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May 08, 2006

Let's Roll *Up* The Welcome Mat

They're all lined up:

Randy Johnson vs. Josh Beckett
Mike Mussina vs. Curt Schilling
Shawn Chacon vs. Tim Wakefield

It's going to be an interesting three days.

What may be most interesting to me is how the Yankee Stadium crowd handles these games.

I have to confess, in terms of the fan factor, since the 2004 ALCS, it seems that Fenway Park is much tougher on the Yankees players than Yankee Stadium is to the Red Sox.

In fact, I would call Fenway as being flat-out hostile whereas Yankee Stadium is somewhat (pun intended) in the ballpark of average fan intensity.

I have noticed, in the last three seasons or so, that more and more Red Sox fans attend games at the Stadium now. That could be a part of it.

Heck, 25 years ago, you maybe could find one Sox fan for every 25 Yankees fan in the Bronx for a Red Sox series. And, those Boston fans would feel the heat while at the game.

These days, I would bet that there's one Sox fan for every 10 Yankees fans in the Bronx for a Sox-Yanks game - at the least. And, that could be a big reason why the Stadium seems the way that it is now.

Now, I'm not asking for Yankees fans to throw batteries and the like at Red Sox players. That's just criminal. But, there's nothing wrong with showering a player with "Booooooooooo!" or coming up with some creative chants or sing-songs. (And, it seems that the latter died with "Who's Your Daddy?" for Pedro.)

I hope the Yankees fans will turn this around this series - and let the Red Sox players know that they are not liked.

In some ways, this all goes back to the 2004 ALCS when Curt Schilling said:

"I was talking to Terry Mulholland, and he said the awesome thing about being a starting pitcher is you have the ability to make 55,000 people shut up when you're on the road. I'm not sure of any scenario more enjoyable than making 55,000 people from New York shut up."

What do you say Yankees fans? Why not "derisively serenade" instead of "shut up"? It can't hurt and it may help.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 8, 2006 10:58 AM

Comments

I blame this on the increased security in the bleachers. Plus it's almost like a playoff game where a good chunk of the crowd is made up of corporate types and their clients, not the hardcores that are more apt to "derisively serenade". These games have become an "event".

And, like you said, there's more Boston fans going to the Stadium every year. Many Yankee fans expend their energy talking shit to them instead of directing their antagonism towards the players.

Posted by: Jen [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 12:37 PM

It's also indicative of how this "rivalry" is so much more something that lives in the minds of Sox fans and consumes them. They'd rather see the Yankees lose than their team win...anyday. For the fans, anyway, the World Series of 2004 was anti-climatic. And, just my take, but Torre doesn't seem over-worked about beating the Red Sox. Not being an ex-Yankees player or fan, he's never actually gotten it, despite all his rhetoric. Losing to the Sox in 2004, in the way we did, would have killed Billy Martin, Ralph Houk, and, yes, Buck Showalter. Killed them.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 01:38 PM

Piniella too.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 01:59 PM

Right, Steve. The once and future(?)manager of the Bronx Bombers.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 02:05 PM

I blame this on the increased security in the bleachers. Plus it's almost like a playoff game where a good chunk of the crowd is made up of corporate types and their clients, not the hardcores that are more apt to "derisively serenade". These games have become an "event".
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I'd say more the former than the latter. IMO, the corporate types would be found in the lower seating bowl, maybe. But in the upper deck and bleachers? That's where you'll find the hardcore fans...

Of course, it doesn't help that the "rivalry" has been pretty one-sided for the most part.

Has Brad been around? Haven't seen him in a while.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 02:33 PM

Just got an e-mail; there are tickets available to tonight's game.

Does anyone else find that odd?

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 9, 2006 12:38 PM