To the , Thursday night's shellacking at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays meant next to nothing.
The Yankees had clinched the division 24 hours earlier, and are focused now on the postseason and , the World Series.
Yet to fans of the team, and of , it meant a lot.
Tonight, the open a three-game series with the Sawx that likely will determine whether the slumping Boston squad—or pesky Tampa Bay Rays—will begin postseason play or offseason holiday planning.
Connecticut marks the Mason-Dixon line between Yankees territory and Red Sox nation. Recently, the New York Times cited a study which found that the geographical midway point and Fenway Park is about where Rocky Hill, CT lies.
In the end, the fan bases break down roughly along the Connecticut River.
"Fairfield County, the southwestern spout of Connecticut, which spills toward New York City, belongs to the Yankees, 55 percent to 14 percent," the Times reports. "But five of Connecticut’s eight counties, the poll found, are part of Red Sox Nation. That includes Hartford County, which favors the Red Sox by 52 percent to 30 percent. That jibes with television ratings, which show that the Red Sox usually get a larger audience in the area."
Headed into tonight, the standings look like this:Team Record Games Back New York Yankees* 95-61 - Boston Red Sox 88-68 7 Tampa Bay Rays 86-70 9 *clinched division
The Rays will host the Blue Jays for a 3-game set starting tonight and then finish the season with a series against—you guessed it—the New York Yankees.
Conceivably, the Yankees could play the Sox "hard" and then go easy on the Rays, giving the Florida team a better chance to the make the postseason and spoiling the Red Sox' hopes.
We're asking you: What should they do?