An unnecessary Spring circus


In about 12 hours, the Yankees and Red Sox will square off for their first and only meeting of the Spring Training season. With Andy Pettitte making his first start since elbow problems prevented him from getting even with the Rays throwing last week and Bartolo Colon hoping to win a spot on a team suddenly a bit short on starting pitchers, the game has plenty of drama for the two teams involved.

But as this is New York and Boston, it also has the added bonus of being a media circus. Reporters will descend on Tampa tomorrow afternoon and wax philosophical about this meeting as though it’s a harbinger of things to come this season. They’ll expound on the storied rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox, mentioning the Sox’s two World Series wins over the last four seasons as some sign of dominance in the rivalry. They’ll talk about this as though it’s the be-all and end-all of Spring Training games.

And you know what? I’m sick of it. Spring Training, as we’ve tried to point over the last few weeks, isn’t about winning or losing. It’s not about fine-tuned rivalries or spring stats. It’s about rediscovering baseball and tinkering with pitches. It’s about getting a feel for the strike zone and timing a swing on a fastball. It’s about learning new ways to get hitters out, and it’s about finding new ways to close that hole in a swing.

For four weeks, the baseball season can survive without the Yankees and the Red Sox squaring off, and for four weeks, these two teams can make their ways through Spring Training without the added bonus of an over-hyped game. Both teams would still sell out every single Spring Training game they play with or without facing off against each other.

Sure, I’ll enjoy the game tomorrow afternoon, and maybe I’m being a bit too sensitive. But when all is said and done, Spring Training doesn’t count, but everyone covering this circus sometimes thinks it does.

Categories : Rants
  • TheBronxStop

    We could always go back to covering the Winter Meetings if this spring training things got ya down!!! :-D

  • iYankees

    The entire Red Sox-Yankee rivalry has sort of limped along ever since 2005. It’ll be interesting to see how some of the writers tackle the game as they attempt to spin it into something new.

  • Jamal G.

    Sort of limped? How can you say that? What was greater than the Boston massacre II? Or the 3-game sweep last August where our Top 3 of Wang, Pettitte, and Clemens beat out their Top 3 of Beckett, Matsuzaka, and Schilling. Being down 14.5 games in May and seeing the fans at Fenway having to wait until the second to last day of the regular season to celebrate a division title just made me weep with joy.

    I don’t think the series has limped because nothing can ever match that 2003 or 2004 ALCS as those were immortal games in the history of sports.

    As to the topic, your right Ben, but when it comes to Yanks/Sawkz nothing is ever treated as just what it is. An early April game is not just that, it is a tell-tale sign to the Herald and the Post as to who is the top-dog in the AL East. There is no logic and reason when it comes to Yanks/Sawkz, just gotta deal with it.

    • Whitey14

      For years the Red Sox didn’t hold a candle to the yankees, and in all reality when you measure the teams up throughout history, they still don’t. But the fact that the Red Sox hadn’t won in 86 years was always made evident to us Sox fans by fans of the yankees (remember 1918, 1918, 1918?). They can admit it or not, but life changed for a lot of yankee fans the night the Red Sox finished their sweep of the cardinals because they could no longer lord their titles over us. The rivalry has changed over the past four years since both teams are perennial contenders the yankees actually have to view the Sox as viable competition now and that just wasn’t always the case. The rivalry has defintely limped along over the past few years and probably will until these teams meet in the playoffs again. Everything else is just anti-climatic

  • pete c.

    I wonder how their scalping tickets for, for this game.

  • Bruno

    I love how you said “some sign of dominance”. Although they beat us in ’04 (tear), last year they didn’t have to go through us, luckily for them. Hopefully the Giants unperfecting the Pats will restore order to the NY/BOS universe.

    • Ben K.

      The Yanks also have the edge in the season series over the last few years as well.

    • Whitey14

      It won’t because Celtics/Knicks is so one-sided this year your universe will still be upside down, while ours is exactly as it should be. I’d mention Hockey as an edge for you, but unfortunately nobody cares about hockey, or even has the opportunity to watch it anymore.

      • Ben K.

        The Knicks? Who cares about them or any NBA team? The Knicks have absolutely nothing to do with the NYY/BOS rivalry. Maybe thirty years ago…but please.

        • Whitey14

          Sorry Benny Boy, but you guys have been trying to cling to the whole Pats/giants thing, (of course only since the giants beat them in the super bowl and it worked for you), which has NEVER been a rivalry so you can’t have it both ways. The edge these days goes to Boston and the WORLD CHAMPION BOSTON RED SOX

          • Ben K.

            Don’t be obnoxious.

          • nmc

            just go back to Connecticut with your Green redsox hat, you bandwagon-jumping troll.

            • Adam

              haha, green red sox hat. nice touch.

            • Whitey14

              Hold on…I’m coming up with something original and intelligent…..

              Don’t be obnoxious!

              You kiss ass…don’t even talk to me about bandwagon fans…new york invented the bandwagon fan…non of you even talked about the yankees between 85 and 93 because they sucked! As soon as they started winning again you all popped up like zits on the ass of life. nmc…what’s that stand for…not much class I’m guessing.

  • Rich

    The unbalanced scheduled has made the 18 regular season tedious, so ST games don’t even rise to that level.

    • steve (different one)

      couldn’t agree more.

  • Barry

    I know what you mean by the way their overhyped but this is still feeding my baseball addiction and I’ll take it.

  • Lex R.

    Whitey14, please be obnoxious somewhere else. And none of us talked about the Yankees between 85 and 93 because we were in diapers, pre-school and grade school.

    • Whitey14

      It’s not my goal to be obnoxious, but if that’s how I’m spoken to, it’s how I will speak back. I’m more than happy to speak respectfully to those who address me that way, but most people here see I’m a Red Sox fan and want to bash me. They want to make arguments that don’t hold water, but can’t live up to any criticism of those arguments. If me having a dissenting opinion makes me obnoxious, then so be it.

      • Lex R.

        Whitey, I *am* a Red Sox fan. If you think “they’re making arguments that don’t hold water,” contribute something constructive to the discussion instead of whining about how you’re treated when you say ridiculous shit.

        • Whitey14

          Lex, I haven’t seen you here before and obviously you haven’t seen me either. I’d invite you to read some of the recent comment threads and you’ll see that I do add constructive things to the discussions and sometime I even agree with the yankee point of view moreso than the Boston point of view because even though I’m biased, I’m still honest.
          My point today was that if guys are going to try to add football to the Boston discussion then you cannot stop there. When I bring up basketball, it’s just plain immature to dismiss it and say it doesn’t count in the discussion. I made the point right after the Superbowl (when I gave the giants full credit for their well deserved win) that people shouldn’t think the Pats and Sox are on the same groud here in New England. We love the Patriots, but we worship the Red Sox. We’re dissapointed the Pats lost, but it’s easily forgettable because the Red Sox are World Champions. How many Yankee fans were able to forget their loss to the Indians when the giants beat the Pats….very few I’m guessing. They were still too busy blaming the gnats. Pats/giants doesn’t add anywhere near as much to the Bos/ny discussion as Red Sox/yankees, but many of the poeple here just don’t get that. They’re clinging to whatever they can grab onto until their precious yankees are back on top.

          • Lex R.

            Hang on–I’m calling the Whambulance now.

          • Lex R.

            Seriously though, just keep it respectful.

            • Whitey14

              You have my word….I will keep it respectful if everybody else does and we’ll all be just fine.

              I’m asking seriously here, because I don’t know, what is the whambulance? that went over my head….

              • Lex R.

                Sound of whining + Ambulance = Whambulance

                • Whitey14

                  interesting, I’ve never heard that one before. Thanks for clarifying….

  • Pingback: » Blog Archive » Pride of the Yankees 3/17/08 The Bloggers

  • Jamal G.

    Whitey, the Pats were 18-0 heading into the Super Bowl. they were the best thing in uniform according to anybody who had a platform, they were THE Team, they were UNBEATABLE. Then the Super Bowl was actually played, and the team with the most offensive points in the regular season scored 14 points against the New York Giants. 14 points after Tom Brady scoffed at Plax’s prediction that the Pats would score only 17 points. This was an upset of epic proportions, your right this wasn’t a NYY/BOS thing, it was everyone in the damn country that wasn’t a band wagon hopper or that did not live in New England laughing their God Damn asses off at the Patriots for losing. Losing after running up the score all season, after cheating against the NY JETS FOR GOD’s SAKE!

    Whitey, this is ammo for the NYY/BOS because of who the Patriots were this past NFL season, national celebrities who failed miserably when it counted the most.

    • Whitey14

      Sorry Jamal, you’re incorrect.
      The giants and patriots have ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on the yankees/Red Sox. It’s just something ny fans are clinging to to get them through until the yankees are on top again. Like I said earlier,if you guys get to bring football into the equation, we’ll bring basketball in next and then the scale tips back to Boston again. Just the fact that you guys feel the need to go to the NFL to try and balance the scales between ny/Bos proves you all realize that right now (yes, I said right now) it’s the yanks gunning for the Sox instead of vice versa.
      Maybe in six months your youth will have stepped up and ours won’t have and the scale will tip back in your favor, but it sure as hell won’t be because one football team is playing better than the other. The only things that impact the Sox/yanks rivalry are things that actually involve the Sox and yanks. When last I checked, football games don’t involve either of them so they don’t fit in the equation. It’s an ignorant argument to say they do, so just drop it.

  • Jamal G.

    ST or not, I’m still enjoying this. How bout Colon hitting consistently at 94-96.