I was in a luxury suite on Friday night watching the Dodgers blow a ninth inning lead when news from the east coast made its way through the guts of Chavez Ravine. The Yankees and Red Sox were in extra innings. Really extra innings. Like, 15 of them.
Someone in the booth asked me who I wanted to win the game. My answer was simple. I hoped the game went for a record 2,732 innings and both teams missed the playoffs because they had not finished this particular game yet. As you know, unless it is an All-Star game, there is no tying (or crying) in baseball.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, A-Rod smacked the holy heck out of a fastball and planted it deep in the bleachers of Coors Field East and proceeded to ham it up for the cameras in the worst acting job I’ve seen since his consensual sex, er, interview with Peter Gammons where he “admitted” taking “something”. Unfortunately for us the game was over.
We had to watch the Red Sox look sad. We had to watch A-Rod and Texiera almost kiss while they did the awkward jumping and hugging thing. I get nervous anytime the two of them interact because they are worth some 60 million dollars a season. And awkward attempt to show the Yankee Faithful they are “true Yankees” might result in the squandering of what amounts to the GNP of a South American country.
Here’s the thing. Watching the Yankees or Red Sox win is like watching Bill Gates win the lottery. It is really hard to stomach for the rest of us. It’s easy for me to say as a Dodger fan. We are a big market team, we’ve won more modern championships than the Red Sox, we have a former Yankee manager. It’s easy for me to say that what goes on with the Sox and Yanks is gross. It’s easy for me to say because I have no stock in it.
The Yankees and Red Sox haven’t prevented the Dodgers from winning a title of late. There is no real reason to hate either of them if you are a Dodger fan. I mean, I am far too young to remember all the Dodger beatings the Yankees dished out in the 1950s. The last time the two squads faced off, the Dodgers won.
My point is that the only reason I get so tired of the Red Sox v Yankees series is because it is really, really easy to get tired of. Peter Gammons and company start chasing their tails they are so excited. Bill Simmons puts on his negligee and pours himself a glass of Cabernet before sitting down at his MacBook Air to write his latest Boston fluff piece.
ESPN knows it too. They felt the need to open a studio out here to offset the feeling that ESPN stood for “East coast Spots Promotion Network”. In fairness, they also opened the West Coast studio to fluff the Lakers, the only thing west of the Big 12 that ESPN cares about besides occasionally USC and Barry Bonds before he was exiled.
Oh yeah. The West Coast studio provides a lot of fodder for their B-list anchors to drop Entourage references because “the kids think it’s cool”. If I hear things like “he had to wait longer than the line at the Coffee Bean on La Brea” once more time, I am going to snap.
I get it. New York is a big market. Boston pretends to be. This is a big rivalry. I guess more than anything, I wanted to vent because I was hoping I wasn’t alone thinking there is more schmaltz associated with these games than on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Too much insanity.
Anyone else wish the television had a Red Sox/Yankees filter? I am fine with the east coast getting the coverage they desire, but can’t the rest of us turn it off? I hope so, because once College Football kicks off, we’ll be watching a lot of SEC coverage and some hard hitting analysis from Game Day like “Florida’s offense is too innovative for the SEC”. No kidding. They are the first team to figure out that passing is a cool way to score touchdowns.