Both players have now retired from the game, but on this day, 15 years ago, another chapter in the Yankees/Red Sox Rivalry was written. And it was glorious.
Jeeze, I could watch that 100 times. Goosebump City! Gotta love Tek.
Watching that clip brings back memories. I recall exactly where I was when I saw this all go down: I was at my Nana’s house. 14 year old Mike was pretending her giant body pillows were real people and I was conducting my own WWE style wrestling matches with said pillows. I have no shame in saying that either. I was a god damn good pillow-wrestler. I had multiple titles and was the face of the company until my retirement.
Anyway, I remember being glued to the TV watching this. The Yankees have been, and always will be, my most hated rival. Yes, I say MY most hated rival since we are all one with our sports teams up in New England. This was back when there was an actual violent, hatred-fueled rivalry between these two teams and it was amazing to watch year in and year out. You knew that at any moment a brawl could break out. You may even see an old man get thrown down trying to assault a Hall of Fame pitcher.
Heinous act by Zimmer here. (Yes, I am being sarcastic. I obviously don’t condone Pedro tossing Don aside like a piece of trash….no matter how funny it is).
Back to the fight at hand, this arguably may the the one moment that forever enshrined Jason Varitek in Red Sox lore for the rest of his life. This may also be the moment that made him my favorite Sox player of all time and no one else will ever come close. Growing up playing catcher, I was drawn to Tek anyway, but this moment just cemented it for me. Catchers are badass.
I’ve heard people, mainly Yankees fans, claim that Varitek was a pussy for attacking A-Rod with his helmet and gear still on. Oh, I’m sorry, was he supposed to say “Hey, can you give me one second Alex? Let me just place my helmet on the ground here and take my glove off. Okay here we go, you ready now?”
No. As a catcher it’s your job to protect your pitcher in this situation. Rodriguez got a bit too mouthy, Tek took offense to that, and decided to stand up for his pitcher/team, That’s why he has the C on his chest.
It’s funny watching this clip now and thinking of where this ‘rivalry’ has gone. Up until last year you could say it was lukewarm at best. You didn’t sense any actual hatred between the two teams. There were no real brawls or any head-hunting. I mean, even watching people try to hype the games up on talk shows seemed just sad an uninspired. That is until Joe Kelly took offense by the way Tyler Austin slid into Brock Holt and decided to peg him and, in doing so, ignite the Rivalry once again.
RIP Joe Kelly (he’s not dead, he just went to the Dodgers).
So, on this day let’s take the time to remember exactly how much we as Red Sox fans should hate the Yankees and their annoying fans.
Fuck the Yankees.