NEW YORK — A couple hours before the Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creatures started mocking the Red Sox on Wednesday night, longtime Boston baseball writer Dan Shaughnessy reminisced about the over 30 years he’s been around the rivalry.
The legendary scribe has seen it all from former Red Sox president Larry Lucchino referring to the Yankees’ as “the Evil Empire” after the they won the Jose Contreras sweepstakes in 2002 to the improbable ALCS comeback from 3-games-down two years later.
While Shaughnessy acknowledged this week’s series is the way it should be, with both teams fighting for division supremacy, the Boston Globe columnist feels the Red Sox players might have more hatred for another club in the division.
“I feel like the Red Sox, their emotional rival, is the Orioles,” Shaughnessy told NJ Advance Media ahead of the first-place Yankees’ 8-0 win over second-place Boston.
After all, there have been fireworks between the two teams since April 21 when Orioles’ third baseman Manny Machado slid hard into second base, spiking second baseman Dustin Pedroia in the left leg.
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Are the Orioles now the Red Sox top rival?
Maybe for the time being, according to Shaughnessy.
“It’s never going to proximate, the hatred, the emotion, even the star power,” Shaughnessy said of the Yankees-Sox rivalry. “There was a lot of emotion there, even the owners used to be sniping at each other.”
Both franchises haven’t been good at the same time over the last few years. The last time both qualified for the postseason was 2009,when the Yankees won their 27th World Series title.
But with both franchises finding success with fresh talent — the Red Sox and Yankees boast the 10th and 11th youngest rosters in baseball, a stark contrast from the veteran groups that went at it at during the turn of the century — even Bombers manager Joe Girardi has sensed an extra buzz surrounding the series.
“I think a lot of times you notice the noise in the stadium and you also notice it when you go out for coffee,” Girardi said. “Someone’s going to say something to you. You definitely notice it.”
As for the Red Sox having a new No. 1 rival, one of the Bleacher Creatures leaders doesn’t buy it.
Marc Chalpin, whose booming voice from the Bleacher Creatures signals the start of every Yankee roll call, showed up to Wednesday’s game wearing a t-shirt with a slogan on the front that reads, “I don’t broke for Boston fans.”
Chalpin says the Red Sox are still the team that Yankees fans hate the most, and he says it’ll always be that way.
“Nobody cares about Baltimore unless Baltimore is right in front of them,” he said.
That’s not the case right now because, once again, the Yankees and Red Sox sit atop the division.
“I hope it stays that way,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s better for baseball.”
Mark Fischer may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nhlfisch21. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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