When I first heard that a Red Sox jersey had been buried in the cement under Yankee Stadium, it never occurred to me that the Yankees would: a) Make a big deal out of it, or b) Even consider digging into the foundation to exhume the shirt. But that’s because I was still thinking about the proud Yankees of pre-2004, who would have simply laughed at the story, then ignored it. (Dominance over a team gives you that privilege.)
The Yankees of 2008 are a different lot –- they have become the Red Sox of pre-2004! What better evidence is there that the Red Sox are “in the heads” of the Yankees than the fact that the Yankees’ front office went to the trouble and expense to unearth the Red Sox jersey, and that they made such a public spectacle of the whole issue. Like Hank Steinbrenner’s pathetic, naive denial of the existence and magnitude of Red Sox Nation in March, this is just another clear sign that the Yankees are frustrated and demoralized, forced by the Red Sox’ superiority to worry about curses and jinxes and garbage like that. A proud Yankees franchise wouldn’t have roared at such a clever, funny stunt.
If the Red Sox fall to the #2 spot behind the Yankees in the rivalry again (perhaps about 86 years from now?) we need to take a cue from these misguided Yankees executives and remember not to act so obviously and obsessively inferior.
And anyway, it seems to me the noble jinxing effort of Gino Castignoli (born and raised in the Bronx) had an effect opposite its intention: Big Papi, whose shirt spent several months under the new Yankee Stadium, has been mired in the worst slump of his career this April. Now that that darn jersey is out of its tomb in the Bronx, I expect him to explode…