Inside MLB's biggest rivalry

By Tom Price Jr.

Some say the best quality in a baseball player is the ability to forget what happened yesterday.

Well somebody better talk to the Red Sox and Yankees because the two rivals seem to have a hard time forgetting what happened a century ago.

On July 24, at Fenway Park in Boston, tempers flared between the two teams resulting in a bench clearing brawl.

For Brad Mills, a member of the Red Sox bench, it was his an introduction to the rivalry.

"[The rivalry] is definitely everything I expected and in Fenway that day it was a little more," said Mills a graduate of Exeter Union High School. "It's more than the players it is the fans as well. It creates the type of competivness that gets guys to bear down and play a little harder."

Mills is no stranger to working for historic Major League franchises, in his career he has served as coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and now he is the bench coach for the Red Sox with manager Terry Francona.

"The Red Sox are no doubt one of the oldest and storied franchises in baseball," Mills said. "With everything that is available here and what they do with it, it has enabled me to learn a lot and advance my coaching career."

What the Red Sox have is money and what they do with it is acquire big name free agents like Curt Schilling, and make big trades that bring in names like Orlando Cabrera. The sweeping changes made at the July 31 trade deadline, which led to the departure of fan favorite Nomar Garciapara is an effort by Vice President and General Manager Theo Epstein to make the team overcome their only obstacle from a year ago … the Yankees.

"I think the No. 1 thing is that the players went through it last year," said Mills about the Red Sox who lost to the Yankees in the seventh game of the American League Championship Series. "We are a better team now because of the trades. And [Francona] and I have been in the playoffs as players and coaches and when you throw all that in the pot we are better equipped to handle the playoffs."

Trailing the Yankees by eight games in the American League East, the Red Sox hopes hinge on winning the Wild Card as they did a year ago. This year however, the final playoff spot is expected to be hotly contested with a strong race in the AL West between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics.

"The main thing right now is getting there," Mills said.

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