For Red Sox fans who saw their team drop from contention months ago, the fall of the Yankees is some small comfort headed into the offseason.
It's an unfortunate reality that, after decades upon decades of losing, the typical Red Sox fan has had a hatred of the Yankees ingrained into their baseball-loving soul nearly as much as a love of the Red Sox. I cannot claim to have been alive for much more than a dozen of those torturous seasons, but it's something that was passed down so long as you were a Sox fan any time before 2004--whether it was from a Red Sox fan of a parent or just the atmosphere of Boston whenever the Yankees were in town.
Now we can stand on relatively equal footing with them. No, we weren't as good as they were in 2012, but we have as many championships as them since 2005 and more since 2004. Still, for those of us who consciously experienced any part of the drought, be it 10 years or 80, that hatred is there borne of the fact that so often the downfall of the Yankees was all we could hope for come October. We found ourselves in this situation again in 2012, and tonight our hopes were fulfilled.
To be sure, the Red Sox are no better off today than they were yesterday. They are still the team that fell short of 70 wins, and only an impressive use of the (significant) funds available to them will given the Sox a chance to avoid another futile year. Still, there is something to be said for not adding insult to injury. A Yankees team that rises to the highest heights as the Sox fall to rock bottom would be just that, so even if seeing them lose does not provide joy, it should at least offer relief.
And then there's the added benefit, because the Yankees looked like nothing more than a playoff version of the Red Sox. Old, injured, declining...as much as they got to the ALCS, the Yankees will have an awfully worrisome offseason barring further major investment from the Steinbrenners. Who knows what direction this takes them in? Perhaps the Sox will be able to take on an easier AL East when they return to action in six months' time.
For now, all I know is that our enemy has been soundly defeated, and that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Go Tigers!