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Blood Feud: The Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Struggle of Good versus Evil Paperback – February 28, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

When not busy doing good works, JIM PRIME lives a monastic life in New Minas, Nova Scotia. He is the author of several baseball books, including Ted Williams’ Hit List, Tales From the Red Sox Dugout and The Little Red Sox Book. His angelic wife Glenna knits colorful crying towels for depressed Yankee fans. His cherubic children, Jeffrey and Catherine, have now gone forth to spread the Red Sox gospel to the world.

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. He’s 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.

To countless fans, baseball is virtually a religion anyway and if the Grand Old Game can teach some of the verities, it may serve to alleviate the guilt associated with skipping church in order to attend a double header or of videotaping Passover services to catch the game live on TV. This, then, is our own foray into the nature of Good and Evil. It is not meant to be in any way sacrilegious. Our suspicion that God may be a Yankees fan was admittedly in our darkest time of doubt and we have since tried to suppress this kind of thinking, mostly unsuccessfully, we admit, until 2004. No, God is a Red Sox fan. We’re sure of it now. He was just testing us—and doing His usual fine job if we may say so. He has instilled us with the patience of Job (or Kevin Youkilis) and the wisdom of Solomon (or Theo Epstein), and the persistence of Moses (or Curt Schilling). We can handle anything now. Bucky Dent was a trial, Bill Buckner was a trouble, and Aaron Boone was a tribulation.! They were the locusts and sores and boils that helped make us better people. Grady Little was our sackcloth; and a tired Pedro our ashes.

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: "It’s 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: Let’s face it, Babe Ruth really let himself go after leaving Boston. Pride: Who hasn’t heard of the "Pride of the Yankees"? Envy: Why else would George Steinbrenner try to covet his neighbor’s 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? Zimmer’s 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


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rounder Books; First Printing edition (February 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579401112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579401115
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,602,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
...I'm not going to use the word "spineless," but I will say that other recent Sox/Yankees rivalry books have been a bit dainty in the way they have tried to paint an unbiansed picture of this hostile conflict. No one I've ever met has said "I have no opinion on this matter." BLOOD FEUD may be the first genuine, passionate portrayal of this legendary rivalry, because it is so pro-Red Sox. The fact that the Red Sox are the greater club is purely coincidental -- what makes this a fun read is that it's not lifeless, the authors are enjoying themselves, and the facts are well in order. I laughed, I cried, and pumped my fist with pride. If you don't like this book, then I'm sorry, that means the terrorists have already won. Or the Yankees have. Both are pretty scary.
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Format: Paperback
In every sport there are rivalries and long standing beefs between teams, players and their fans. But nothing compares to the size, history and passion of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. Especially in light of recent events with Pedro dumping Don or Schilling bleeding through his uniform and delivery the most memorable performance in sports in recent memory. Blood Feud is an outstanding look at this long running feud documenting the removal of the curse, the blessing of Babe's departure (yes blessing) and the cities and ballparks that make these two teams so unique. Blood Feud is revealatory and details the depth of the subject...an informative book written with the same passion and energy that drives this rivalry. A great read and perfect way to usher in Spring Training and opening day.
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There are people, although I can't imagine why, that would claim that this book is one sided. These are probably people who simply don't realize that damnyankee is one word. They probably don't even realize that this is a battle between the forces of good and the dark side of the force. They might, just might, you understand, even be people who say that this is only a game. I'm told that there are even people who said that who became President was more important, but I clearly don't belie that this is true, there just couldn't be such people.

Well, that's the tone of the book. If you're a Yankee fan (I guess there are still a few out there), you can expect to get your bowels in an uproar by reading this book. If you're a Red Sox fan, well, the book is only simple Gospel fact, with a bit of humor thrown in.
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Format: Paperback
There seem to be a million new books on the Red Sox this year. It's probably more like 25. Most are self-congratulatory books that just celebrate the win, and maybe try to cash in on it. I see four or five that focus on the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. This is one of the best. It seems to do two things at the same time. One, it digs a little deeper than most of the other books, going way back in history and not just the last few years. Two, it's a lot of fun! The authors take it seriously but also have a lot of fun. There are also a lot of interesting features, like ones that look at the trades between the teams and ones that present the stats of players who were both Red Sox and Yankees.

Another good book about this rivalry, though it just features on the last two years, is called A TALE OF TWO CITIES. But BLOOD FEUD is my favorite because it packs in so much information and has a lot of fun doing it.
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Format: Paperback
Whether you are a Red Sox fan or not (and why not?) this book is fun, ingenious and lots of information for baseball diehards. Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime obviously enjoyed putting this book together and it shows with lots of humor and poking fun throughout. I loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter..they just made me giggle!! Good work! Thanks for sheer pleasure and delight!!
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Perhaps the most succinct review of "Blood Feud" could be done with a short question and a shorter answer: "Will Yankee fans enjoy this book?" -- Not so Much!

Make no mistake, and as the authors readily concede, this is not an impartial history of the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox. There are many biblical references scattered throughout this tome and there is no doubt that the Sox live in the authors' heaven and that the Yankees deserve their own special place somewhere warmer.

In some senses this is two books in one. On the one hand, this book is a history of sport's greatest rivalry from the teams' first meetings back in the 1900's through the end of the triumphant 2004 Sox season. The book recaps some of the famous contests between the rivals as well as some of the on-field brawls. Histories are provided of Fenway Park and Yankee stadium and details are tracked of the many players, pitchers and managers that have been employed by both teams. There is background provided on the Curse of the Bambino and how seriously this was taken in some quarters or how readily dismissed in others. There is also an interesting discussion of the respective territories of the two rival teams and a mapping of Red Sox nation. In one instance there is a tale of brother versus brother in team affections.

This first book within this book will appeal to the student of the game and will likely be of some interest even to Yankee supporters that can no longer dismiss the World Champion Sox as they might once have done. But the second book here was even more compelling to this reviewer. It is a dramatic recap of the most amazing comeback in baseball history and the story is well told.
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