Erik– For my own safety I have sought refuge in Buffalo this week. I do not want to be around Phil the ultimate Red Sox fanatic in the middle of a historic collapse. Talking to other fans recently an interesting question came up with the Yankees playing a three game series against the team that is creeping up on the Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays. Last night with Boston inactive and the Yanks already wrapping up the division, the Rays took advantage with an 15-8 victory in the Bronx. As the craziest fan I know I have to ask: Is your hatred for the Yankees so strong that you would rather see the Sox miss the playoffs than root for the Bombers to take out your competition?
Phil- To me if the Red Sox can’t get in the playoffs on their own then they don’t deserve to be there. I don’t want the Yankees help. I can root for the O’s or the Blue Jays to take the Rays down but at no point will I ever root for New York. I realize that by winning three of four they did help us this week but I did not root for that. At this point I am rooting for the Red Sox to win and that’s that.
Erik- For me, personally I could never do it. I just can’t root on a rival or against my own team because I want to face you guys in October! We had a question come in via twitter (@seeuinoctober) as to whether we thought it was ok to want the Yanks to lose last night and obviously that is asking for an opinion and there is no right or wrong answer, but I say no. I want to face off with the Sox in the ALCS. Bring on the drama and bring on the rivalry! Starting tonight the Yankees and Red Sox play their final three games of the regular season and given your success against us this season you have to be breathing a sigh of relief to be done with the O’s and to be taking on the yanks. Right?
Phil- Of course you want to face the Sox in the ALCS. The way they’re playing I think most teams would. I don’t really think Erik Bedard is striking fear in the hearts of the Yankees as our third starter. I have no problem rooting against a rival at any point. In a perfect world the Pinstriped would go 0-162 every season, the Lakers would always be a lottery team and the Jets would be regulated to the CFL. If the roles were currently reversed I would still root for my team because I hate to see any of my teams lose no matter the circumstance but I could see why a gutless fan of that team from the Bronx would root like that.
Erik– All the pressure in this series is on the Sox, but I don’t think the Yanks should take this too lightly. We already know that CC
won’t pitch again until the ALDS and Girardi seems intent upon resting our regular guys, but I believe in momentum and swagger. I think of the NFL teams who decide to rest starters vs. teams that play through and the turning point of the Giants’ season in 2007 was that game they played against the undefeated Patriots. I also think home field advantage is huge especially for a veteran club.
Phil- Definitely not. The Yankees should take this time to showcase all the talent in the minors. Put on a promotion where the first 25 fans make up the roster each game. Bring back whoever threw batting practice to Adrian Gonzalez in the home run derby to make a start.
In all seriousness I agree with you. Momentum is such a humongous part of sports and although people always talk about it and can sometimes be discredited. In 2004 when the Sox made the greatest comeback in not just sports history but history in general, they went into the World Series to play the St. Louis Cardinals. A Cardinals team that won 105 games. All the Sox did was bring their brooms to the stadium. Granted the momentum the Sox had that fall was of biblical proportions, but the point remains valid. I think Girardi’s squad should still err on the side of caution. They have a five game lead for home field with six games left I think they’ll be fine.
So what’s your prediction for the series?
Erik- I think the Sox take at least two of the three. Their backs are up against the wall and there is too much talent, although some of their bigger bats (Gonzalez) shrink in big spots. You have to feel good about Lester going against Garcia and the rest of the series who knows who will get the ball especially with Hughes having trouble with back spasms. Although the way our September call ups pitched against the Rays I figure we will win one game. Also I think the average number of runs per game will be 12.