Archive for May 13th, 2011

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

Much to the chagrin of the rest of the baseball world, this weekend brings the latest installment of the epic battle between the Yankees Universe and Red Sox Nation. 

Over the next 72 hours, FOX, ESPN, and local sports networks in both regions will inundate their audiences with coverage of a rivalry that has  taken on a life of its own. Much like European soccer powerhouses interrupt their regular season schedules to play highly anticipated international tournament games, when the Yankees and Red Sox meet, the events seem to transcend the sport. 

Like it or not, when the Yankees and Red Sox play, the games generate great interest. Fueling that passion has been the success enjoyed by both teams over the last decade. However, the rich history between the two teams is also a factor. Even though the Rays have established themselves on equal footing with both behemoths, their limited history, and even more limited fan base, hasn’t yet kindled the intensity that exists between Boston and New York.

Although it often gets swallowed up in hype, the fact of the matter is the rivalry has been highly competitive over the last decade (and, as noted below, the last 45 years). Not since 2001, when the Yankees won 13 of 18, has one team dominated a season series. Over the subsequent 10 years (including the playoffs and the three games played so far this year), the outcomes have practically been the split down the middle, with the Yankees maintaining a small 94-90 advantage. With each team being a perennial pennant contender, the games have taken on a heightened significance, which undoubtedly has contributed to the intensity on each side.

History of the Rivalry, 1901-1911


Note: Blue in the chart above represents years when the Yankees won more than 50% of the season series. Red represents when the Red Sox won more than 50%. When the season series was split, a gray area is visible.
Source: Baseball-reference.com


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