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Say What?

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.

28 replies on “Say What?”

So it was bound to happen at some point, right?
100+ years, many games yet only a handful of times.
How many times have the Yankees swept the Sox in Boston in the same timeframe? I bet a few more times.
Thanks for making me feel better paul!

I bet a few more times.
I would guess so, too. As you might recall, there were 25 years in which the Yankees were the best team in the world while the Red Sox were among the worst.
Of course, that was 70 years ago now. I would guess it hasn’t happened much since then.

Paul, you should be ashamed of yourself. Seriously – posting a Daily News (or NY Post for that matter) sports-cover-page is very SOSH of you. Flip these pub’s over today and you see such journalistic depth as “Wiener says: I’ll Stick It Out” and “Weiner Scandal GROWS”.
Tsk tsk.

” would guess so, too. As you might recall, there were 25 years in which the Yankees were the best team in the world while the Red Sox were among the worst.”
Only 25 huh? OK. Historical perspective never works out when trying to besmirch the great and powerful New York Yankees!
I remember a couple sweeps over the last few years. I’ll look when I get back to work. I don’t feel like doing anything anyways.

Tsk tsk.
IH, you overestimate me. I’ve never been above a schadenfreude-inspired tabloid perusal. :-)
I was surprised to find that both tabs prominently discussed the fact that Ortiz was hit by a pitch. Doesn’t it strike anyone else as something of a reversal of the psychology of the rivalry for the Yankees’ media outlets to be obsessing about stuff like that? That kind of emphasis reminds me a lot of the Dan Shaughnessy/Boston Herald mentality of the late 1990s.

I am not concerned with what the media is talking about honestly. This is team is a mess point blank, no denying that, but it was nice to CC stick up for his hitters. Those that were watching on MY9 here in NY/NJ you heard Paulie O say the same thing. Paulie said something along the lines of you hit him, good now it’s over, protecting your hitters is just part of the game, etc… Something I said the other day. Wrong or right hitters want to be defended and after that inning Jeter showed CC some love as did Cervelli and others in the dugout. Nobody wants Papi hurt, just stick up for your hitters and that’s what he did. Right in the butt cheek. (Didn’t I call that too?)
Forget the Yankees, the Mavs are about to take down the best team money can buy! Let’s talk about that.

No way, let’s talk about the Vancouver Canucks winning a big game tonight and skating around the ice in Boston lifting the Cup!!!!

For the record Paul, I love perusing the covers of those tabloids – the Weiner headlines this past week have been priceless. I’ve forgetting at least half of best ones. Talk about a story that was just tailor made for those rags. They have certainly been having fun with it.
As for the NBA Finals John, this has been some compelling drama to watch. I’m not embarassed to say I’m (mildly) rooting for the Heat – mainly because the nationwide-group-think-hatred toward them has been ridiculous in my view (I say “mildly” because I would not be upset to see Dirk + Kidd each win one after all these years).
No the Heat shouldn’t have danced around pre-season like the second coming. And “The Decision” was really poor thinking (by a 25 year old remember!!!). But is it now so horrible that a star takes a little less money than he otherwise would have gotten so that he can share the spotlight with another star in the interest of winning championships? Can we please remember that Jordan had Pippen; Magic had Kareem and Worthy; Bird had McHale; Kobe had Shaq. I mean, NONE of these guys had the dredge that LeBron had in Cleveland, and he still took that team ubelievably deep into the post-season. Yes, those stars made some of the guys around them better to varying degree (I believe Bird and Magic did that much more than Kobe for instance), but I’d argue LeBron did the same in Cleveland.
And if you want to fall on your sword Charles Barkley so be it. LeBron can waive to you as they close the curtain between the first class “championship-won” cabin and coach class. (I love Barkley too, for the record, but think he’s mainly just jealous on this one).
Once Spoelstra figures out how they can play as a TEAM, they’ll be pretty daunting. They already are and they play mainly as a threesome (and sometimes as 2 + 1).
Anyway, I’ll be fine with a Mavs win. But I’d like the Heat to win just to shut up all the over-the-top hatred.

This season is just awful so far, but remember: at pretty much exactly this time two years ago, the Yankees, 34-26, had just come off yet another sweep by the Boston Red Sox, trailing those division leaders by 2 games.

2-2 John…with the B’s absolutely pounding the Canucks in Boston…
Back in BC tonight though. The team that wins game 5 in a 2-2 series usually goes on to win…

IH and I have the 100% exact same take on this. I don’t understand the hatred for LeBron, once you carve away the ridiculous antics of the announcement. After that what the beef? That he wants to win titles? I think we all know that’s why guys sign with teams like the Yankees and Sox: they have money and they have great opportunities, time after time (at least recently for the Sox) to win.

Krueg, don’t mean to pick on you. I know you hate the Bruins. But as such a big hockey fan, how in God’s name can you back Vancouver?
Because I hate Boston. Is this not obvious by now??? NO ONE outside Boston hates Vancouver…on the east coast anyway.
Do you hate them because of the cheap shot? Because if so, you have a short memory or don’t watch the Bruins often. The B’s took out Vanek in our series last season with a cheap shot…

In fact, Jeremy Roenick said the Canucks are pretty much loathed around the league, for reasons that should be glaringly apparent by now. Cheap, diving, cowards. Apparently very few players want the Canucks to win from what I have read.
Back to LeBron: if a ballplayer was offered the same amount of money by the Royals and Yankees and chose the Yankees, wouldn’t they be making a wise decision with regards to potential team success? Would we shit on them for taking the easy way out? Money the same in this hypothetical, remember. I hardly think so. LeBron has been unfairly vilified for his choice.

“LeBron has been unfairly vilified for his choice.”
Yep. He got a little big for his britches with the whole press conference thing but agreed.

Look, I think people crap on LeBron because now it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do, but I totally understand why a lot of people wouldn’t like him. ‘The Decision’ was one of the worst faux pas in sports history.

This season is just awful so far, but remember: at pretty much exactly this time two years ago, the Yankees, 34-26, had just come off yet another sweep by the Boston Red Sox, trailing those division leaders by 2 games.
Sorry to break up the conversation about lesser sports, but I wanted to point out the main difference between 2009 and today: The Sox had played six of those first eight games against the Yankees at Fenway, then played seven of the next 10 in Yankee Stadium. This year, the Sox have played six of the first nine games in the Bronx and now have the majority of the games at Fenway going forward.
To be clear, I certainly don’t expect the Sox to keep winning against the Yankees like this when the series resumes in August, but I also wouldn’t expect a collapse like we saw in 2009 either. I’d be more than happy with a 5-4 record from here on out (2-1 series wins for the home teams).
Ok, back to basketball and hockey…
My worthless contribution: I was in no way surprised to read in the Globe this morning that Yankee fans waiting out the rain delay were mostly rooting for the Heat in the game last night. Living in Texas, I can’t go three steps without someone talking to me about Dirk and the Mavs, and I couldn’t care less except my natural desire to root against the star-studded team (irony, I know) has me on board as a very casual Dallas rooter in this series.

Ha! You’re right, Devine. I went back and checked. It was an AP story i read on my iPhone early this morning. Good to know even Yankee fans have some sense. ;-)
I blame poor sentence construction. You would naturally report who the crowd is cheering for, not against.

So nothing to say about the Bruins taking out the Sabres best player, probably the best player in the series, with a cheap shot last year??? But what happened to Horton is a crime???

“Doesn’t it strike anyone else as something of a reversal of the psychology of the rivalry for the Yankees’ media outlets to be obsessing about stuff like that?”
There’s no such evidence of that reversal here! Every little bit of success is celebrated like the younger brother who’s never been good at any thing. When does the bitterness end for Sox fans?
This thread is like a Papi Pirouette – an extra bit of showboating for an unremarkable feat. Yeesh, act like you’ve been there before. Weren’t the Sox supposed to be the better team this year?

i’m too late with this probably, but i am rooting for the mavs with all i got…tough call because mark cuban is the owner, but i find kidd and dirk likeable enough…lebron’s biggest sin is being an idiot and letting espn talk him into that awful announcement spectacle…as a yankee fan i’d be a hypocrite if i said anything about him wanting to play with better players…but then when he and bosh and wade did that stupid whatever-it-was with the smoke and fireworks, and that goofy runway walk, that was enough for me…wade comes across as nothing more than a smug punk, and bosh always has that silly frown on his face, flopping on the floor every time he touches the ball, pleading with the ref for a foul…sheesh…

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