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Behind Enemy Lines: The Red Sox Fan at Yankee Stadium

A great roar arises. I turn around and look at the field as the public address man introduces the teams. Yankee fans have just given a hearty cheer to David Price, the Red Sox’ fine starting pitcher whose next postseason win will be his first. Price imploded against the Yankees on Saturday, giving up laser beams to all fields, and the Yankee fans wanted to let the pitcher to know how much they appreciated his generosity.

The Cutler-Cohens nod. Nice touch; Bostonians and New Yorkers treat sarcasm like a fine wine.

In a time when so many traditions have turned to homogenized milk, Yankees versus Red Sox in the post season retains a jagged allure, even if the worse moments no longer call to mind the Picts against the Angles on Jerome Avenue, with tossed beers in the role of boiling pitch. That depraved time has passed, and as an eyewitness to those wars I feel obliged to note that we’re better for that.

I have my own peculiar perspective on this rivalry, as I grew up a deep-dyed Mets fan, which is to say I wished nothing good on the team from the Bronx. Unfortunately, the Mets in the late 1970s lost so relentlessly it was if they had seceded from major league baseball. So my friends and I rode the subway to the Bronx in search of real major league baseball. Once there, we rooted for the enemy of our enemy, which is to the Red Sox.

I explain this to the Culter-Cohens and they nod appreciatively. That is twisted enough to dig.

As it turns out, the father and son had a most pleasant night in the Bronx. The Red Sox players and coaches wore sweatshirts during batting practice emblazoned: “Do Damage.” And damage they did, as the Red Sox took a 10-1 lead in the fourth inning and crested at 16-1 in the ninth inning.

The closest thing to suspense came in that fourth inning as the Yankee starter Luis Severino imploded and Aaron Boone, the Yankee manager, failed to pluck him off the mound. A worried murmur swept through the crowd; perhaps Boone had fallen asleep; perhaps he had taken a shot of Ibogaine, the better to endure pain without a muscle twitching.

I wander by the Cutler-Cohens for the last time in the seventh inning. The Red Sox lead stands at 11-1 and Donald is on his feet, doing a little twitching jig. Dad remains seating, smiling.

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