My wife hates the Boston Red Sox.
I don’t mean dislike, either. With the heat of a thousand suns-type stuff.
And the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon got me thinking.
I have loved the Red Sox since 1975. Carlton Fisk, Luis Tiant. Carl Yaztrezemski — who once won a Triple Crown with a .301 batting average — Rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice.
And then there was Bill Lee.
Lee jogged to work at Fenway Park. When people asked about the smog from the buses, Lee explained that his marijuana use rendered him immune.
That year’s World Series – just a year after Richard Nixon’s resignation and just a short baseball schedule removed from the fall of Saigon – was glorious.
It wasn’t supposed to be.
The Bosox faced The Big Red Machine (My wife’s hometown team. When we were courting I recited from memory the entire lineup. It was love.) The Sox were being sent to the lions.
But instead, it was a series for the ages.
Boston fans were still paying the price for “My Lady Friends” and Harry Frazee’s idiocy. But in game six, Fisk wouldn’t let it end. Not just yet.
And neither would Bill Lee.
In game seven, Lee left with a 3-2 lead. But it didn’t hold and Boston took a sucker punch at home. The city felt devastated. That fat, long-dead Yankees right fielder got them again.
And then someone stuck a microphone under Bill Lee’s nose.
“[Don] Gullett will go to the Hall of Fame, and I will go to the Eliot Lounge.”
Don’t fuck with Boston. It won’t work.
How ya like them apples?