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The Pawtucket Red Sox are going all out for 'Evil Empire' weekend against the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate

Photo: Pawtucket Red Sox

Few sports rivalries are as consistently heated and drama-filled as that between the Yankees and Red Sox. Each season, the two teams battle it out in the American League East, the rivalry growing deeper each game. 

The rivalry heated up early this season when the benches and bullpens cleared on April 11 at Fenway Park after Joe Kelly hit Tyler Austin with a pitch in an eventual 10-7 win by New York. 

For quite some time now, too, the Yankees have come to be known as the "Evil Empire" by their detractors, dating back to the George Steinbrenner era of the late 1990s. That, of course, is a "Star Wars" reference, with the aforementioned Empire the bad guys of George Lucas' universe, battling Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and the gang for galactic supremacy. 

With that, we present "Evil Empire Weekend," a special theme set of games hosted by the Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston's Triple-A affiliate. They're gearing up to face the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on May 5 and 6, and oh boy, do they have some shenanigans in store. 

As they put it:

To start, any fans named Joe or Kelly will be admitted for free to that weekend's games, while any fans self-identifying as Tylers or Austins will be banned from the premises. In addition, fans who confess to being named Aaron, Gary, Aroldis, Didi, CC, Jacoby, Masahiro, Giancarlo (or Mike) will be charged double the price of a regular ticket. All Yankee fans will, of course, be warmly welcomed.

That gets a firm:

There will be a costume contest awarding the best-dressed "Anti-Yankee" fan a pair of season tickets, as well.

And in terms of in-stadium entertainment not happening on the diamond itself, the team will show clips of that epic battle from 2004:

Highlights from the Red Sox's historic 2004 ALCS comeback vs. the Yankees will also be shown on the video board throughout the weekend, along with other dramatic Boston conquests from history (of which there are many).

That one earns a:

Really, though, this looks like a very fun and festive weekend of MiLB action, and if you're also a "Star Wars" fan? Well, it's even better.

As for that rivalry ...