The New York Yankees - Boston Red Sox rivalry is arguably the biggest one in sports. At worst it is number two behind Carolina - Duke. When you have a rivalry that is so hotly contested, it is virtually impossible to look at one team without shining light on the other.
Last season, when the Red Sox upgraded their lineup by trading for Adrian Gonzalez and shelling out a nine-figure contract to Carl Crawford, Yankees fans were beside themselves as they saw their team's top target, Cliff Lee, choose the Philadelphia Phillies as his new home. Obviously, things worked out better for the Yankees than the Red Sox in 2011 and things appear to still be working out for the Yankees.
Last night, Yankees' GM Brian Cashman acquired one of the top young pitching talents in the game in addition to inking veteran Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year deal, reversing the off-season tables in the process. Sox fans look to their failed 2011 season as reassurance that nothing is given at this point, but does that offer much consolation at this point? Gordon Edes says 'no' and talks about three immediate reactions from Red Sox Nation:
- The Red Sox were interested in Kuroda, but apparently were unable to meet the asking price of about $10 million. Edes looks back and asks if it was wise to sign Carl Crawford to such a big deal - not to mention John Lackey. Hindsight is 20/20. The Lackey deal looked like a mistake from the get-go, but I can't say that I thought the Crawford deal was a bad move at the time - pricey, but not bad.
- Edes thinks you can remove the doubt from Daniel Bard's transition to the rotation. Not only is this move a necessary one for rotation depth, but its one that they'll need to pay dividends on the field as well.
- The Red Sox will benefit from the expanded playoff format if it is implemented this season. Not only are there two other teams in the division that have legitimate championship aspirations, but then you also have to consider the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels. Edes does not even mention dark horse contenders like the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians.