As a Hatchet editorial board alumna, still-faithful reader and native New Englander, I couldn’t resist responding to Rooting for the lesser of two evils (Oct. 26, p. 20).
Since my fellow Boston Red Sox fan Lauren Silva was so moved by her viewing of a recent documentary about Joe DiMaggio, perhaps she’d like to read some more about him. A historian by the name of Richard Ben Cramer has a real interesting new book out. Perhaps she’d be interested to hear about the Joe DiMaggio who verbally abused his wife, stopped speaking to his son and wouldn’t sign a single autograph without getting paid for it. Dimaggio took money from mobsters to hang out at their nightclubs and chose friends like the lawyer who allegedly stole the World Series ring off his dead finger. The same lawyer now doesn’t want to allow the San Francisco playground where DiMaggio and his brother Dominic – who I hope Lauren knows played for the Red Sox, the team for which she purports to root – played as a child to be named after him.
Believe me, Lauren, the Yankees and their devoted media machine want you to be sucked in. They want you to buy the myth. I’ve lived in New York for three and a half years, ever since I left Foggy Bottom, so I understand the forces that are arrayed against you. I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re still an undergraduate, then you can’t have been more than seven years old when the Red Sox threw away the ’86 World Series. And what kind of real Sox fan doesn’t comprehend that Mr. Buckner is far from the only man deserving a share of the blame? Why, I believe another of those men is sitting in the Yankees dugout at this very moment – that is, when he isn’t throwing everything but the ball in an apparent effort to terrify his opponents into submission. I was 11, and I remember it all too well. Yet I’ve found myself pulling for the Mets. Why? One very good, very simple reason: a different team deserves the chance to win.
But I digress. May I say, Lauren, that your short-term memory seems to be more than a little lacking. The 1999 American League Championship Series – you may recall, in five games, it was Yankees 2, umpires 2, Red Sox 1 – is weighing a lot more on my mind than a World Series of a decade and a half ago. I would assume it would be weighing on your mind too, but apparently not.
Please, anybody but the Yankees, Lauren, though I concede that by the time this reaches you they will have won yet another championship. But please don’t let yourself be seduced by the dark side again. I don’t think your season-ticket-holding neighbors in Fenway Park would take too kindly to your dalliance with the enemy. For we have seen the enemy, and he is wearing pinstripes.
-The writer is 1997 GW graduate and former Hatchet opinions editor.