Friday, April 11, 2008

Burning Down the House (That A-Rod Built) ...

Here we go again. Tonight at Boston's Fenway Park, the eternal struggle between good and evil begins anew when the Yankees visit the Red Sox for the first time this season. The two baseball titans have played each other yearly for over 100 years - from back to a time when they weren't even known as the Yankees and the Red Sox. (Try the "Highlanders" and the "Pilgrims". Not exactly the same, is it?) Of course, the rivalry has only really become a rivalry in the past several years, when the Sox finally shook off the shackles of failure and starting giving the Evil Empire as much as they took, and those two Boston World Series rings definitely have changed the tenor of the blood feud.

And now, this: The New York Post is reporting today that the new Yankee Stadium, which is being built in the Bronx next to the current ballpark and is set to open next season, may already have "undesirable" Red Sox taint on it. Or, rather, under it. This story, which have yet to be completely confirmed, states that a construction worker on the $1.3 billion project placed a Red Sox T-shirt into the foundation of the visitor's clubhouse before the concrete was poured. According to the article, the worker wasn't meaning to place a curse on the Yankees but now fears that that may be the actual effect. And many fans of the Bronx Bombers are concerned enough to start demands that the "offending" garment be dug up asap, even though the construction is pretty far along at this point.

Stupid? Overraction? Just keep in mind that no other major sport is as driven by superstition as baseball. The curses can be epic (Bambino, Billy Goat, Bartman, etc.) or they can be miniscule, such as how, when a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, his teammates will avoid him like the plague in the dugout; or how a player with a hot bat will not change underwear as long as he's on a hot hitting streak; or how Hall of Fame batting champ Wade Boggs ate chicken (and, at times, other things) before every game. So to place the colors of a team's most bitter rival underneath their home stadium is serious stuff indeed. And considering how angst-ridden Yankee fans already are because their squad hasn't won the Series since 2000 (shocking!), don't be surprised if there's isn't a major reclamation project at the New Stadium before it even opens.

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