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In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . ..Number 9. . .September 11


Emotional Chaos
Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

October 9, 2003


As we stated in Part 1, the Red Sox were a pretty good team up until World War I. They won World Series titles in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918. In 1916 showman Harry Frazee bought the club from Joseph J. Lannin. No one remembers Lannin. No Red Sox fan can forget Frazee.

Harry Frazee's first love was Broadway. Needing some capital to finance his shows, In 1920 Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the (not yet dreaded) Yankees. Actually, Frazee dealt several other players to New York, essentially dismantling the team, but Ruth gets all the press (and the blame). This deal, which included a mortgage on Fenway Park itself, is most often referred to as:


The Curse of the Bambino states that the Red Sox were damned by the Baseball Gods to never again win the World Series for being such dopes.

Baseball God 1: "What a bunch of saps! Let's make sure they never win another World Series!"

Baseball God 2: "I thought we already did that to the Cubs."

Baseball God 1: "Hey, if it works, go with it. Besides this Red Sox thing, what other havoc can we wreak on the game?"

Baseball God 3: "We'll make the Yankees perennial winners! And if THAT'S not horrible enough, by the 1970s we'll curse them with dayglo polyester uniforms!"

Baseball God 1: "Great! And while we're at it, let's give talent to a total prick like Barry Bonds!"

(For the record, we're still doing better than the Cubs, who haven't won since 1908. A Sox-Cubs World Series was predicted by Nostradamus as a sign of the Apocalypse, as one of the two would HAVE to win, upsetting the balance of the universe.)

Cooler heads blame the Red Sox woes (at least partly) on the attitude of the Yawkey administration. In 1933, 30 year old Thomas Austin Yawkey inherited North Carolina (or the cash equivalent, anyway) and, not being able to purchase the Detroit Tigers, bought the Red Sox. Over the next 43 years the paternal, beloved Yawkey presided over a club that exhibited a level of racism not seen since "Birth of a Nation". No one blamed them for not signing Jackie Robinson in 1945 (when the color line was still entrenched), but they also passed on Willie Mays and were the last major league team to integrate. Not wanting negroes in the clubhouse unless they were shining shoes definitely hurt them.


Hating the Yankees is our birthright. It's passed from father to son like the lore of an aboriginal tribe, to be held in sacred trust for the next generation. On any given day at Fenway, hawkers will be selling "Yankees Suck!" or "I Love NY, it's the Yankees I Hate" T-shirts, hats and bumper stickers. There are variations, some unprintable in a family publication. My friend Michelle has a bumper stick that reads, "I love New York, it's the Yankees I loathe". Loathe? Who wrote that one, Niles Crane? How about "I'm rather fond of New York, it's the Yankees that I find most unpalatable". Real Yankee hating is short, punchy, passionate. It's not all irrational jealousy on our part, the Yankees ARE easy to hate. Think about it, George Steinbrenner, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, Thurman Munson, Mickey Rivers sucker-punching Bill Lee (and Graig nettles wreaking his shoulder), The Boston Massacre, Bucky Dent (usually called BUCKY expletive DENT!!! even to this day). Let's face it, don't we all love to see the Yankees fail? They don't do it very often, which is part of the problem, but that just makes it all the sweeter when they do.


Every team has it's "What Ifs". What if Ted Williams hadn't lost all those years to military service? What If Tony C hadn't been beaned? What If The Babe had never been traded? What If the ball hadn't rolled between Bill Buckner's legs? What If we'd signed Willie Mays and Pee Wee Reese? What If Bob Gibson had been hit by a meteor before the 1967 World Series? The list goes on.

And of course, there's the final legacy:


People flock to Fenway as though it were a shrine. Serious writers refer to it as though it were Lourdes. True, half the fun of attending a game there is pointing out all the places where history was made, from Pesky's Pole to the red seat where Ted Williams hit the longest blast clouted inside the old ballyard. In fact Fenway inspires people to write lines like "the longest blast clouted inside the old ballyard". Just don't look at the cracks and leaks. Hey, John Updike never wrote about The Astrodome.

Some are born Sox fans, some choose it. Whatever the case, let's all join together in a hearty "Yankees Suck"!




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©2003 Brian Codagnone
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2 Courthouse Lane, Chelmsford, MA, USA 01824


Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
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Ginger & Shadow. ..Writer's Block.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics . Online Store..
In The Zone. ..Number 9. . .September 11