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Let Them Play

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The Red Sox and Yankees make this league. Without these two teams the league would be a bust. It’s like taking the Celtics and Lakers out of the NBA or the Patriots and Colts out of the NFL. The MLB can’t and won’t do anything to stop the Red Sox and Yankees because when these two teams play each other the ratings spike.
This rivalry goes beyond baseball. If you asked every person at Fenway Park on the night of April 4th if it was worth it staying for the whole 3 1/2 hour game, every single one of them would say yes. It is a different mentality in Boston and New York. It is a culture. Going to baseball games in cities like LA is more of a social gathering. The seats in LA that go for $12 go for $80 in Boston or New York. People in Boston aren’t going to spend $80 on a bleacher seat social event. They are going to get there at least an hour early and won’t leave ‘til the final out no matter the score. In LA the stadium doesn’t fill up ‘til the 3rd inning if it does fill up. In Boston they aren’t going to take 3 innings to get food and talk to their date the whole time. You don’t take dates to Red Sox or Yankee games because it would be your last date with them. You would not talk at all and the girl would just leave.
Going to a Red Sox game or a Yankees game is an outing and the highlight of the month. A lucky person gets to go to a game. You are extremely privileged if you get to go to at least 3. Baseball in these towns is treated just like it was 80 years ago. All fans are die-hards and they will be at the game no matter what the weather is. In LA the weather is always great and if it’s a little chilly then people will pass on the game.
This rivalry features arguably the two best closers in the game. So who cares if Papelbon wants to take an extra thirty seconds to get pumped and get the stadium roaring. Closers live and feed off of the energy in the crowd. That’s why closers aren’t put in with five run leads. The crowd isn’t as fired up and the pitchers aren’t as motivated to be on top of their game. And who cares if Mark Texeira steps out of the box two or three times during an at bat. He has $20 million of pressure on his shoulders, 10 million people back in New York counting on him to perform against their most hated rivals and 37,000 Red Sox fans chanting “Yankees Suck!” when they play at the Fens. All those people who criticize them for taking their time need to try playing a game in their shoes. Being highly paid comes with a downside. You must perform and be one of the best in the league at your position. Texeira was brought in to lead the Yankees and has the weight of New York on his shoulders.
Almost every time the Red Sox and Yankees play it is broadcasted on national television. Where not only the fans from New York and Boston get coverage but baseball watcher in the nation watches. Both of the cities stop when these two teams play each other. Nothing else matters for that three to four day span. When Josh Beckett faces off against CC Sabathia or Jon Lester against AJ Burnett or now John Lackey versus Andy Pettite the whole nation stops and watches.
The thing that makes baseball special is that it is not timed. Now let the players do their thing because the real fans don’t care.



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