All This Bad Blood
Alright guys, I’m gonna just say it. This is a pretty crazy take but hear me out: the Red Sox and Yankees don’t like each other. Oh we all knew that? Ok, well how about this: the rivalry being back is great for baseball. Oh, so that’s just a unanimously agreed-upon idea. Huh.
Yes folks, we’re all on the same page. The greatest rivalry in sports has been rejuvenated and it’s the best thing to happen to the MLB that’s not named Shohei Ohtani. How about Joe Kelly egging on Tyler Austin to come fight? God that’s quality stuff. Sure beats Luis Perdomo throwing his glove at and then running away from Nolan Arenado in the Padres-Rockies game earlier yesterday. Baseball fights are mostly performance art, with not much actual violence involved (usually). But with the bad blood rising rapidly between the Sox and Yanks, we were in for a treat last night.
While I may be beating a dead horse here by fluffing up the revival of bitter hatred between the clubs, it’s still incredible to watch. The rubber match tonight will be just the beginning of a long and exciting back and forth race between the two teams, and while Boston holds the lead in April the season is still young. Baseball fans can only hope it culminates in a playoff matchup, as it always seems to with Boston and New York. But no matter the setting, the fight will rage on.
Bad Blood is the New Good Blood
Bear with me, I know this is a stretch, but let’s take Jack’s thought a step further. No, I’m not saying more fighting, but maybe more personalization is a good thing. And with that personalization, the real hatred comes out, and so does the real love.
I think the NBA has been on the cutting edge of this for a while, they have been investing in the personalities and larger than life grandeur of their stars. Their brand is very player/coach centered. We know LeBron, we know Popp, we know Kerr, we know Embiid, and that’s fun because we can to their personalities.
In most other leagues, resources are used to try to clamp down on personality. In the NFL and the MLB, players on all ends of the spectrum have been slighted for sharing opinions whether it’s Bryce Harper or Colin Kaepernick. The question is when does the distraction matter and when does it detract from the product? I think many in the NBA would say it doesn’t.
At the end of the day, for all the talk of good competition, for sports to succeed they need to be entertaining. And whether it’s a Yankees/Red Sox brawl or #JetsDanceToAnything. Entertainment is good.