From John Harper -
So the question now, as the Red Sox move toward a second championship in four years, is when do they officially become the team that everybody loves to hate? In other words, when does the world decide they’ve become the Yankees?
They fit all the categories, right? They win a lot. They spend big. Their fans seem to be multiplying by the day, invading stadiums around the country.
After all, this isn’t 2004. There’s no charm to the Sox winning this time around, no curse to break, no octogenarians waiting for that elusive championship so they can die happy.
For that matter, you’d have to say the old underdog role is gone for good. The Sox are too well-run, too well-financed, not to be an October presence for years to come.
Still, it’s hard to imagine the Sox ever being perceived nationally as the Evil Empire, the label the Sox themselves hung on the Yankees. Boston is not New York, for one thing. The Sox don’t have an imperious owner in the manner of the old George Steinbrenner, for another.
Of course, there’s one way to practically guarantee the Sox becoming the new villains of baseball, and that’s by signing Alex Rodriguez for a billion dollars or so.
People around the Red Sox don’t rule it out, because the club is one of the few in baseball that could pay a player the $30 million a year agent Scott Boras has told the world he expects as a minimum.
I’m probably shooting myself in the foot for thinking this, but, there’s a part of me that hopes Alex Rodriguez goes to the Red Sox – should he decide to leave the Yankees. It would be one heckuva story – and it will be interesting to see how such a move would impact A-Rod, the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the fans of both teams.
And, it just might put that bullseye, that always seems to be on the Yankees’ backs when teams play them, on Boston for a change.