The Red Sox clinched the AL East division title last night for the first time since 2013. That is an incredible accomplishment, especially after winning 11 of the last 13 games to surge ahead in the division and solidify themselves as a World Series favorite. So why do I have a bad taste in my mouth after last night? Was it the walk-off home run by Mark Teixeira in the 9th inning? Could it be the feeling that the Red Sox aren’t exactly fighting for home field advantage through the playoffs? Or is it the fact that after a Red Sox-Yankees game, BOTH teams went into the locker rooms to celebrate?
Look, I understand how hard the Sox have fought all season to get into the position they are in now. I understand that the Yankees aren’t even in the playoff hunt anymore. I understand that both teams have lost most of the players that made this the greatest rivalry in sports. But can we get a little bit of hate going here? We made the playoffs. The Yankees should be jealous and bitterly mad. The Yankees beat us on a walk off home run in the 9th inning to stop us from winning our way into a division title. We should be mad. I honestly wanted Don Zimmer and Pedro to run onto the field and start some shit last night. Where’s A-Rod when you need him to chop some arms? Hell, I’d even take Andy Petite. God, I hated that guy.
I know the stakes weren’t high last night after the Blue Jays lost but I miss the days when every game against the Yankees was a playoff game. Here is what bothered me. Yankees fans were holding signs thanking Big Papi for what he’s done for the game and the New York-Boston rivalry. I get that they are basically saying “good riddance,” but still. When he got up to the plate there was a mix of cheers and boos, and I was thankful for those booing. I respected the shit out of Jeter but I would never cheer for the guy in a game at Fenway Park. Another part of last night that should bother Red Sox fans is the fact that John Farrell didn’t even blink when Joe Kelly loaded the bases in the 9th. Obviously the guy isn’t having his best day, and we still are fighting for home field advantage through the playoffs. That game DID matter. I know you can’t predict a last inning grand slam, but I was a bit disappointed in the effort to close out the game.
Maybe I am living in the past, but the Red Sox I know wouldn’t lose a game to the Yankees in the 9th inning and go celebrate in the locker room after. Again, I couldn’t be more proud of this team for winning the AL East. They developed their young players, created depth in their bullpen and worked out the kinks all season long. If we had lost against the Orioles and clinched the division, then I’m all in on the celebration. But this is the Yankees. I guess I just pictured the Sox clinching the division with a win against our rivals. I wanted David Ortiz to go into the locker room, roll the champagne back into the closet and tell his team that they won’t celebrate until they beat the Yankees on Thursday night. But in the end, it was one bad inning. We are division champs and are set to make a solid playoff run. Let’s win another ring and make David Ortiz’s final season the greatest of all time.
Follow Pierson Butler on Twitter @PiercedButt
Feature Image: Kathy Willens/AP Photo