by user Bosoxwest

As everyone knows, the average Red Sox vs. Yankees game creates a lot of bad blood. I don't need to go into the details there, since it's impossible to go more than a month without catching a documentary about the rivalry on ESPN or Fox Sports (case in point, last night). Tonight's game is going to be special, though, from the hate perspective.

Normally, Sox fans and Yankee fans are hating the opposing team's player for some Seinfeld-ian rationale built to cover the fact that they just wear the uni. Sox fans hate Sheffield because he's a steroid-using career criminal, and Yankee fans hate Schilling because he's a loudmouth tool who believes in God. Sox fans hate A-Rod because he cheats unapologetically and highlights his hair, and Yankee fans hate Manny because he pees in the outfield. Sox fans hate Giambi because his steroid abuse beat them in the 2003 ALCS, and Yankee fans hate Varitek because he glove-slapped A-Rod after the 235-lb deoderant shill tried to take on 127 lb. enforcer Bronson Arroyo. This is normal, everyday hatred. Obviously, if anyone from either side were to run into one of these guys in a bar, they'd buy them a beer for being ball-players, except of course if it were Sheffield, who might put a cap in your ass.

Today we have an even more vitriolic scenario, with the two most hated players on either team facing off in the Bronx. For the Yanks, Randy Johnson takes the mound. Johnson is perhaps the most hated athlete in baseball after Barry Bonds, largely because he is just an evil, evil man, but to be fair, some of the loathing is directed at his pitted, chainsaw-massacre-esque looks.

The recently acquired demi-ace Josh Beckett takes the mound for the Sox, and Yanks fans do not like this kid one bit either. On top of his being a total punk whose obnoxious screaming and wild gesticulations (which bear an almost uncanny resemblance to the Unit's) have never really been backed up by his overall success, his crowning achievement is the well-documented shutout of the Yanks on 3 days rest in the 2003 World Series. As any Yankee fan will tell you, he hasn't done much since then.

Both of these teams are capable of blowing a game open offensively so this game will most likely be decided on the mound. One or both of these pitchers will have to earn the victory, or at least turn it over to their 'pen with a chance to do so. This is easier said than done, though. Beckett has been famously rocked in his last three outings, the most noteworthy a savage beating at the hands of the Indians. Johnson has struggled at times this season also and is currently sporting an ERA above five. Both pitchers have particular trouble in the early innings, so that could be where this game is won or lost.

Regardless of the outcome, two things are certain. One, these pitchers are going to be embarrassing themselves on the mound after every big striekout. Two, drunks from both sides will be fighting in the stands, and the parking lot, and the trains, and the bars after the game. That's Red Sox - Yankees baseball. It's a good time for everyone.

My inaccurate prediction for the final outcome is 7-5 Yanks with Beckett's control problems being the difference.


Tue 05/09/06, 8:00 am EST

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