In the interest of full disclosure, I am a fan of the New York Yankees, and I despise the Boston Red Sox with every fiber of my being. That said, the greatest rivalry in sports is, without question, between those two teams.

There has been a veritable blood-feud between the Bronx Bombers and the Sox since Boston sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919. Throughout the last century, the enmity between these two teams became legendary. Unfortunately, for fans of exciting baseball, the last few seasons have seen a somewhat more reserved level of competition between the Yankees and their archrivals.

After several years of basement-dwelling, the Red Sox inexplicably won the World Series in 2013 and then immediately returned to mediocrity for the following two seasons. The Yankees, meanwhile, dominated in 2009 and then choked repeatedly in postseason play through 2012. This fall from grace came when the last remnants of the New York dynasty of the ‘90s through the early 2000s began to grow old and retire. The regression is also the product of numerous albatross contracts that continue to cripple the Yankees through this season.

With the 2014 retirement of Derek Jeter and the upcoming retirement of David Ortiz, the Yankees and the Red Sox found themselves in need of reinvention at the dawn of the 2016 season. The Red Sox had a clearer path than the Yankees; they had one of the most, if not the most, celebrated farm systems in major league baseball.

Young prodigies such as Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Xander Bogaerts have already proven that they can perform at a major league level. Despite the previous two mediocre seasons, the Red Sox had a lot to look forward to this year, including the development of their young future stars, Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada.

The Pinstripes, on the other hand, found themselves weighed down by the contracts of Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and CC Sabathia. Going into this season, the Yankees had the ludicrous bullpen of Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, and Dellin Betances (dubbed “No Runs DMC” by fans), and little else to be excited about. When the trade deadline approached, however, the Bombers shipped Miller, Chapman, and veteran slugger Carlos Beltran to Cleveland, Chicago, and Texas, respectively.

Their ensuing haul of prospects transformed the Yankees farm system into one of the best in the league. The Yankees also committed to a youth movement of sorts and brought up several young players including Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Tyler Austin. These Yankees rookies, called the “Baby Bombers,” have taken the league by storm. Austin and Judge debuted on the same day and hit back-to-back home runs in their first at-bats, and, since his debut back in early August, Sanchez has hit 13 home runs and is batting .344.

Since the All Star Break, the Yankees are 30–21, and are now only a game out of the second wildcard spot, and four games out of the division pennant.  In fact, the American League East is now in the tightest division race since the MLB switched to the four-team division system. September promises to be a slugfest between the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, and Blue Jays, with every game having postseason implications.

The most exciting aspect of all of these changes is, without a doubt, the prospect of the New York and Boston rivalry heating up. The Yankees now have a similarly bright future, as the Red Sox can and will certainly begin to develop some hostility in the coming weeks, which could lead to a vicious division battle next season. Baseball is enriched and cherished when both the Yankees and the Red Sox are performing well, and the game will be a whole lot better with its most iconic rivalry renewed.

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