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With three World Series championships since 2004,
the Red Sox are wondering, "Who are the Yankees?"
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

It’s always fun to rattle the cages of Yankee fans. It’s even more fun to do so with a World Series title in hand and with three in the last decade.

For you Yankee fans who love to count the number of rings you have, here’s a number to count to: one.

That’s how many World Series titles you have since Boston won its first of three in 2004.

Heck, I’ll even let you count to two for the title you won in 2000 – the turn of the century and millennium. Last time I checked, three is greater than two. So take your other 25 rings and shove it!

With the rant over, let’s get serious here. Here are five reasons why the Yankees will still be behind the Red Sox in the 2014 AL East standings.

1) “One in, one out” – David Ortiz couldn’t have said it better when referring to the Yankees losing Cano, but gaining Ellsbury. As it stands right now, the only significant addition to the Yankee ball club is Brian McCann, and there are no guarantees that he’s going to be a difference maker in the Bronx. Remember, this is a New York Yankee team that had a ton of injuries and inconsistent play, but still finished with 85 wins in 2013. Unless there’s a drastic increase in the level of play, you can expect right around the same amount of wins next year.

2) Starting pitchers – I’ll take Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey over C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova any day. The back end of the Sox rotation with Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront is better than David Phelps and Michael Pineda, as well. No reason to think Boston wouldn’t be better on the bump in any game next season.

3) Big Papi – He’s a Yankee killer. Always has been and always will be. When No. 34 steps in the box and a Yankee is on the mound, you can anticipate big things happening.

4) Rivalry is dead – Boston and its fans hate New York and its fans. No question. But there has been little spark to what was once a great rivalry. The Sox are owners of three World Series titles in 10 years. Meanwhile, the Yankees have one in that span. But it’s not always about championships (OK, it really is), but right now, the Orioles and Rays pose more of a threat in the East than the aging Yanks. This doesn’t mean the Sox don’t put an emphasis on winning games against New York. Last year, Boston went 13-6 against the Bronx Bummers – its best record against any AL East opponent in 2013. It simply means the spark to beat the Yankees has simmered a bit, mostly since ending the curse and winning more championships than they have. In years past, the Sox needed to beat the Yanks to prove they were on the upswing and could take down the Evil Empire. Now, Boston is king of the mountain and fending off new-ish rivals like Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

5) Depth –All across the board, the depth that Boston has on its roster is simply that much better than in New York. The talent coming to the big clubs heavily leans in favor of Boston for next year and the next few years. We’ve already seen Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the field. We’ve had a glimpse of Brandon Workman, Drake Britton and a few other of the Sox farm pitchers. What have you seen from the Yankees? Not much to get excited about, which is why they have been spending on players like Vernon Wells, Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano, Travis Hafner, Brian Roberts, Ellsbury, McCann … and the list goes on. If they had players to bring up that could make an impact, we would have seen them by now. They don’t. And the Sox do. End of story.

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Ben Whitehead 12/18/2013 04:00:00 PM Edit
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