You wouldn’t think it.
Red Sox fans are not supposed to root for the Yankees. Ever. Except maybe, when the Yankees are playing a team the Red Sox need to beat. That was not the case tonight.
In fact, a Yankees loss tonight would have put the Red Sox into the playoffs. No way I, a Red Sox fan and lifelong Yankee hater, should be rooting for the Yanks. And yet, I was watching tonight, rooting for the Yankees to beat the Baltimore Orioles.
Tonight, the Yankees played their last game in Yankee Stadium. Next year they move into a new stadium, and the current Yankee Stadium, with all its great baseball history, will be gone. It was a night for baseball fans to reminisce. It was a night to celebrate all the greats who played there, all the great moments that occurred there, and perhaps create a few new ones.
It was NOT a night for the Yankees to eliminate themselves from playoff contention by losing.
Even though everyone knows the Yankees will not make it to the playoffs this year (the odds of all the remaining necessary games going their way are about 4 in a million), the fact that they leave their stadium as a team officially still in the hunt is only right. A loss tonight would have meant they were out of playoff contention for the first time in 13 years. What a damper that disappointment would have put on a night that should be about positive memories. Leave that hard truth for another day. Let it happen with a Red Sox win tomorrow.
Farewells are bittersweet enough. I will get satisfaction enough tomorrow in seeing the Yankees not make the playoffs. Let’s not have the Yankees’ worst on-field disappointment in 13 years mar a day of celebration.