Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-10-22 18:58
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I received the following story from a co-worker this morning. I don't know who wrote the piece but whether you root for the Red Sox or the Yankees, you may find it amusing:

Two boys are playing hockey on a pond near Boston Commons when one is attacked by a rabid Rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the other boy takes his stick, wedges it down the dog's collar and twists, breaking the dog's neck.

A reporter who was strolling by sees the incident, and rushes over to interview the boy. "Young Bruins Fan Saves Friend from Vicious Animal," he starts writing in his notebook. "But I'm not a Bruins fan," the little hero replied.

"Sorry, since we are in Boston, I just assumed you were," said the reporter. "Redsox Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Attack" he continued writing in his notebook. "I'm not a Redsox fan either," the boy said. "I assumed everyone in Boston was either for the Bruins or Redsox.

What team do you root for?" the reporter asked. "I'm a Yankees fan," the child replied.

The reporter starts a new sheet in his notebook and writes, "Little Bastard from New York kills Beloved Family Pet".

Speaking of the Sox, Peter King, who writes about football for Sports Illustrated gave his take on Game 7 of the ALCS in a column earlier this week:

The Red Sox lost, yes. But that team didn't lose. LET ME STRESS THIS RIGHT NOW FOR EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE SICKNESS I HAVE: THIS IS WORSE THAN BUCKY DENT IN '78, WORSE THAN BILL BUCKNER IN '86 BECAUSE OF ONE VERY SIMPLE REASON: The players did not lose this game. The manager lost it. And one more point: How could you not know your ace pitcher is going to say he's fine even when he isn't? You don't know him that well? Well, you should. There's a fine line between showing faith in your ace and being too chicken to take him out, and that's what Little was.

King adds a nice personal touch too:

I was out Friday night in my hometown of Montclair, N.J.., and someone I met asked me, "How can you stick with [the Red Sox] after this? How many broken hearts can you take?'' I mumbled something about being loyal, but then I thought about it for a while.

I think it goes back to being 6, in 1963, and going to my first game at Fenway, a 90-mile drive from my home in Connecticut, with my family and walking up the tunnel underneath the rotting grandstand and being so open-mouthed shocked at seeing the field for the first time and smelling the grass and the hot dogs and the beer and the popcorn all mixed together, and sitting for two hours in the rain waiting for a Red Sox-Yankees showdown (in those days, there were plenty of good seats still available), and thinking how beautiful it was and seeing the wall in person and thinking how majestic it was, and then almost every spring and summer Saturday of my youth riding in the car with my father the ironworker to get the papers at a little newspaper store in our Connecticut hometown, Enfield, and devouring every word on the Red Sox, and sitting there on Friday nights and Sundays with my father watching them, and then dreaming of replacing Carl Yastrzemski one day in left field, and later dreaming that if I couldn't replace Yaz maybe I could write about them for the Globe, and thinking how the luckiest person on the planet must be Peter Gammons because he got to see them every day in person, and then going to Ohio University and being the only person in the basement of my dorm in the big TV room rooting for them against Cincinnati in the '75 Series, and how I almost hit my head on the ceiling when Carlton Fisk hit the home run in Game 6, and then, in the intervening years, trying to make sure I saw them a couple of times every year, either in Boston or when I not-so-secretly arranged an SI road trip around a Red Sox trip to Oakland or Seattle or somewhere, and then thinking nothing of going from Indianapolis at dawn to Charlotte for the afternoon to Boston at night in order to catch Game 4 of the ALCS and feeling so high walking out of Fenway after a win, just about as happy, at 46, as a grownup can be. Forty years. You might call them 40 heartbreaking years. I call them 40 wonderful years with a few heartbreaks that make me realize how much this game is like life. That is why I will buy the digital cable baseball package next spring, and why I will find a way to see a few innings of at least 80 Red Sox games next year. I don't get divorced if my wife cracks up the car. I don't divorce my baseball team if the manager blows the pennant.

From the Yankee perspective, Jay Jaffe's girlfriend Andrea Hardt, aka Pinky Yankadero, was at Game 7 and offers her memories of what will likely be the greatest game she'll ever attend. And Steve Bonner, one of David Pinto's loyal readers was at the game as well. I love his take:

People who don't understand baseball like to say that Yankee fans feel it's their right to win the World Series every year, that we take no joy in it because it is such a common occurrence. They are wrong, nothing is guaranteed, nothing is taken for granted and the joy I felt watching my team come back against their most bitter rival, against one of the best pitchers to ever pitch in the big leagues, to overcome a bust of a start by the Rocket, to still rally after Wells gave up the home run to Ortiz...well it's the most pure sort of joy I think I am capable of feeling over something that I didn't personally accomplish. I'll never forget how lucky I am that this team happens to be my team.

Amen, brother.

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