on April 21. Aside from that, the other 7 Yankee losses were attributed to Rivera, Proctor (twice), Pettitte, Wang (twice), and Mussina. That goes against the whole you-beat-us-only-because-of-Wright-and-Karstens argument.
    All of this is pointless however. Since 6 games were won by one run and 3 were won by two, it easily could have swung either way. The Yankees won however, and we can all agree that it’s a toss-up for 2008.

    Atheose March 3, 2008, 12:39 pm
  • Some assume too much from those kids. I do not.
    Use the law of averages. Out of the 5, 2.5 will be busts, one will be great, the last 1.5 will be ok. To assume Hughes, Kennedy, Buchholz and Lester will supplant known pitching talent (either present or becoming available) is ludicrious though.

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 12:40 pm
  • Yup, and I saw Igawa’s win in person. That was the game Karstens started and had his leg broken on the first batter.
    More impressive with those Bruney wins – we beat Paps twice. It’s all about familiarity.
    Suffice it to say, I feel confident with our chances against the defending World Champs. :)

    A YF March 3, 2008, 12:41 pm
  • Oh boy, DW, you can say THAT again!

    King Felix March 3, 2008, 12:42 pm
  • Also, though Wins and Losses aren’t necessarilly representative of a pitcher’s skill:
    -Daisuke went 2-1 against the Yanks
    -Beckett went 2-1 against the Yanks
    -Tavarez went 2-0 against the Yanks
    Yanks-Sox games are crap-shoots. All prior stats and preconceptions are thrown out the window.

    Atheose March 3, 2008, 12:42 pm
  • Rivera against Boston in 2007:
    0-1
    7.00 ERA
    2.97 BAA
    We can play this game all day long. But instead, can we all not admit that neither team is especially successful in limited the offenses of the respective opponant?

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 12:49 pm
  • Well, consider why Proctor was in those games. And he ain’t back with the team.
    Dice-K went 2-1 but mostly sucked after his novelty act wore off :)
    Tavarez – yeah, that hurts.
    Wakefield and Schilling went 0-6. That was half of the Sox rotation back in December.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 12:51 pm
  • The point is, Dirty, many many people (except for Baseball Prospectus) are calling the Sox the team to beat because of their superior pitching. If you’re calling the race too close to call, then we’re in agreement.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 12:53 pm
  • Well, consider why Proctor was in those games. And he ain’t back with the team
    Proctor had a 3.81 ERA over 54 innings with the Yankees. Him not being back with the team has nothing to do with his skill.
    The point is, Dirty, many many people (except for Baseball Prospectus) are calling the Sox the team to beat because of their superior pitching. If you’re calling the race too close to call, then we’re in agreement.
    Winning the Yanks-Sox season series does NOT equal being the best team in baseball. Example: 2007, 2004.

    Atheose March 3, 2008, 1:05 pm
  • Wakefield and Schilling went 0-6. That was half of the Sox rotation back in December.
    My point was that the season series is a crapshoot. As I said above, you can throw all stats and preconceptions out the window when the Yanks and Sox play, and trying to predict who is the better team head-to-head is pointless.

    Atheose March 3, 2008, 1:07 pm
  • It seems I’m going to have to repeat myself: Many many people are calling the the Sox the team to beat based on the strength of their starting pitching. Against the Yanks, I just don’t see that strength. If you agree, that the race is too close to call, then you’re going against prevailing wisdom and you’re in agreement with me.
    This line of discussion also started from Hank’s comment. I know I would have like to see the Yanks play the Sox for many reasons, but mostly because it would have been a winnable series. That’s okay. It’s something to look forward to this year.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 1:17 pm
  • A, that could be because they are looking at the whole season, and not just how Boston pitchers fare against one team. That is the point you may be missing. The question is not how Boston’s pitchers fare in a season series against NY but how the depth of their pitching should fare through 162 games.
    They see a dominant number one in Beckett, a potentially dominant number two in Dice, but if not, a solid number 2-3 guy. A guy who could be the best 4-5 in the league in Wakefield, two worthwhile rookies and hopefully later, Schilling.
    That is measurably better than the same type question marks the Yankees entered 2007 with, ie age (Pettitte, Mussina) and inexperience (Hughes, Kennedy), together who comprise 4/5ths of their staff. I personally do not see any of those guys going 200 innings this year, but beyond them the Yankees are limited.

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 1:26 pm
  • It seems I’m going to have to repeat myself: Many many people are calling the the Sox the team to beat based on the strength of their starting pitching. Against the Yanks, I just don’t see that strength. If you agree, that the race is too close to call, then you’re going against prevailing wisdom and you’re in agreement with me.
    The Sox pitching may have struggled against the Yankees in 2007, but they were the best pitching staff when playing the other 28 teams in baseball. If all 162 games in the season were against the Yankees then I would agree with you. However, since we only play 19 against the Yanks, your argument is somewhat irrelevant.

    Atheose March 3, 2008, 1:47 pm
  • Not for nothing, but your assessments of Dice-K and Wakefield are the most optimistic possible. Dice-K was just a bit better than league average last year. He may get worse or better or stay the same. Any way you cut it, he has to get significantly better to be a very good #2.
    Wakefield is exactly average. That’s hard to call the best of anything.
    As for the series vs season argument, the Sox have to beat the Yanks one way or another. They can hope to rely on other teams (like in 2007), but the Yankees appear to me to be more improved over their 2007 version than the Sox are over theirs. Baseball Prospectus seems to agree. Still, that’s why they play the games. I’m really looking forward to it.
    Have a great day everyone.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 1:48 pm
  • I just feel like you’re putting too much emphasis on the season series between the Sox and the Yanks, when I think it’s pretty obvious that it is not terribly important. It was in 2005 when it was the tie-breaker for the division, but aside from that the Red Sox still won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 (and had the best record in the latter) despite losing the season series to the Yankees.

    Atheose March 3, 2008, 1:55 pm
  • “As for the series vs season argument, the Sox have to beat the Yanks one way or another.”
    didn’t 2007 just demonstrate that this is false?

    Ric March 3, 2008, 3:26 pm
  • So how did the Yankees do against the Indians last year during the regular season? I wonder what that means for this year’s regular season. In fact, what did it mean for last year’s playoffs?!
    Using last year’s regular season head-to-head results for the Sox and Yanks to measure the 2008 possibilities for either team is pretty darn silly to me.

    SF March 3, 2008, 3:45 pm
  • Sure take that first sentence out of context, especially in relation to the one that directly follows it. Not that I pointed out the Sox succeeded in 2007 (Division and Series) without having to beat the Yanks – i.e., relying on other teams to do so. :)
    The reason to bring up the season series was initially to support what Hank said. Then it’s helpful to realize that the Yanks did quite well against the Sox starting pitchers last year, three of whom are expected to log major innings this year.
    Here’s another pass at the same data:
    2007 vs. Yanks
    Beckett – 4 games, 2-1, 26.2 IP, 4.39 ERA
    Dice-K – 4 games, 2-1, 25 IP, 6.12 ERA
    Wakefield – 3 games, 0-3, 14 IP, 10.93 ERA
    2007 vs. Sox
    Wang – 5 games, 3-2, 30.2 IP, 4.11 ERA
    Pettitte – 6 games, 2-1, 34.1 IP, 5.24 ERA
    Mussina – 2 games, 0-1, 11.2 IP, 9.26 ERA
    The point (even as I’m starting to think, or hoping, Mussina will retire when they try to put him in the pen) is merely that the two teams stack up very well against each other. Considering that three of the last four years the division has been decided by three games or less, I think that’s very meaningful, especially since the prevailing wisdom is that the Sox are the team to beat. Sue me for thinking the Yanks are the most likely team to do so.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 4:31 pm
  • The only way to guess how the team will do against each other in 2008 is to look at recent history. That’s hardly a “silly” approach. I have to say I like the Yankees’ chances. :)

    A YF March 3, 2008, 4:34 pm
  • Here’s Schilling in case you’re wondering:
    2007 vs. Yanks
    5 games, 0-3, 32.2 IP, 5.51 ERA
    But I think he’s done for the year, with a last gasp attempt in September coming back from surgery.

    A YF March 3, 2008, 4:38 pm
  • A, any possibility you and hank are one and the same? The reason I ask is because both of you seem to put more weight on the Red Sox than the remaining clubs on your schedule.
    7 years and counting. Keep flappin those gums.

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 4:59 pm
  • Why so angry, Dirty? And no, I only wish I was the owner of the Yankees. Plus, that would be your worst nightmare. They’d never lose again :)

    A YF March 3, 2008, 5:03 pm
  • I’m not angry. It’s just that you appear to be counting chickens before they hatch, and disrespecting the division, league and world champion at the same time.
    In other words, you may think the Yankees have the WS already wrapped up for 2008 but there’s plenty of others who believe they and their debatably ready pitching staff will be challenging Toronto for 2nd, myself included. Show… then tell.

    Dirty Water March 3, 2008, 9:58 pm
  • “their debatably ready pitching staff will be challenging Toronto for 2nd, myself included.”
    And what about Marcum, McGowan and _______ (I only say blank because it’s Chacin or a host of others) fill in the 5, they are grizzled veterans? (Not taking account for any of the differences offensively of course) The Blue Jays have the same bottom of the rotation issues that the Yankees have. The only difference is the Yankees bottom 3 have way more upside then the Blue Jays bottom 3. Add to that a significantly better situation at closer, more depth and a better farm system (just in case a trade is needed) and I’m pretty sure on paper at least (isn’t that where baseball is played in March?) the Yankees will not be battling the Blue Jays for second. The only way the Blue Jays surpass the Yankees this season is if BOTH AJ and Doc win 20 games. Their offense is not good enough yet.

    John - YF March 3, 2008, 11:33 pm
  • (serious) Red Sox fan that I am, my money is on Toronto this year. Their top five were better than any other during the 2nd half, imo, and Halladay and Burnett are two aces if they are up for it. Add to them Wells, Rios, Rolen and Ryan, along with a pretty damn decent relief team, and their time might be right.
    I hope that does not put me on the shit list of the RS fans here but it is what it is. Toronto finishes ahead of NY, at least.

    Dirty Water March 4, 2008, 12:41 am
  • If you think Toronto is better than the Yanks, then they’re also better than the Sox. My point (and not your bastardized version of it) is that the New York and Boston clubs are very, very closer on paper – far closer than any of the experts are acknowledging (except BP).
    As for Toronto, let’s see both AJ and Doc stay healthy for the whole year, Ryan and Rolen too, while Wells and Rios still have a ton to prove. Toronto has a good club, but absolutely everything has to break right for them just to keep the race close. They scored over 200 runs less than the Yanks last year and 100 less than the Sox. I don’t see how they’ve made that up, even if their pitchers are much much better (as in best in the majors).

    A YF March 4, 2008, 4:58 am
  • Meanwhile, what’s the Sox bottom 3? With Schilling down, likely for the season, do you really expect to get 200+ innings from Wakefield? After that, it’s Buchholz, Lester, and _________? Seems to me that’s not so different from the Yankees, except they at least have something to slot into that blank.

    A YF March 4, 2008, 5:13 am

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