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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Take heart: Historically, whenever the Yankees or Redsocks outsmart each other, it usually backfires

T'is a dim and foul Jabroney,
The brute who methinks he can,
Make a feast of stale baloney,
O, crapola! The folly of man...
- Bard of Lupica, Canterbury England, 1678

So spake "the tiny Bard" long ago, from inside his shirt of hair. And Lupica's verses continue to inspire us and shed light on a world that - as we know from our current leader - can never be predicted.

Whatever the Yankees and Redsocks do to ensure domination... it will probably backfire.

In 2002, the Yanks stole Cuban sensation Jose Contreras, "the Bronze Titan," from Boston. They outbid the Redsocks at the last minute - such a sweet, covert move that Redsock GM Theo Epstein is said to have smashed a chair in rage. He might have even yelled, "Curses, foiled again!" New York had ensured another string of championships.

So, what happened? Contreras pitched inconsistently and was traded to Chicago, where he led the White Sox to a World Series. And Boston congratulated itself for being wise.

In 2004, the Yankees stole the superstar of superstars, Alex Rodriguez, from Boston. The Redsocks had traded for A-Rod, then seen the deal nullified by the players union. It was a huge defeat, a sign that Boston was condemmed forever to serve as the Yankees whipping mule.

For the sake of brevity, let's not recap what happened next.

Flash forward to 2011, when the Redsocks had assembled The Super Team: Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego, free agent Carl Crawford, plus Lackey and Lester and all the rest. Some bloggers compared them to the 1927 Yankees. NY, by comparision, looked dead.

So, what happened? Boston fizzled, missing the playoffs on the last night of the year - their most stinging pain since Aaron Boone's HR.

In the modern war between the Yankees and Redsocks, when one team wins a winter, it usually loses the summer and fall.

This year, Boston won the winter. It outbid the Yankees for the Cuban infielder, Yoan Moncada - the worst-looking decision made by a Steinbrenner since Kei Igawa. (Mean-spirited fans would insert a joke here about George siring offspring.) Yankee fans now see on the horizon a vast darkness of mediocrity. (Did you hear? Chris Young struck out against a pitching machine yesterday. I'm telling you, that Cashman is a GENIUS!) 

At the risk of sounding naive - (I still hope Hal Steinbrenner develops shingles) - what's done is done.

Ever since Moncada signed, the Redsock Nation has been dancing on our graves. Meanwhile, we look at Stephen Drew and wonder what's on Cartoon Network. If Moncada becomes a superstar, every at bat for the next 20 years will provoke from me a blood curse against Hal Steinbrenner.

But history might just save us.

Thank God, we are - as the Bard once said - such foul and messed-up Jabronies.

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