That's how the Boston media (or at least the Boston Herald) still think of their cute, cuddly, underdog Red Sox. Take a look at some of the phrases they use to describe the big, bad Yankees in a recent article:
"...baseball's answer to the Roman Empire."
"Cashman... lashed out with a fury financed by the game's deepest vault. He signed Sabathia and Burnett for the gross national product of a Third World country, and then lobbied Hal Steinbrenner to spend another $180 million to keep Teixeira out of Fenway Park."
"Cashman... applied a human touch to his lifeless machine." [italics my own]
Those scrappy, overachieving Red Sox can only hope to compete, what with their measly $122 million payroll (fourth highest). And how much emotion they show compared to the corporate Yankees, who never show emotion, right Nick Swisher?
Seriously, does the Herald forget the $100+ million the Sox spent on a totally unproven Japanese pitcher? Or trading for one month of a reliever that would cost them $2 million? Or (probably) tampering with J.D. Drew before he became a free agent? Or signing a Japanese pitcher to break an unwritten rule between MLB and NPB? Or how their GM bought every room in a Nicaraguan hotel to ensure the signing of Cuba's top free agent pitcher? Or how they gave the second highest AAV contract in history (behind a particular Texas Ranger)? These aren't exactly the traits of a small, scrappy club, are they?
(And I hate how Dustin Pedroia gets called 'scrappy' and 'gritty' because he's 5'9" and white. He was a highly-touted second-round pick out of Arizona State five years ago, receiving a $575 K signing bonus. He hit ~.384/.460/.540 in college and .308/.392/.454 in the minors. Another AL East second-baseman, our own Robbie Cano (who signed for $150 K as a teenager), is far more of an underdog than Pedroia, despite his 6'0" frame and Dominican heritage.)