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Recruiting Violation

Red Sox fans chanting “MVP” at Aaron Judge might be the most sickening moment in Sox-Yanks history

September 15, 2022

The Red Sox don’t like the Yankees and the Yankees don’t like the Red Sox. It’s an indisputable fact. A truth, as America’s founding fathers so eloquently put it, that we hold to be self-evident. This is the way this country has always been—one nation, indivisible … unless the Sox are playing the Yanks. But the times they are nothing if not a-changin’, and nowhere was that more evident than at Fenway Park on Wednesday night when Red Sox fans broke into a spontaneous “MVP!” chant … for Aaron Judge.

If you just threw up in your mouth a bit, you’re not alone. Mickey Mantle was doing somersaults in his grave. Ted Williams threw the remote at the big flatscreen in the sky. Capital-H Haters on either side of the century-long blood feud were sent running for a scalding-hot shower, two gallons of mouthwash, and a bottle of bleach. But while this is clearly a softening in the age-old hardline—a crossing of previously uncrossable thresholds—there is some interesting context at play. To be very clear, Fenway Park was NOT anointing Aaron Judge their AL MVP because they like him. They were doing it because they want him playing for their team.

Is the Fenway faithful’s courtship of Judge still gross? You bet. Is Judge flirting with Sox fans while wearing pinstripes not only unseemly, but the exact inverse of what launched this rivalry in the first place? Yep. But at least there’s some logic to all this. There’s nous, tactics, and a yearning desire to twist the biggest knife of them all. It’s not just a bunch of fairweather happy-clappers wearing Sox-Yanks split jerseys and Dodgers hats.

Still though, it feels wrong because it is wrong. We’re all for unity and togetherness (and blah blah blah) in society, but when it comes to sports, let us hate and let us heckle. Let us be the emotional, territorial maniacs we shouldn’t be by the light of day. Let the Red Sox loathe the Yankees and the Yankees despise the Red Sox, regardless of the impending free agency implications. As the old saying goes, if you only have something nice to say, don't say anything at all ... or something like that.