By Jon Ho
Overall this season has been a nightmare for Yankee fans. The team has underachieved again by barely making the playoffs, losing in the Wild Card game to their biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox. Plus it does not look like the Yankees will make significant changes for now. But to make things worse, the American League Championship Series (ALCS) features both the Red Sox and the Houston Astros. Easily the two teams Yankee fans hate the most. So if you are a Yankee fan who would you rather see win and potentially get another World Series title? Let's look at the cases for both.
The Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is one of the oldest and fiercest in the history of sports. There are so many significant moments in this rivalry, which include the trade of Babe Ruth to the Yankees, the Aaron Boone homer run in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Pedro Martinez throwing down Don Zimmer, and the Red Sox coming back from 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS. It is ingrained in each fanbase to hate each other, and the proximity between New York and Massachusetts feeds into the rivalry. For most of history, the Yankees were on the top end with the Yankees winning 26 Championships while the Red Sox had an 86-year-old World Series drought. However after the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004, the rivalry has gone more in Boston’s favor. The Yankees do have a 174-153 record against the Red Sox since 2004, but the Red Sox have won 4 World Series titles and the Yankees have only won 1. Additionally, the Red Sox have beaten the Yankees in 3 straight playoff series and since being down 3-0, the Red Sox have won 8 out of 9 games against the Yankees. If the Red Sox make the World Series it would further emphasize that the Red Sox are ahead of the Yankees. What would make it more infuriating is that the Red Sox were in a rebuilding year and traded away one of the best players in baseball in Mookie Betts 1 year ago. However, the Red Sox do not have any players that are easy to root against compared to Houston.
The rivalry between the Yankees and Astros is a lot more recent compared to the rivalry with the Red Sox, but it is just as fierce. This mostly stems from the Astros Cheating Scandal, in which the Astros were caught stealing signs with a camera catching signs and relaying them with the banging of trash cans during the 2017 and 2018 seasons at home games. During the 2017 World Series season, the Astros beat the Yankees in the ALCS to get to the World Series and won the last 2 games at home after being down 3-2 against the Yankees. Most Yankees fans believe that they were screwed out of a World Series appearance that year, and Aaron Judge was robbed of an MVP by José Altuve. Also in 2019, the Astros beat the Yankees in the ALCS after José Altuve hit a 2 run homer to win Game 6 and many Yankee fans believe Altuve was wearing a buzzer to get signs. Even though there has been no proof of that, the fact that Altuve made sure his jersey was not taken off is suspicious. Because of the scandal and the fact the players were not punished, players like José Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa have become enemy number 1 to Yankee fans. Yankees players also dislike the Astros organization because of the scandal. There is some mutual respect between the Yankees and Red Sox, whereas it seems there is none between the Yankees and Astros. If the Astros make the World Series, it lessens the argument that the Astros cheated their way to a World Series win. Older Yankee fans probably hate the Red Sox more because of the history. But I could see a younger fan hate the Astros more because of recency and the scandal.
So who would Yankee fans rather see win the ALCS? I’m sure most Yankee fans would say neither and they would root for whoever the National League team is. Before the cheating scandal, it would easily be the Astros, but because of the recent events, it’s a lot closer. I personally would lean towards Yankees fans rooting against the Red Sox because of the storied history and the recent Wild Card loss, but it is close. In the end, Yankee fans just might not watch the ALCS and wait for the World Series so they can root against the Red Sox or Astros. If you are a Yankee fan comment below what your opinion on this topic is and why.