About the Author
In 2004, Fenway Park finally became the Garden of Eden. BILL NOWLIN was born in Boston and still lives fairly near Fenway, in Cambridge. This is his tenth Red Sox-related book, but only the first one completed while the Red Sox are reigning World Champions. Hes a co-founder of America's premier roots music label, Rounder Records. In 2004, Bill was elected VP of the Society for American Baseball Research.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
At the risk of alienating a rather large section of the northeastern United States and parts of Florida, our basic contention is that while the Red Sox are the incarnation of GOOD, the Yankees are the embodiment of EVIL. Boston is akin to Paradise and New York is so bad it makes Sodom and Gomorrah look about as wicked as Minneapolis-St.Paul. Again, not to put too fine a point on it: they have Beelzebub behind the plate, Lucifer in left, Mephistopheles in center, Old Nick at third, the Prince of Darkness at short, and Satan on the mound. They are accursed, demoniacal, diabolical, fiendish, infernal, malevolent, malignant, and wicked. Not only are they damn Yankees, they are damned Yankees.
They have struck a deal with the devil and up until very recently they have been reaping the benefits. The exact details of the deal are unknown but are said to involve Babe Ruth, Harry Frazee, and lots of money, which is where the expression "money is the Ruth of all evil" originated. The Red Sox and Yankees have fought tooth and nail since the early part of the 20th century, ever since Ruth was tempted by a serpent named Harry Frazee to help himself to the Big Apple and all the sin and debauchery that it represented. The Bambino was cast out of the Garden of Eden known as Fenway to occupy the nether world of New York. Thus Ruth became the first fallen Red Sox player when he was banished by Frazee, crossed the river Styx, and entered New York. (There was a long line of others. When the irrepressible Luis Tiant went from the losing Sox to the winning Yankees and was immediately featured in an Oscar Meyer commercial, he uttered the unforgettable tag line: "Its great to finally be with a wiener.")
Since then, the Yankees are guilty of having repeatedly committed all of the Seven Deadly Sins. Here are just a few examples. Gluttony: Lets face it, Babe Ruth really let himself go after leaving Boston. Pride: Who hasnt heard of the "Pride of the Yankees"? Envy: Why else would George Steinbrenner try to covet his neighbors assets? El Tiante, Roger, Wade, ARod, etc.? Lust: Lusting for power is just part of it. Ever hear of Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich? You could look it up, as Casey Stengel used to say. In addition, Yogi often referred to the "immoral Babe Ruth." Anger/Wrath: Did you see A-Rod after Varitek gave him a glove massage? Zimmers face when he charged Pedro? Billy Martin when he ripped Reggie for not hustling? Steinbrenner after a loss to the Sox? Greed: This is too easy. Look at the payroll. Sloth: Face it: Babe Ruth really, really let himself go after leaving Boston. This book is an attempt to teach some moral lessons about Good and Evil, using the Red Sox as a symbol of good and the Yankees as the essence of evil. "Hating the Yankees is as American as pizza pie and cheating on your income tax." Mike Royko