New York Yankees
By Vin Barone
Damn, it feels good to be a Yankees fan. Watching the Yanks get their championship rings at the home opener was great (and definitely worth skipping class for). We had just trounced those Beantown bums the previous week—in Fenway—and now we came home, got the bling, and proceeded to give the Angels hell. Shit is awesome right now; the Yanks got me feeling like it’s 1998.
This opening series against the Los Angeles Angels was some classic Yankees action. In the home opener, Derek Jeter homered, Andy Pettitte picked up a win (pitching six lights-out innings) and Mariano Rivera notched the save.
After taking two out of three games against the Halos, the Yanks ended the week with a Modern Family-esque sweep of the Texas Rangers in the Bronx. C.C. Sabathia was on his A-game this week; the Yankees ace kicked off the Rangers series, going the distance with nine strikeouts over six innings of a rain-shortened game.
On Sunday, Pettitte picked up his second win of the week, closing out the Rangers sweep with eight innings of two-run ball. The slumping Mark Teixeira spanked his first home run of the season, and Rivera closed the game with another save.
The slow-starting Teixeira has been one of the only sore spots in the Yankees lineup. Five Yankees starters posted plus .300 batting averages this past week. The captain, Derek Jeter, lead the team with 12 hits and three homeruns.
The Yankees also had some impressive bench contributions from Marcus Thames, who racked up four hits while splitting time in the outfield with Brett Gardner against the Angels and Rangers.
On the mound the Yankees were just as sharp. The pitching staff racked up a smooth 3.35 earned run average this week.
Let it be known that the Yankees will be going on a West Coast jaunt next week to face the Athletics and Angels sporting an impressive 9-3 record, with all of their pistons pumping.
Boston Red Sox
By Matt Willemain
The Red Sox are a proud organization blessed with a storied tradition in American baseball.
Fans can point to the origins of the American League, when the Sox dominated for more than a decade, the Ted Williams era, when the Splendid Splinter entered into legend as the last man to bat .400, or, more recently, to the greatest comeback in the history of professional sports. The chronicles of American’s national pastime would be incomplete without the Impossible Dream season of 1967, when the Sox followed an eight year losing streak capped by a ninth place finish, with a pennant-win in a three-way battle that went to the final day. That year the Sox saw superstar outfielders move in very different directions. Carl Yastrzemski would win the triple crown and single-handedly save both a flagging Boston franchise and possibly the popularity of baseball in America with an unforgettable and charismatic World Series performance, while electric phenom Tony Conigliaro, a hometown boy tearing up the majors straight out of high school, would see his career tragically come to its effective end by a fastball to the face.
Fast-forward to today. The Baltimore Orioles have opened the 2010 season with a 1-11 record. Meanwhile, the Red Sox continue, in a workmanlike fashion, to win more than eight percent of the games they play.
With superstars like Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron soon to return from injuries, the sky is the limit. When these wizards of leather come to your town, you’ll be singing “Summer gloving, happened so fast” as your local ballplayers reel in shock from the fearsome fielding fireworks.
One thing is for sure, the Red Sox don’t have to worry about finding themselves in what Joe Lieberman would call a “three-way tie for third”—i.e., fifth place—with a reliable slugger like David Ortiz metaphorically “pulling the starter cord” on his “gas-powered” plate approach. Viva la Summer of Sox!