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Cain and A-Rod—A Bling-Bling Rivalry
2005-03-01 09:05
by Mike Carminati
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him…
And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

–The originals of "The Curse of the Bambino", in the Book of Genesis

My heart laments that virtue cannot live
Out of the teeth of emulation.

– William "Author" Shakespeare, Julius (Don't Call Me Syd) Caesar

No spring training games have yet been played and yet Trot Nixon is already filling the Yankee bulletin board with quotes about Alex Rodriguez.

He's not a "Yankee type". He's a "clown" for getting up at dawn to run stairs while Nixon is admittedly sleeping and driving his kids to school, hopefully not at the same time. Nixon also opines that regarding A-Rod's three-month-old infant, "He's got a kid now, too, so I guess he'll have his limo driver take her to school." I guess Nixon started school right out of the womb: that's why he's so proficient at them there fancy ciphering.

Meanwhile, Derek Jeter's name was pronounced "obscene and vulgar" after a Yankee fan won on eBay the one-day naming rights to the Fleet Center and chose the shortstop's moniker. Usually, it's just his glovework in the field that gets called vulgar. Some would say it's vulgar to extort money from the public for a one-day re-christening, especially when neither of the arena's two inhabitants is playing on the given day. (At least they gave the proceeds to the Jimmy Fund, the arena's new one-day, "G Rated" eponym.)

Sheez, how would Boston have reacted this offseason if they hadn't won the World Series? Hanged A-Rod in effigy, or maybe actuality? The Red Sox did complete what has been called by many (especially Curt W. Schilling) the greatest comeback in sports history beating the Yankees in the ALCS. Why all the sniping now?

So it goes in what the media seems to think is the greatest rivalry in baseball history. Sorry, Dodgers and Giants. Your bi-coastal rivalry that helped end Jackie Robinson's career is now just a footnote. The "Shot Heard 'Round the World"? Eh, it doesn't compare to "The Comeback", Jeter's grab in the stands, or the "Tek"/A-Rod-induced brawl. It's been devalued to the also-ran level of, say, the "A-Rod Slap" or the "First Annual Don Zimmer Toss".

Of course, it all dates back to that dreaded and accursed day when the Red Sox sold the great Babe Ruth to the Yankees so that, the apocryphal legend goes, then-owner Harry Frazee could produce "No, No, Nanette". This is the single event other than Robin Williams discourse on the Fisk homer in "Good Will Hunting" that occurred prior to last year's World Series win in the Red Sox fan's view of the world (a truly desolate wasteland like in the famous "New Yorker" illustration).

I think some fans would be surprised by not only the total lack of rivalry in the early years, but by the fact that they were even comrades, "Insurrectos", that faced off against AL founder and then-president Ban Johnson. Frazee eventually mortgaged Fenway to the Yankees as a countermove in this ongoing war. The Yankees almost moved into Fenway as a further countermove, according to historian Glenn Stout. Imagine the Yankees and Red Sox amicably sharing a stadium today.

Anyway, I thought that looking at the transactional history of the two clubs would help shed light on their evolving relationship. And it goes a little something like this…

First, we'll start with a BA table, as is my wont. Below are all the transactions that the two clubs have had throughout their history. The first couple of transactions actually predate the Yankees and the Red Sox. They were between the old Baltimore Orioles (precursor to the Yankees) and the Boston Somersets (who wouldn't be known as the Red Sox until they swiped the name from the Boston NL club in 1907).

Trades, player purchases, waivers picks, and Draft 5 picks are listed. Each player is listed for each transaction along with his Win Share totals. That is, his career WS prior to and following the trade are listed along with his WS totals for the season in which the trade occurred, split up by prior to and following the trade if midseason. Also, the WS values are all translated into Win Shares Above Baseline (WSAB).

After each transaction, running totals for all trades up to that point appear. The positive values in the running totals favor the Yankees; negatives the Sox (don't feel slighted, Red Sox Nation—it's arbitrary). At the bottom is a breakdown of the transaction totals per decade.

SeasonDateTypeTrans #FromToNamePre Career WSPost Career WSPre Year WSPost Year WSWSAB Pre CareerWSAB Post CareerWSAB Pre YrWSAB Post Yr
19021902-06-00Purchase 1BOSNYYGeorge Prentiss20100000
Total 20100000
19021902-07-00Purchase 2NYYBOSTom Hughes2011454105921
Total -18-114-4-4-10-59-2-1
19041903-12-00Trade 3BOSNYYTom Hughes478708284102
19041903-12-00Trade 3NYYBOSJesse Tannehill1607302511347019
Total -131-100-4-21-95-65-2-18
19041904-06-18Trade 4BOSNYYPatsy Dougherty541339152960410
19041904-06-18Trade 4NYYBOSBob Unglaub0470001000
Total -77-145-6-66-152-8
19071907-06-29Waiver 5NYYBOSDeacon McGuire18810129000
Total -265-155-7-95-152-8
19081907-12-00Purchase 6NYYBOSFrank LaPorte3310508103000
Total -298-1205-15-105-452-8
19081908-07-10Purchase 7NYYBOSJake Stahl61661011243156
Total -359-186-5-26-129-76-3-14
19081908-07-17Trade 8BOSNYYFrank LaPorte3610235103000
19081908-07-17Trade 8NYYBOSHarry Niles412012212531
Total -364-104-14-23-131-51-6-15
19081908-08-00Purchase 9NYYBOSJake Thielman2805011000
Total -392-104-19-23-142-51-6-15
19091909-02-00Waiver 10BOSNYYJohn Knight145001001500
Total -378-54-19-13-142-36-6-15
19091909-09-11Waiver 11NYYBOSJack Chesbro209000149000
Total -587-54-19-13-291-36-6-15
19101910-05-00Purchase 12NYYBOSRed Kleinow361110000
Total -623-55-20-14-291-36-6-15
19101910-05-00Trade 13BOSNYYHarry Wolter664021022011
19101910-05-00Trade 13NYYBOSClyde Engle2361012131302
Total -640-52-20-5-304-27-6-6
19141914-05-13Purchase 14BOSNYYLes Nunamaker10590110601
Total -6307-206-304-21-6-5
19141914-05-27Purchase 15NYYBOSGuy Cooper00000000
Total -6307-206-304-21-6-5
19191918-12-18Trade 16BOSNYYErnie Shore6440340000
19191918-12-18Trade 16NYYBOSFrank Gilhooley321014000
19191918-12-18Trade 16NYYBOSRay Caldwell13031010671404
19191918-12-18Trade 16NYYBOSRoxy Walters1517020000
19191918-12-18Trade 16NYYBOSSlim Love226069101
Total -765-44-20-10-344-36-6-10
19191919-05-00Purchase 17NYYBOSBill Lamar147030900
Total -766-91-20-13-344-45-6-10
19191919-07-29Trade 18BOSNYYCarl Mays971599147699116
19191919-07-29Trade 18NYYBOSAllan Russell2651411102055
19191919-07-29Trade 18NYYBOSBob McGraw220100200
Total -697-3-16-10-278320-9
19201920-01-03Purchase 19BOSNYYBabe Ruth180576051141424041
Total -517573-1641-137456032
19211920-12-15Trade 20BOSNYYHarry Harper6540429000
19211920-12-15Trade 20BOSNYYMike McNally910050000
19211920-12-15Trade 20BOSNYYWaite Hoyt92530240156018
19211920-12-15Trade 20BOSNYYWally Schang1251200204535010
19211920-12-15Trade 20NYYBOSDel Pratt183590209320010
19211920-12-15Trade 20NYYBOSHank Thormahlen3040412000
19211920-12-15Trade 20NYYBOSMuddy Ruel1214401104701
19211920-12-15Trade 20NYYBOSSammy Vick120000000
Total -546753-1659-168580049
19221921-12-20Trade 21BOSNYYEverett Scott994301624706
19221921-12-20Trade 21BOSNYYJoe Bush96990265267020
19221921-12-20Trade 21BOSNYYSam Jones741710204488014
19221921-12-20Trade 21NYYBOSBill Piercy721041500
19221921-12-20Trade 21NYYBOSJack Quinn1381490198486013
19221921-12-20Trade 21NYYBOSRip Collins1791016742010
19221921-12-20Trade 21NYYBOSRoger Peckinpaugh16178014702804
Total -600727-1668-210581062
19221922-02-24Waiver 22NYYBOSAlex Ferguson15101001904
Total -601676-1658-210562058
19221922-07-23Trade 23BOSNYYElmer Smith86158023000
19221922-07-23Trade 23BOSNYYJoe Dugan41757761622
19221922-07-23Trade 23NYYBOSChick Fewster2018230000
19221922-07-23Trade 23NYYBOSElmer Miller301410000
19221922-07-23Trade 23NYYBOSJohnny Mitchell121030000
19221922-07-23Trade 23NYYBOSLefty O'Doul01440007500
Total -525582-758-181503260
19231923-01-03Trade 24BOSNYYGeorge Pipgras0810004000
19231923-01-03Trade 24BOSNYYHarvey Hendrick0880202100
19231923-01-03Trade 24NYYBOSAl DeVormer26030000
Total -527745-757-181564260
19231923-01-30Trade 25BOSNYYHerb Pennock771630234097017
19231923-01-30Trade 25NYYBOSCamp Skinner00000000
19231923-01-30Trade 25NYYBOSGeorge Murray47060101
19231923-01-30Trade 25NYYBOSNorm McMillan127090200
Total -455874-765-141658276
19251924-12-10Trade 26BOSNYYHowie Shanks13130318000
19251924-12-10Trade 26NYYBOSMike McNally190000000
Total -343877-768-123658276
19251924-12-12Waiver 27BOSNYYSteve O'Neill14660338000
Total -197883-771-85658276
19251925-05-05Trade 28BOSNYYAlex Ferguson36160517200
19251925-05-05Trade 28BOSNYYBobby Veach262303140000
19251925-05-05Trade 28NYYBOSRay Francis90000000
Total 92902-77972660276
19261926-06-15Waiver 29BOSNYYRoy Carlyle93230000
Total 101905-58272660276
19301930-05-06Trade 30BOSNYYRed Ruffing572650162817419
19301930-05-06Trade 30NYYBOSCedric Durst103030000
Total 1481167-595100834385
19321932-05-01Trade 31BOSNYYWilcy Moore5253434020
19321932-05-01Trade 31NYYBOSGordon Rhodes6410301600
Total 1941131-296134818585
19321932-06-05Trade 32BOSNYYDanny MacFayden698126393911
19321932-06-05Trade 32NYYBOSHank Johnson29181010400
19321932-06-05Trade 32NYYBOSIvy Andrews57131013816
Total 2291123-492162815580
19331933-05-12Purchase 33NYYBOSGeorge Pipgras7382837313
Total 1561115-684125812477
19331933-05-12Purchase 34NYYBOSBilly Werber01620806700
Total 156953-676125745477
19341934-05-15Trade 35BOSNYYFreddie Muller00000000
Total 156953-676125745477
19341934-05-15Trade 36NYYBOSLyn Lary618409183300
Total 95869-667107712477
19371937-02-17Purchase 37BOSNYYBabe Dahlgren9800002300
Total 104949-667107735477
19461946-06-18Purchase 38NYYBOSBill Zuber256051000
Total 79943-662106735477
19511950-11-16Rule 5 Draft39NYYBOSPaul Hinrichs00000000
Total 79943-662106735477
19521952-08-22Purchase 40BOSNYYRay Scarborough6772425010
Total 146950-466131735577
19571957-00-00Unknown41BOSNYYGordie Windhorn02000000
Total 146952-466131735577
19591959-00-00Unknown42BOSNYYEli Grba023000700
Total 146975-466131742577
19621962-06-12Trade 43BOSNYYTom Umphlett170004000
19621962-06-12Trade 43NYYBOSBilly Gardner6440313000
Total 99971-463122742577
19671967-08-03Trade 44BOSNYYPete Magrini00000000
19671967-08-03Trade 44NYYBOSElston Howard19582283000
Total -96963-66139742577
19671967-08-08Purchase 45BOSNYYBob Tillman00006000
Total -96963-66145742577
19671967-08-08Trade 46BOSNYYRon Klimkowski012000200
Total -96975-66145744577
19681968-05-18Purchase 47BOSNYYJohn Wyatt000031000
Total -96975-66176744577
19691968-12-02Rule 5 Draft48BOSNYYBobby Mitchell00000000
Total -96975-66176744577
19721972-03-22Trade 49BOSNYYSparky Lyle421190181768013
19721972-03-22Trade 49NYYBOSDanny Cater100110428000
19721972-06-30Trade 49NYYBOSMario Guerrero038000100
Total -1541045-67565811590
19861986-03-28Trade 50BOSNYYMike Easler921801330303
19861986-03-28Trade 50NYYBOSDon Baylor2323001698606
Total -2941033-672-3808587
19941994-09-01Purchase 51BOSNYYScott Bankhead000016000
Total -2941033-67213808587
19971997-08-13Trade 52BOSNYYMike Stanley10639104291031
19971997-08-13Trade 52NYYBOSTony Armas Jr.028000700
19971997-09-29Trade 52NYYBOSJim Mecir3360001300
Total -191100847642798888
1900s 11 -587-54-19-13-291-36-6-15

You'll note that the Twenties, which kicked off with the Ruth sale, were a huge plus for the Yankees. But you can also see that the first decade of the century was a big plus for Boston and helped build their early dynasty. From the 1910s through the 1970s, the Yankees pretty much owned the Sox in their mutual transactions, though the Sox have "won" their scant few trades since.

Next, we'll look at their biggest individual transactions.

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