Yankees’ Nestor Cortes throws shade at Red Sox ahead of series

Jul 19, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; American League pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) of the New York Yankees is congratulated after pitching against the National League during the sixth inning of the 2022 MLB All Star Game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 19, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; American League pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) of the New York Yankees is congratulated after pitching against the National League during the sixth inning of the 2022 MLB All Star Game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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For the first time in 2023, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are going to square off in a regular-season series. Having the first series the second weekend of June is weird as the two American League foes generally have one or two series in April or May.

This season, MLB cut down the number of divisional games from 19 to 12, which explains why were are seeing the Red Sox and Yankees on the field for the first time when it counts in June. Ahead of the first series, a Yankees pitcher add some intrigue to the series with his comments.

Nestor Cortes says the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry isn’t what it used to be

Before the Yankees doubleheader split against the Chicago White Sox Thursday at Yankee Stadium, Cortes had this to say about the upcoming weekend series,

“It doesn’t feel like what we have with Tampa now, or with Toronto now,” Cortes told Fox Sports. “You could argue that (the Red Sox) haven’t been who they really are the last couple of years.”

Is he right or wrong? It depends on which side of the fence you fall on, but yes, technically he’s correct. Since Boston won the 2018 World Series and easily eliminated the Yankees in four games of the Divisional Series, the Red Sox have not been the same organization. They have finished in third place, last place, second place, and last place in the last four seasons. Sure, one of the seasons with a last-place finish was the COVID-19 2020 season, but regardless, the season still went on.

Aside from the 2021 season, the Yankees have been battling with the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East. Last season, all three teams made the postseason. This season, the Baltimore Orioles have thrown a wrinkle in the division and are in the second place, looking very much like a playoff team.

This season, the Rays have proven to be the class of the division with a Major League-best 46-19 record. The Orioles are in second, the Yankees are currently tied for third with the Blue Jays with the Red Sox are in last place. It appears that the Yankees and Blue Jays, who are battling injuries,  will battle it out with Baltimore for a Wild Card spot, but what about Boston? Usually, a series against your rival can turn a season around. Is this the series for the Red Sox?

Cortes, who landed in the 15-day IL and won’t pitch in the series, is doing one of two things. He’s either throwing some shade towards the Red Sox or he’s trying to get a once-strong rivalry back on track in the first of four series this season. Despite his comments, throw the records out this weekend in the Bronx in a series that will be missing some pretty big names on both sides in Chris Sale and Aaron Judge.

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