Savannah Brooks ’26
The 2023 Major League Baseball season is almost over, and we’ve learned a lot. At the time I’m writing this article, both number one seeds in the playoffs have been eliminated. By the way; those number one seeds were not, in fact, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox or even the Los Angeles Dodgers. They were the Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles had not won their division, the American League East, since 2014 (before that, they hadn’t won since 1997). They share this division with the Yankees and the Red Sox, two teams that are particularly popular on Trinity’s campus.
Those of you who aren’t baseball fans may be wondering why it’s such a big deal that the Orioles won the AL East and the Yankees and the Red Sox didn’t make the playoffs. Well, going to school in Connecticut provides you an excellent opportunity to research the Yankees-Red Sox phenomenon. As you walk through campus and even around Hartford, you will notice a plethora of hats sporting a red B or the iconic NYY. In any given High Rise quad populated by men, there’s about a 50% chance that they have some form of Yankees memorabilia. This is true all throughout the Northeast. Yes, the Yankees and Red Sox are iconic teams who have been around for over a century, but the culture surrounding these teams also points to just how much their dominant nature is part of the problem.
The Yankees and the Red Sox both spend above the league average on their players – the Red Sox are currently spending almost $183 million and the Yankees’ payroll adds up to over $279 million. This is $208 million more than the Orioles payroll and demonstrates the deep disparities between the teams (also, how spending hundreds of millions of dollars on star players isn’t always the answer). Payroll isn’t the only difference between these two teams and my precious Orioles (if you can’t tell, I’m from Maryland). The culture can also be problematic, particularly when it comes to Yankees fans. Physical altercation between Yankee fans and the opposition is common, sometimes to the point of murder. In 2008, a Yankees fan ran over a Red Sox fan with her car in New Hampshire and in 2010, a Yankees fan stabbed a Red Sox fan in the neck at a Connecticut restaurant. Admittedly, as an opposing fan who has attended a game at Fenway and Yankee Stadium, this is certainly much more of a problem with Yankees fans.
This year’s Yankees and Red Sox-free playoffs demonstrates that baseball doesn’t need either team to be exciting. The underdog Diamondbacks and scrappy Phillies are far more entertaining than two tired franchises that spend a ridiculous amount of money and seem to have at least one abhorrent racist incident every year (Adam Jones, one of the most wellknown Orioles of the last few decades, was the subject of a myriad of racist taunts at Fenway in 2017).
If the 2023 MLB season has shown us one thing, it’s that the fat payrolls and abrasive fans of the Bronx and Boston aren’t the future; the young farm stars and loving atmospheres of Baltimore are. For the plethora of Yankees and Sox fans of Connecticut, consider the benefits of shifting your patronage to a team that makes baseball more accessible (and fun)!