If the New York Yankees lose Tuesday night’s Wild Card showdown at Fenway Park, it will be through no fault of the universe, which is trying its best.
At this point, both franchises have significant scar tissue from The Rivalry. The Yankees haven’t defeated the Red Sox in a playoff series of any kind since 2003, but don’t tell that to their fans, who still sound like pre-Curse Bostonians whenever the Yanks come to town for important games.
“Which .350-slugging Yankees infielder is going to break my heart tonight?” they tweet earnestly, somehow forgetting Brock Holt hitting for the cycle to beat the Bombers in the Bronx 16-1 in 2018. Bill Simmons acts like being forced to “watch the Bucky Dent footage” will turn Tuesday’s game into “a nightmare” as he sits on a throne made of four World Series trophies.
And, the best part about fandom is … they all really mean it. Pain is ingrained. Success is a relief, not a joy. Sports suck! But we digress.
Any Red Sox fans still experiencing past trauma as present-day disasters might want to look away from the television for the next … several hours, though.
The ghosts began to rear their beautiful heads on Monday night, when the Massachusetts Lottery let the balls bounce randomly and then somehow did not panic, drop everything, and re-draw.
Red Sox fans should be freaked out by 1978 omens, from the lottery to Yankees legend Bucky Dent.
They actually broadcast this to the state of Massachusetts. Unbelievable. I’d sell my house.
Dan Shaughnessy, to be fair, is famously negative. He’s been writing all year about how Boston fans shouldn’t embrace this team for every reason under the sun, from their low vaccination rate (he has a point…) to the fact that Alex Cora seems like an unfit leader (kinda like this guy…).
Needless to say, that’s been bothering Bostonians all year long. Who wants to be told what not to like?
Whatever. Maybe Shaughnessy’s just joking about the “1978” lottery, which is honestly too good to be real. Any other confirmation?
In an active effort to make things scarier, the Yankees (or God himself) have managed to get Bucky Dent, the man who delivered the fateful blow in ’78, back in the ballpark for this one.
He’s probably going to have to sit in a glass case under lock and key like the PopeMobile, but he’ll be there.
Maybe let Bucky inside the Monster this time. Seems safe in there.
In the decades since the shortstop’s blast, the netting atop the fabled wall, which accepted his home run ball once upon a time, has given way to Monster Seats, another cash grab by an ownership group that turned the Sox into a business behemoth.
Blessed with deep pockets, limitless payroll (but not limitless enough for Mookie Betts), and the cache of being the big-market team that Yankee Haters love, the organization has enjoyed 17 years of absolute bliss since 2004, which fans still can’t help but muddy up with constant worry about the other shoe dropping.
Maybe that shoe is Dent sitting in the stands. Maybe it’s the lottery balls. Or maybe it’s on the foot of JD Martinez, wrenching his ankle after he innocently stepped on second base. Who can say?