Yankees, Red Sox.
Just putting those two names together will perk up any baseball fan and create a pit of resentment within the stomachs of many New Yorkers and Bostonians.
For 114 years, these two franchises have created countless memories that will live on in the annals of Major League Baseball history in a rivalry that will live on as long as there is baseball.
And to quote Albert Hague’s famous Christmastime jingle of one Mr. Grinch, the two teams and their fan bases go together as well as “a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce.”
The good news for everyone is that the Yankees and Red Sox will resume their ancient rivalry on Tuesday night from Fenway Park in Boston for early-season supremacy in the American League East.
Entering Wednesday, the Yankees hold a slim 0.5-game advantage over Boston, though both are looking up at the Baltimore Orioles.
The Pirates, winning two of three games in the Steel City, cooled off New York over the weekend.
Prior to their series, the Yankees had won nine of 10 games after a 1-4 start to the season.
The Red Sox are also coming off a testy series in which they dropped two of three to the Baltimore Orioles. After scoring just two runs in the first two games of the series, Boston salvaged Sunday by collecting 14 hits in a 6-2 win.
The victory was overshadowed somewhat by Matt Barnes throwing at the head of Baltimore star Manny Machado.
Don’t expect any warm and fuzzy feelings to enter this Yankees-Red Sox series, either.
New York has an opportunity to prove in April that it should be a team taken seriously in the American League East.
Boston, much considered the divisional favorites after acquiring Chris Sale during the offseason, will look to squash any notion that the Baby Bombers can hang with the Sox.
It creates an aura not felt around the rivalry this early in a season for quite some time. However, it will be a trial by fire for the some of the Yankees’ more inexperienced stars like Aaron Judge, who holds the power to vaporize a baseball with just one swing.
The 24-year-old, who turns 25 on Wednesday, pulverized his sixth home run of the season on Saturday that traveled 457 feet.
He and the New York lineup are going to be facing the top of Boston’s rotation with dates against reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, Sale and Drew Pomeranz, by far the best trio of hurlers they've faced this season.
The Yankees will counter with Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia.