Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who Didn't Want a Sox/Yankees ALCS?

The other day on WEEI, Tony Maz whined on and on about how sick he was of Red Sox/Yankees and Yankees/Red Sox. He was sick of the whole thing and didn’t want an ALCS matchup between these two clubs.

No one agreed with him.

Who would, other than fans of other teams? If you are a Yankees or Red Sox fan, you want to see these two teams facing off. It’s must-see tv. The two most storied franchises in baseball – and maybe all of sports. I know I don’t miss any of the games played between them. They’re always major events for me – I buy food and drinks specifically for the occasion or go hang out with the guys to watch the game. Even fans of other teams can’t deny these two teams always make for good baseball.

But Tony Maz is sick of good baseball. He wants “something new.” Well, he got it. Red Sox/Indians in the ALCS. Am I excited? Sure. My team is one of the 4 remaining teams. But I don’t hate the Indians like I hate the Yankees. In fact, I really like the Indians. A lot. Grady Sizemore is one of my favorite baseball players. Trot Nixon was my favorite player back in the late-‘90s and earlier part of this century. I like Jhonny Peralta, Casey Blake, CC Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, etc. They’re a fun team to watch, and yes, I’m scared of them.

But the Yankees! How can you not want your team to face the Yankees? I hate the Yankees. I wanted to see that matchup again.

The best television shows have a hero and a villain. Lost has the losties and The Others. 24 has CTU and terrorists. Chuck has Chuck and Tang (and the real bad guys). Damages has Patty Hewes and Ted Danson’s character. Okay, so neither of them are “good,” but you get the picture.

I guarantee ratings for the ALCS are lower. Well, maybe not, since the start times are actually quite reasonable. They’ll probably see a spike because people can actually stay up and watch most of the games now. But the ALCS series doesn’t have the drawing power that it had in 2004. And that makes Tony Maz happy.


Sister Jean said...

I absolutely agree with Tony. For me, the Sox-Yankees = too much angry baseball. I hate the Yankees, get sick watching those games--really feel way too anxious all the time because too much rests on each moment! With Cleveland, it will be tense, exciting and I'll actually be able to appreciate good baseball. It wll be a GAME and not a HATE FEST.

Love your column.

skootchy22 said...

I disagree with that. My Wife is the same way watching most sports- hates the tension and cannot sit and watch. I think she just doesnt understand that the tension and the craziness and even the hate, is what makes it appealing for hardcore fans. THat being said, I do agree that the "hatefest" which I consider the 2 weeks of drumming up every little incident that ESPN does before the first game, is very annoying and could do without.

Mike C said...

Okay, so I agree with that - all the Babe Ruth and curse videos during 2004, etc. But the action itself can't be beat.

Anonymous said...


Sister Jean said...

Skootchy, I do consider myself a hardcore fan.

Did anyone read Joe Posnanski at He does give Cleveland the highest desperation score of all cities for a championship. I think there will be plenty of angst, frustration and tension.

I understand the Bo-Sox/Yanks competition and even have been to those games, but I just feel so much more is at stake, it's hard to handle. Enough in the regular season!

Glad those of you who enjoy it do.

Red Sox said...

Sister Jean, you are welcome here anytime. Thanks for your input.

Jason Mittell said...

I'm happy to have the Yanks out of it. In part it's because it's fun to watch Yankees fans on the sidelines even longer, watching Sox fans still caring & them getting a taste of misery. But also the games against the Yanks are more than twice as painful when we lose, but not twice as glorious when we win (excepting 2004, of course). And I'm getting too old to stay up to 1 am just to watch a loss and be unable to sleep.

I'm looking forward to rooting for my team, but not against the other team in the ALCS. And this way, either team will make it possible for me to watch the World Series, as I refuse to watch the Yanks in the WS anymore.

Mike C said...

You have a good point about the length of Sox/Yanks games, Jason. They are brutal. I won't miss that.