New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

The Sports Journal

Pinstripe Press

What could be more fun than looking at the American League East Standings and seeing The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox tied for first?

Being a Yankee fan I always want the Bronx Bombers in first place.

But would it really be baseball season without the rivalry in full swing? When one of the two teams is in first and the other is far behind, the excitement of each game diminishes.

Beating the Tampa Bay Rays in a series just doesn’t feel the same as beating Boston.

This year it is especially exciting because no one expected to see these two teams vying for the top spot.

Most people predicted the Toronto Blue Jays to hold first place and the great rivalry to be fighting for last.

Perhaps, experts underestimated what it means to put on the pinstripes. Players like Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Ichiro Suzuki have each received a second chance at stardom. Each appears to have a new life that may not have existed if they were on a team like the Kansas City Royals.

Even the youngsters have that swagger of a Yankee. For them, there may never be another opportunity to make it on the big stage. And every single one of them seems to be taking advantage of the opportunity.

Each time, the Yankees take the field it could be of memorable stature. Of course, if the game is against the Red Sox it can be an instant classic.

Who may become the next Bucky Dent or Aaron “F***ing” Boone. Will someone make a play that can be known by something as simple as “the Catch”?

Yankee/Red Sox baseball is not just about who wins or loses. It is about the plays, the heroes, the fall guys and most importantly the fans.

Fans become winners or losers in life based on their team’s fate on a given day. And if you are not a fan of the same team in this heated rivalry whether it is your brother, best friend, boss or even spouse, you are merely the enemy.

Bleeding Yankee Blue or calling yourself a member of Red Sox Nation is as strong a feeling as there is in baseball.

Without each team’s faithful fans, feelings would not be so heated. And without the two team’s battling for American League East dominance, none of it would even matter.

Go Yankees!