Wishing Well: Yanks-Sox Version

I’m stealing this from a post at Jon Weisman’s fine Dodger Thoughts, a site I strongly recommend: Here’s a question: If you could change one thing in Yankees/Red Sox history, from the 2004 collapse (for Yanks fans) to Buckner’s error (for Sox fans), what would it be?

37 comments… add one
  • I would change 1995 and 2001 before I changed 2004…ugh, 2001 still gives me night terrors.

    tom yf July 10, 2006, 3:15 pm
  • I suppose if I were a good Red Sox fan, I’d change Frazee’s sale of Ruth to the Yankees. I don’t know though. That was all but inevitable, considering the politics of the league at the time…
    From a trend-setting perspective, I’d change Tom Yawkey’s decision in the 1940s that black people shouldn’t play for the Red Sox.
    From a game-changing perspective, I’d change Grady Little’s decision in 2003, the first truly heart-breaking moment I experienced as a Sox fan.

    Paul SF July 10, 2006, 3:23 pm
  • “From a trend-setting perspective, I’d change Tom Yawkey’s decision in the 1940s that black people shouldn’t play for the Red Sox.”
    great call, Paul. The Yanks also were late in embracing black players. Definitely the most shameful parts of both our teams’ histories.

    Nick-YF July 10, 2006, 3:27 pm
  • At the risk of sounding rediculously cheesy, I have to say that I wouldn’t change anything about either team’s history. I think history (or the baseball gods or the Almighty God or whomever you believe in…) has a way of evening everything out over time. 2004 wouldn’t have been as sweet for Sox fans if it hadn’t been for 86 years of seemingly getting screwed. What if, instead of getting screwed, the Sox were really being prepared for what would happen in ’04 (and the subsequent 2-year-and-counting party in Beantown)?
    I don’t know. It seems like things are finally going the way they need to be going: The Yankees are the most corporate team in baseball. Everyone of those players becomes Steinbrenner’s biotch when they sign. Everybody outside of a 50-mile radius in NY-NJ-CT hates the pinstripes. (How else does a team earn the nickname “Evil Empire”?)
    People admire the Red Sox. There’s something pure about Boston baseball. Boston fans can’t stand an ego that forgets the team, and “what have you done for me lately” wins out over “what brand of spikes do you wear.”
    So I’m not sure I’d change anything. Things seem to have happened for a reason.

    Steve - SF July 10, 2006, 3:54 pm
  • …unless the Yanks win another WS this year. Then I’d be pissed.

    Steve - SF July 10, 2006, 3:55 pm
  • I would have had Don Mattingly sign a Bernie-esque one year extension and get that 1996 Ring. Of course, Torre may have felt compelled to have Mattingly play first over Tino who was extra-ordinary during our 90s run.
    Maybe I would just change it so that Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera pitched about 10-15 less innings during the regular season of 2004.
    But like Tom YF above, 2001 was a lot more brutal an experience, more bewildering, more final than anything else I remember experiencing as a Yankee fan.

    walein July 10, 2006, 4:02 pm
  • I would move Jeter a little bit further out toward the grass in the Game 7 of 2001.

    yankeemonkey July 10, 2006, 4:29 pm
  • I would have the wind blowing in over the Monster just a touch in 1978…MY first true heart breaking moment.

    Vic SF July 10, 2006, 5:26 pm
  • Without Game 6, I don’t know if I would have become the fan I am today. I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as an 11 year old as I did in 2004. A lot of people lost Game 6 for us.
    So, maybe taking Pedro out, if anything.
    Other than that, nothing. The history is the history for a reason.

    LocklandSF July 10, 2006, 5:41 pm
  • count me as cheesy, but not a thing. not a damn thing. the story of 2004 is honestly the most unbelievable story–just in terms of pure story, not even in terms of baseball–i’ve ever heard or seen. i never get over it. and it’s not quite the same without everything that came before.
    i do, however, wish that tim mccarver didn’t exist.

    beth July 10, 2006, 7:01 pm
  • Steve, get your head out of the sand buddy. Your comments about people’s perception of the Yanks and the Sox would be comical if they weren’t so grotesquely uninformed.

    tom yf July 10, 2006, 7:10 pm
  • beth, you think the best story in the history of civilization is that of the 2004 Red Sox? I mean it was really good and all, but it was no Ulysses!

    tom yf July 10, 2006, 7:13 pm
  • “the story of 2004 is honestly the most unbelievable story–just in terms of pure story, not even in terms of baseball–i’ve ever heard or seen.”
    That’s because it didn’t happen. Actually, Beth, you’ve been on an intense acid trip and this has been a hallucination complete with imagined blogs, detailed game recalls, etc, etc. It’s still 2004 and Nomar has just been traded…
    I get where people are coming from about not wanting to change history. I think the regret that most resonates with me is Walein’s lament that Mattingly retired a year before the series victory. I grew up rooting for Willie, Winfield and Mattingly and it would have been great if one of those 3 had won. That said, their inability to win the big one with the Yanks shows just how precious it is and how special the late 90’s dynasty was.

    Nick-YF July 10, 2006, 7:16 pm
  • Okay, most unbelievable, perhaps…they really were the better team that year, the unbelievable thing to me was that the Yanks won three games at all. Sorry for a million posts!

    tom yf July 10, 2006, 7:16 pm
  • Both the RSN and Ulysses begin: “The ineluctable modality of the visible…” Kinda uncanny that.

    Nick-YF July 10, 2006, 7:17 pm
  • Er, I meant to say “Both the 2004 season and…

    Nick-YF July 10, 2006, 7:18 pm
  • I would have Tony C sit down that day against Jack Hamilton. Yaz, Tony C, Reggie Smith…damn.

    Greg July 10, 2006, 7:56 pm
  • Game 7 2001… oh man if I could change that game. I was in Infantry School at Camp Pendleton and one of our instructors was a Gunnery Sgt from Salem, MA. Needless to say he was a Sox fan who rubbed in that loss for weeks afterward. What a SOB that guy was. Anyway, apart from being a lifelong Yankfan I wanted that win for a hurting city more than anything else.

    bloodyank78 July 10, 2006, 8:10 pm
  • I’d make sure that a certain GM would have never, ever opened his mouth when it came to talking about the Rocket.

    Brad July 10, 2006, 10:15 pm
  • Nick, it especially hurt the Red Sox because they had first dibs on Jackie Robinson and two other (can’t remember who, but they’re famous) black players, who tried out first at Fenway. Yawkey apparently decided talent didn’t matter more than the color of their skin. As others have said, if you want a curse for why the Sox didn’t win from 1919-2003, it’s the two decades of passing on high-quality players simply because of their race. Jackie Robinson in a lineup with Williams, Pesky, Doerr, Dom DiMaggio? We’d be talking about the great Red Sox Daynasty of 1946-1950.
    Another one: The commissioner doesn’t void the A’s firesale that would have sent Rollie Fingers and other HOFers to the Red Sox during their prime…

    Paul SF July 10, 2006, 10:25 pm
  • Paul – that voided A’s firesale is a terrific one, although if it had been allowed (I think the other player was Joe Rudi) the Yankees would have had Vida Blue..again, if I remember this all correctly.

    Vic SF July 11, 2006, 7:43 am
  • It was Rudi. I’m with Greg. Conigliaro was just a horrible tragedy. He was an amazing talent and looked like a potential Hall of Famer. Having Tony C. in the late ’60s and the 70’s would have completely changed the Sox.

    Tom sf July 11, 2006, 10:36 am
  • Aaron f’ing Boone strikes out like he’s supposed to in ’03 and the game plays on.

    soxfaninhell July 11, 2006, 1:37 pm
  • Everyone talks about Aaron F-ing Boone, but to me, it’ll always be Grady F-inf Little. When the Yanks tied the game off Pedro and the pen, the game was over right then. I knew we weren’t going to win. I sat on the couch, head in hands, and just waited for the final blow. Boone’s homer was merely the punctuation to that atrocity. The sentence was written by Grady Little.

    Paul SF July 11, 2006, 2:27 pm
  • If we’re going to get into managerial blunders, then Joe Torre’s decision to put in Weaver against the Marlins in extra innings of game 5 stands out. He had Mariano and he went with Silver Chain. Grrr.

    Nick-YF July 11, 2006, 2:35 pm
  • at first thought i would have changed the decision to expand franchises in the 90’s. the addition of teams watered down talent to the point the yankees were able to purchase world series. in the same turn it was fun to watch the diamondbacks and marlins crush dreams a few years later.
    so the thing i would change is WW2. if you were to give ted back those years, he would be the measuring stick that every players numbers would be judged on.

    sf rod July 11, 2006, 2:43 pm
  • I think maybe Jim Ed not getting hurt before the 1975 World Series would be a possibility as well, for us Sox fans. But I think the Sox’ policy towards black players was the most shameful, and therefore I would have had the Sox sign Jackie Robinson like they could have.

    SF July 11, 2006, 2:50 pm
  • “so the thing i would change is WW2.”
    I think that might be the funniest thing I’ve read in a year. Ha!

    Nick-YF July 11, 2006, 2:55 pm
  • Right-o, Nick! No WW2, and Teddy Ballgame might bust Ruth’s record.
    Plus, way more Jews still around!

    SF July 11, 2006, 3:12 pm
  • Yeah, I think after further deliberation I’m going to change my answer to sf-rod’s. I’d change the whole WWII thing, too.

    Nick-YF July 11, 2006, 3:20 pm
  • I take big exception to Rod’s “purchase world series” comment. Explain Rod.

    bloodyank78 July 11, 2006, 3:29 pm
  • BY78-
    between 1965-1993 (29 years) yankees finished 1st in the AL only 4 times. it took steinbrenner getting banned from baseball opperations for stick michaels to bring some sanity to the team. he didn’t trade away young talent (posada/jeter/pettitte/williams/mo). he chose to add veterans around those guy’s. high priced veterans at that ie: strawberry/gooden/sierra/cone/wetteland/boggs/o’neil/tino/cecil fielder/wells/clemens. so yes…in my eye’s purchased.

    sf rod July 11, 2006, 5:19 pm
  • Oh no….not another “Yankees bought WS” debate! Let’s face it, by your criteria every single team, at least since the start of free agency, has bought their WS. That’s just plain silly. If you build a team, you build it around a core of young players and surround them by veterans. How about the Sox ’04 WS? High-priced veterans: Manny, Schilling, Pedro, Foulke, just to name a few.
    Also, it doesn’t matter what your team looks like on paper, you still play the games on the field, as the Yankees found out in 2003 and 2004…It’s a cliche, but it’s also true.

    yankeemonkey July 11, 2006, 5:32 pm
  • Rod,
    How many home grown players were on the 2004 red sox?
    Face it, you bought your WS too – maybe bought even more of it, because there were several home grown starters on the yanks ’90s WS teams.

    MoForPresident July 11, 2006, 6:34 pm
  • Oh yeah – I would change Tony Clark’s ’04 ALCS ground rule double into a ball in play…

    MoForPresident July 11, 2006, 6:38 pm
  • I’d let Dent hit the homer in 1978.
    But in the bottom of the 9th, instead of popping out to Nettles, Yaz hits a towering walk-off home run over the wall.
    That pop-out by Yaz boggled my 9-year-old mind. The idea that Captain Carl did not come through in that final clutch moment just seemed like a mistake on the part of the Universe. I wanted a do-ever.

    Hudson July 11, 2006, 10:03 pm
  • Without question I’d change game 7, 2001. Mo makes an accurate throw to Jeter, relay to first, 2 out, nobody on. Mo then shatters the next guy’s bat, and it’s all over.
    I’d rather have that one back than 2004 (which is obviously #2).

    Rob (Middletown, CT) July 13, 2006, 9:11 am

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