The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees will begin a pivotal three-game series tonight at Fenway Park. Both clubs were off on Thursday, meaning the Red Sox will enter with a two-game lead over the Yankees for the American League's top wild card spot. The Yankees enter the series ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card position after Toronto lost on Thursday night to the Minnesota Twins.
Our own Mike Axisa already laid out six things to know about the series, but we wanted to highlight one particular aspect that is and will continue to generate greater noise than signal: the Red Sox's uniform choice.
The Red Sox have won seven games in a row overall, and in each of the last five they've worn their yellow "City Connect" uniforms that were inspired by the Boston Marathon. This next sentence should surprise absolutely no one who is familiar with the inner workings of baseball players, but here goes nothing: the Red Sox have signaled that they'll continue to wear their alternate uniform for as long as they keep winning. (For those who care about such things, you can buy your own City Connect gear here.)
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"There's a pretty good chance, yeah," Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters, among them NESN's Alexandra Francisco. "I mean, we're not superstitious, we just love routines. And it just happens that, you know, 6 o'clock those uniforms are there so it's part of our routine right now."
We feel obligated to note that what Cora describes sounds a lot like superstition, and that there is a difference between causation and correlation. The yellow uniforms aren't making the Red Sox play better; a more meaningful explanation for their recent tear is that they've played the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets in their last five contests -- you just can't wear the schedule. We also feel obligated to point out the Red Sox violated their "routine" by switching to the alternate uniforms three games into their winning streak.
But, rather than nitpick how silly this whole mess is, we're going to choose instead to view baseball's obsession with superstition as a romantic quirk. After all, dear reader, would you rather think about some oddball highlighter-yellow jerseys, or would you rather think about all the existential threats provided free of charge by this crumbling world? Sleep tight, we say, and wear yellow until it stops working.
2021 Red Sox City Connect gear now available
You've seen the jerseys in action. Now, you can score your own Red Sox City Connect gear. Shop shirts, hats, polos, banners, and more here.
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