There was a time when I feared the Yankees. Watched with absolute panic every time they rolled into town, hid my face behind the wall of empty beer cans when Mariano Rivera ambled in from the pen, blocked my ears and shut my eyes whenever our guys shot a 3-and-2 pitch to Derek Jeter with the tying run on third. The 1999 ALCS put me on anti-depressants for six months; after the 2003 edition, I had the Samaritans on speed-dial.
Then 2004 happened. And everything changed.
It’s amazing what handing your bitterest rivals the greatest smackdown in baseball playoff history can do for one’s mental health. Suddenly we were the ones holding the cards. We were the ones in their heads. And if you think the bitter taste of the 2004 ALCS is proving impossible to wash from their collective mouths, then check this bit from today’s New York Post to see what they’re stooping to:
The Yankees will have “home-field” advantage at Fenway Park tonight, thanks to one fan’s grassroots effort to sabotage the Red Sox.
Ian Ferris, 30, a Bombers fan in the heart of Red Sox Nation, green-thumbed his nose at Boston by planting Yankee Stadium grass in the Fenway infield during a May 31 Phish concert.
Yankee Stadium grass seeds went on sale this year. Ferris hid the seeds in his pants as he entered Fenway, filled the bag with water and tossed it onto the infield.
“This is payback,” said Ferris, who manages a Hooters in Vermont. “If even one blade of grass sprouts on the field, I feel it was a success.”
Tonight, weather willing, I’m gonna consider Commander Kick Ass the lawnmower.