Sunday, August 03, 2008


I love the New York Yankees. Period. In fact, if you cut me open, I'm pretty sure I'd bleed, well, red, but make no mistake, I'd much prefer blue and white. Unfortunately, the only thing biologically remarkable about me is that I curl into the fetal position whenever somebody asks how a Yanks fan living in Boston survives. And that is where this life-changing story tragically begins --

I am moving to Boston.

Karma, you owe me one. Although it's a shrewd professional move for me (i.e. it was my first, only, and best job offer), I know you're asking yourself why I'd move to this place. Ironically enough though, I really like the city of Boston, but the impending September move has been raising all sorts of questions in my mind that just won't go away.

For instance, how will I feel living among Sox fans? Like a white guy at the Apollo?

How can I walk the streets safely? Do I buy pepper spray? A flak jacket? A Pirates hat?

Will I come across as conceited when I try to explain to others that 26 is many more than 7?

Do I date only other Yanks fans to keep the race strong, pure, and numbered, like some sort of Jewish system for baseball?

Are there enough Manny jokes in this world to keep me united with those around me and perhaps earn me a social life?

These and other thoughts echo in my head like the sound of a liner off the Green Mawnstah.

Anyways, as a precursor to braving Beantown, I visited my (gulp) future home just last weekend, attending the Sunday night Yanks/Sox game along the way.

Friday night, the first thing I noticed while at the bar Whiskey is that Yanks fans in Boston are like refugees. Case in point: I walked past a guy wearing a Joba shirt and Yanks cap. "Go, Yanks!" I said. He immediately called over a few more people my age, pinstripes pouring out of the woodwork. "This guy's a Yanks fan!" he yelled. Then they all began to question me like I was bringing news from the Great Beyond. My time with them was therapeutic. We talked at length about how grand a place New York is, and we reassured each other that we could indeed forge a decent life in the city of Boston despite being displaced fans. We were united by a joyous camaraderie built on the foundations of the Bombers but tinged with terrible sadness and fear for what the future holds.

The weekend rolled forward, and I realized that the people surrounding me weren't just Sox fans but baseball fans -- baseball, that sport where both Sox and Yanks play like children in the field, or bumble like incompetent morons if you're Manny Ramirez. (Note that I just gained 1-3 Boston friends right there.) Honestly, though, it's difficult to find a longtime resident who is indifferent to the sport altogether. This is both good and bad. This means that the city is full of passionate baseball fans, many of whom understand the deep rivalry between New York and Boston, and in this way, I feel a kinship to some of the more knowledgeable Sox fans. The bad end of this passion, however, is the uninformed ditz who thinks she's a huge fan because she wears a pink hat and knows they call David Ortiz "Big Papi," but omg! that's so totally what I'd call Jacoby Ellsbury (giggle, giggle) or maybe Jonathan Papelbon (giggle, giggle) but why don't they ever let him pitch at the beginning of the game because he's sooo good!!! Yankees suuuck! Whoooo!!!


I'm sorry, but if you talk trash about my team, you better be damned sure that you can name more Boston players and their positions than I can. Just because you think you're the future Mrs. Ellsbury doesn't give you the right to chant anything except, "Hit one here!" because I hope they do, and I hope it's wicked hahd.

The thing is, before 2004, I wouldn't be dreading these horrible bandwagon fans. Now they're everywhere. And I'd call them the worst sort of bandwagon fan, but they've recently been topped by 90% of Celtics fans under 30 and anyone who claims they root for the Tampa Bay Rays.

So, with all of these thoughts crammed proudly underneath my weathered Yankees cap, I marched bravely into Fenway with naught but an umbrella and a 5'4" Sox fan friend of mine to protect me. I would have been scared for my life, but it's like skydiving -- once you realize you're doing something for fun that most rational people call "suicide," you aren't all that afraid.

After an hour of rain delay sitting along the first base foul line, I turned to my miniature bodyguard. Since we had a car ride to Andover yet to go following the game, we'd made a pact: whoever won, the victor could gloat until the ride was over. I felt confident, with the Yanks having won the first two games of the series, but as I saw Sidney Ponson warming, I said to her, "This could be the last time we get along. I just wanted to say thanks for bringing me to the game."

A husky man with a faded Beckett jersey and a patchwork beard walked up to me, beer in hand. He pointed between my misguided friend and me. "Hey buddy, how's that workin' out for yah?" A little better than your can of Barbasol, I thought.

Lester, who's been great this year, showed no signs of slipping and didn't surrender a run until the fifth. Ponson, however, didn't quite show up for the Yanks, which was a shame because I very much did, taking my life in my hands along the way. My friend's pity pats on the knee made me very aware of that. The Sox put up three in the first and scored at least once through the first four innings. The crushing blow for my ego was a lefty-righty combo of Big Papi and a nearby fan.

In the fourth, the big DH blasted one over the wall in right. It was a no-doubter off his bat, so while every single person around me gleefully jumped up, watched the ball clear the fence, and raised their arms, I sat staring straight ahead through a few pairs of jeans and jerseys to the Monster beyond. Good times.

The next inning, the boos from the crowd became relegated to only the big-name stars on the Yanks. So when Richie Sexson brought his .217 average to the plate, my applause literally echoed around me. Seeking support for Big Sexy, I rolled my eyes to a boy to my right who I had assumed throughout half the game was on my side. As he turned to his father, I saw his hat straight on for the first time. The interlocking "N-Y" on his hat was actually "Y-H" for "Yankee Hater." Any other day, I'd have loved the sight of a Sox fan wearing a hat that makes most people assume he's a Yanks fan. I pointed this out to my former friend, and I received another little pat on the knee. It was hard, but I somehow managed not to cry. I've never felt so alone.

As Drunky McBeardface walked past again in the eighth inning, Neil Diamond blasting around us, he cackled again. "Looks like she got the uppah hand tonight!"

Indeed. Good times never seemed so good (so good, so good, so good).