Baseball has always been considered "The Great American Pastime." But even the pastime needs a little fire. This is why I have returned with the hopes that the rivalries that grace this column do the game justice.
The Top Ten MLB Rivalries
10) Colorado Rockies-Arizona Diamondbacks
9) Houston Astros-St. Louis Cardinals
8) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California-Oakland Athletics
7) New York Mets-New York Yankees (Subway Series)
6) Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants
5) Atlanta Braves-New York Mets-Philadelphia Phillies
The NL East has always been feisty, but back in the 90s, the division was always decided between these three teams. The players have changed, but the rivalry is still somewhat good.
While one team makes their bedding in the basement, the other keeps coming back to fight for more.
All three teams have one thing in common: Animosity.
While Chipper Jones tries to bring the Braves back to the old glory days, and David Wright and Jose Reyes try to get their team back to their original dominance, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are showing that the Phillies are out for blood in the NL East.
Plain and simple: These three will do whatever it takes to be at the top of the food chain at season's end.
4) Chicago Cubs-Chicago White Sox (The Brawl Side from Both Sides)
Nothing is better than when cross-town rivals duke it out during interleague play. And no rivalry is more bitter than the one between the Cubs and White Sox.
Though they are in different leagues, when they meet, families divide, friends collide, and fights break out all over the Windy City.
This season, both teams are looking to rekindle the glory days of yesteryear as well as the hatred that both teams show every time they step out onto the field.
From riots to bar fights, tear gas to giant hospital bills, people have literally done anything and everything when these two lock up. I even heard that someone has been stabbed during the melee that is "The Brawl Side from Both Sides."
3) Cleveland Indians-New York Yankees
The movie Major League brought this rivalry into the spotlight.
For years, these two juggernauts have battled on the diamond, and every time they have, they leave many still frothing at the mouth. The Tribe and the Bronx Bombers are always a good rivalry to watch.
Though there is no Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn or Willie "Mays" Hayes, there is still a lot of power and struggle when these two meet.
Their rivalry took another unexpected turn last fall in the infamous "Bug Game." Many believe that the winged insects were actually fans of Cleveland who had come to put the mighty Yankees down. Others believe that it was just coincidence.
I say that those bugs are the equivalent of Anaheim's "Rally Monkey."
2) St. Louis Cardinals-Chicago Cubs
There are six teams in the NL Central. For the longest time, it's always been about the Cards and Cubs.
Despite the animosity between Houston and St. Louis, nothing is more intense than when the Cubs and Cardinals lock horns—making it the "Wild Card" division of the National League.
From a personal standpoint, and being a lifelong Cardinals fan, nothing gets my blood flowing better than when the Windy City and the Gateway City trash talk each other all the way to October.
Add in the wildest shortest fuse in the league, Lou Piniella, and a card carrying member of the Eric Mangini Fan Club, Tony LaRussa and you got the ingredients for one hell of a rivalry.
The problem: Their rivalry is good, but doesn't have enough fire to overtake...
1) Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees
The Bronx Bombers and the Monsters of Fenway.
These two have history that goes way back to the "Era of Ruth."
The deal that sent Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 was the start of something more than just a simple transaction; it started a curse in the eyes of the city of Boston.
Since that trade, the BoSox have fell short of winning the World Series every single time they made it to the postseason. That is, until the biggest shocker in baseball history in 2004.
Down 3-0 in their series against the Yanks, Boston rallied from those three games down to stun the Bombers and achieve the impossible. After a four-game sweep of the Cardinals, the Red Sox finally won that most elusive prize in the industry.
Since that shocker, the Sox have won another World Series, and the rivalry has found its spark.
Everyday here on BR, Yanks and Sox fans trash talk and harass each other into oblivion. When it comes down to it, if these two giants meet again in the postseason, expect bigger fireworks.
That's why this rivalry is the no. 1 rivalry in Major League Baseball.
Hope I did it justice. See you next time.
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