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OT: Why everyone here should love the Sox


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They are the new Animal house :)


Uniform of the Day: Red Sox With Togas

By Thomas Boswell

Thursday, October 9, 2003; Page D07


The baseball world thinks the subtext of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees is the exhausted conceit of "The Curse of the Bambino." Please, give it a rest. What we have here, thanks to the Red Sox, is quite a different script. The Boston club, called "renegades" by their own manager, are doing their own personal remake of "Animal House" with George Steinbrenner as Dean Wormer.

Wednesday night's 5-2 Red Sox win in Game 1, including three home runs off model ex-Stanford student Mike Mussina, was just the first of several tasteless pranks that this movable Toga Party from the Charles hopes to play on the uptight, meticulous, pinstriped Yankees. The Red Sox barely bother to hide their water balloons. They've come here to make a mockery of proper, high-finance Yankee baseball and pour beer on Derek Jeter's tuxedo.

For this series to continue to live up to the enormous expectations heaped on it, the Red Sox will have to live up to their own team image, just as they did Wednesday night, swinging for the fences and ignoring any hint of a jinx. How can you fear history if you skipped every class and flunked it?

"We've got a bunch of idiots in here who [just] go out and play baseball," Boston third baseman Kevin Millar, the self-appointed lead idiot, told reporters here on Monday.

Boston Manager Grady Little seems blithely certain that his team -- which has adopted a cult-like ritual of shaving each other's heads -- can't possibly have read "The Curse of the Bambino." Long sentences. Not many pictures. None of them good for coloring.

"This group of renegades that I'm putting out on the field, they don't care" about curses, said Little. "They care about their Harley Davidsons running good enough that they won't run off the Tobin Bridge" in Boston. You have to like a manager who tunes to the police scanner before making out his lineup card.

The contrast between these teams is so extreme that it's now clear that the Red Sox have cast themselves as the proudly disreputable fraternity that dedicated its existence to tormenting the up-tight authoritarian Dean Wormer. Is team president Larry Lucchino, a product of the '60s, a party to this sedition? After all, he went public with calling the Yanks "The Evil Empire." He hired the 28-year-old general manager.

The Red Sox have worn their hair down over their collars for months, like hippies. Now, they've shaved it off to look like deranged bikers. They forget to tuck in their uniforms and never knock the dirt (a badge of honor) off themselves. Even the Red Sox equivalent of the Angels' "Rally Monkey" is straight out of "Animal House." The Fenway Park scoreboard shows an old home movie of Millar, bumping and grinding, doing a lip sync to Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." The Red Sox call it, "Rally Karaoke Guy."

Everything the Red Sox do seems designed to cross the wires of the obsessive neatnik, the disciplinarian, the corporate titan, the man of military affectations, the soulless boss. You're getting the picture, right? George III, right down to the roman numeral after his name and the macho turtleneck-under-blue-blazer preppie power look.

You'll note that the Yanks do not show a clip of Derek Jeter, bombed out of his gourd, covering Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life." And if they found one, they'd burn every copy. Instead, Jeter is in a credit card commercial, vamping it up about tony Manhattan nightspots with Steinbrenner, while wearing a tuxedo.

George doesn't even know that every time he issues a proclamation, he's just playing into the gag. On Tuesday, when silence would probably have been a reasonable pre-ALCS course of action, Steinbrenner put out a preposterous news release that would have inspired Bluto Blutarski to manic mayhem.

"I want our team to understand that we owe [the fans] by the way we dress and how we play on the field," pontificated the Boss. "For us, winning isn't the only thing. It's second to breathing." Roll the "Patton" clips.

And you frat boys just better not let those Animal House freaks win the big float parade. Or -- well -- or else.

All the symbols of Americana that Steinbrenner assembled here just two years ago, after September 11, were moving and appropriate. The bald eagle ("Challenger") flying in from center field. The jet flyovers. The whole overproduced "Yankees Equal America" shtick. It worked. But now it's an old tired act, an exploitation of powerful symbols for crass baseball business purposes. Before this Game 1, Challenger did his dutiful fly-in, but didn't get to his trainer before the jets blew over his head. The poor bird took a frightened header, plopping down in self-defense in front of home plate, as the Yankees, lined up along the first base line, broke into laughter. Nobody tipped the eagle to the jets? People get fired for less -- much less -- in Yankee World.

So, it's "Cowboy Up" against baseball's first $180 million payroll. It's a retread knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, pitching six shutout innings Wednesday night, against the $88 million Mussina with his degree-in-econ-in-three-and-a-half-years precision. It's counterculture with culture against money-in-lieu-of-culture.

If you think this Boston victory in Game 1 was just an opening salvo, a shot across the bow, an introduction, don't be so sure. It was more like a haymaker to the lips.

The last thing you want to do to a team before it faces an infuriating flutterball pitcher is tighten the boys up. But that's what the Boss's encyclical seemed to do. Popups, dribblers. Looked like they couldn't -- breathe.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, met an orderly live-by-habit Mussina who has never liked pitching on extra rest and never relished pitching opening games of big postseason series. He's wound tight enough to begin with. The extra rest, the disrupted ritual and the Game 1 hype just turn him a twist too far. His performance Wednesday night, coupled with his Game 1 outings in the '01 World Series and this year's Division Series, may be a pattern.

The home runs Mussina gave up to David Ortiz and Todd Walker on Wednesday night weren't really all that long. What's the big deal about reaching the upper deck in right field? Mickey Mantle did it. Ruth did it. Walker's homer was downright lucky, hitting the foul pole and all, right? And Manny Ramirez's homer off Mussina barely found a seat on Yankee Stadium's short right field porch.

Heh, heh.

The Yankees can tell themselves it's just one game. And they're right. But this was the win the Red Sox needed to put the Yankees on notice that this time all that "Curse" foolishness may not spook them.

In just one night, the home field advantage has switched to Boston. Now, it's the Red Sox who come back with their two best pitchers -- Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez -- in Games 2 and 3. Now it's the Red Sox, hardly tense to begin with, who have even less pressure. You can hear their Harleys revving.

Looks like Dean Wormer may have to call a team meeting.

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Originally posted by codeorama

If the Cubs or Red Sox win the World Series, they will have no aura about them from then on. The charm that they have with their fans is that they are loveable losers, once that's gone, they've got nothing... See NY Rangers in Hockey.

They will have a lot of social security not getting collected again :(

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As a Washington Senators fan, hating the Damn Yankees is second nature to me. I even found myself pulling for the Twins, even though that racist SOB Calvin Griffith stole the team to Minn. in 1961. I have no great love for any baseball team, I just pull for whomever is playing the Yankees.

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The Brooklyn Dodgers won a World Series and lost many others but were still lovable losers and forever "Dem Bums". One World Series victory does not a dynasty make. Just look at the Marlins. Will they forever be on a 6-year plan?

While I'd LOVE a Cubs-Red Sox matchup, the fact remains that one of them will lose and will still retain that aura. Besides, the lure of the Dark Side, aka the Curse of the Bambino, is strong young Skywalker.

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i am a huge O's fan but have liked and followed every Boston team since childhood-- thanks to Larry Bird. now i am living 90 minutes from boston and it is a lot easier to make it to fenway (the best ballpark in baseball, 2)wrigley, 3)camden) and see my O's whoop up on the Sox. but when the O's aren't in town it is the Sox i cheer for. they are a great group of guys, assholes included, playing for a city starved for success. you have no idea how important it is to this region that the Sox have made it this far, and are facing the Yanks no less (i hate the fu*king YANKS!). attendance is down in my classes because everyone is staying up late and getting hammered while the Sox win. there was even a bunch of "rioting" on the URhodeIsland campus.. burning trashcans, unruly partiers late in the evening, mobs going around beating up Yankee fans (sad but....). boston will burn if the Sox win it all.

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I'm not a NY fan but there is nothing about boston I like: the people, their politics, Celtics, Bruins or RedSox.

I want them to continue to endure misery and prefer to see the Yanks or fish win

Cubs win means a constant smirk on the mug of M Wilbon and more cub articles in the post than anything else

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