Tame. That’s the only word that comes to mind when I think about this weekend’s Red Sox-Yankees series. Even with the Yankees holding a six-game lead in the AL East, I didn’t feel the deep hatred that I always comes out when I see that ugly Red Sox uniform. I didn’t get overly emotional when I saw Jonathan Papelbon come running in from the bullpen. I didn’t really care when David Ortiz homered off of Javier Vazquez on Friday night. Instead, I found myself checking Tampa Bay-Toronto scores regularly, hoping my favorite team from Canada was pummeling our rivals from Florida.  So why was I feeling this way? Do I think the rivalry is losing some steam?

'I'm a Complete Tool'

#1 Problem with the rivalry?: Too many new faces.

Unlike the Red Sox teams from the early 2000s, this group of Chowda Heads doesn’t feature many villains. Jon Lester is one of the AL’s best pitchers, but he beat cancer. He has my utmost respect. We can’t hate him. What about Clay Buchholz? He’s just a kid who stole laptops. Marco Scutaro? Funny name. Ryan Kalish?: FROM JERZ.

Of course the Red Sox have a few holdovers from those glorious ‘Cowboy Up’ Red Sox teams, but they all stink now. Jason Varitek is corpse. Even with his ‘bounce back’ season, David Ortiz isn’t ‘Big Papi’, the guy who was driving in 130+ runs per season and goofing off with Manny Ramirez.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia as much as the next Yankee fan. I hate everything associated with Massachusetts sports. I hate the Celtics, Bruins, and most notably, the Patriots (shutter). But the Red Sox didn’t bring out any of those emotions in me this weekend. Maybe it was because ‘Pedi’ and ‘Youk’ were sitting on the DL this time around. Maybe because Beckett just isn’t being Beckett (11.17 ERA in four starts this year against the Yanks). For the first time in awhile, no batters were intentionally hit. Heck, the four games each finished before the four hour mark! It just didn’t feel right…

I’d give pretty much anything to see Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, and hell even Kevin Millar hop in the time machine and join this Red Sox team. Let’s see some hit batsmen. Let’s see a bench clearing brawl. Let’s see Don Zimmer Mike Harkey get thrown to the ground! Ok, maybe that’s taking it too far…but at least it’ll bring some passion back into this lackluster 2010 version of the ‘greatest rivalry in sports’. Let’s hope the next meeting (September 24th) fills the voids from this past weekend..