Ok, so the Red Sox have beaten the Yankees in eight of nine games this year, including a second series sweep in the Bronx for the first time since the Boston ace was Smoky Joe Wood, but we're not here to gloat.
Well, maybe just a little bit:
Ok, got that out of the way. Now let's discuss the strange lede to New York Times beat writer Ben Shpigel's game story this morning. Maybe it was the lateness of the hour or the unthinkable sweep he had just witnessed, but Shpigel breaks out some strange interpretation of history here:
Babe Ruth was a 17-year-old pitching prodigy at the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. The Red Sox had yet to win a World Series, and the Yankees did not exist. They were still called the Highlanders, playing not in the Bronx but in Manhattan, at Hilltop Park and the Polo Grounds.
Derek Jeter greeted Curtis Granderson after Granderson's homer in the Yankees' rain-delayed game.
The Red Sox won all 10 games in New York during that 1912 season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. But over the last 99 years of their rivalry, they had yet to win as many as six in a row.
This is certainly strange because, as most baseball fans and writers should know, the Red Sox won the World Series in 1903. And the Yankees did, in fact, exist, even if they were known by a different name. Shpigel seems to be laboring under the mistaken belief that a franchise does not exist until it is known by its present name. Not only is that glaringly incorrect, it's ludicrous. It would mean the Cincinnati Reds, generally recognized as baseball's oldest continuously operated franchise, did not exist from 1954-59 when the team joined the ranks of those bending before the insanity of anti-communist paranoia by changing its name to the Redlegs.
Apparently, early morning historical inaccuracy is contagious: Peter Abraham in his game story said this was the first time the Sox had swept two three-game series from the Yankees in New York since 1913, but this isn't correct either, as the Sox went 2-0, 1-0-1, 2-0 and 2-2 in four separate series, the first three presumably truncated by rain.
All the historical head-to-head matchups are available at Baseball-Reference. I know it was late, but it doesn't take long to double-check this kind of stuff.