It takes a village to make an idiot.
After 15 minutes of jackhammering at an estimated cost of $50,000, construction workers excised a Red Sox jersey buried in the foundation of the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx yesterday, putatively neutralizing a “curse” placed on the team by a “traitorous” Boston fan. According to the New York Post, the would-be hex was revealed just last week to Yankee officials, who took immediate steps to reverse what President Randy Levine termed a “dastardly act.” — About.com
They’re laughing about it at the Liquor & Rubber Balls Sports Temple when I drop by for an after-dinner crack pipe.
“50 large to break down a wall and retrieve an old sweatshirt,” scoffs Vera Lu Senz (avid Cubs fan). “Tell me the Yankees don’t have too much money. Maybe if that was Mariano Rivera under there, I can see that. But an old David Ortiz jersey?”
Yankee fan, slopping a beer, sees it differently. “It ain’t just a shoit. It’s a coise. Baseball takes coises serious. Calling that ‘just a shoit‘ would be like calling a voodoo doll “just a puppet.’ It fuckin means sumpthin. It’s why the asshole Baaaaaaaahhhhhhstan fan done it to begin wit.”
Hell. Lu Senz should know about curses. Her Cubs have yet to vanquish the curse of William Sianis’s Billy Goat, which has kept the Cubs from winning a World Series for 100 years. A full century!
“Besides,” says Yankee fan, “there’s a principle heah. Yankee Stadium — the old one, the one to be — is hallowed ground. Can’t have Baaaaaaahstan fans acting sacreligious, y’know?”
“Yeah,” jeers Lu, in her best Brooklyn brogue. “Sacred doit from the sacred oit unnuh Noo yawk, where even the woims got haloes.”
“Principles?” asks Duck Diamonds, bemused. “I thought we were talking sports.” Duck, a professional gambler, can be ever so slightly cynical at times.
“Actually, there is sort of a principle here,” he goes on. “All ball players are head cases. Doesn’t take much to spaz their brains into bratwurst. Yankees start getting some bad breaks, and pretty soon they’re sure it’s that shirt in the concrete. So spending 50K to protect a billion dollar franchise ain’t as foolish as you might think.”
Don Tequila is behind the bar tonight. “If that’s right,” he asks, “How’d the Giants win the SuperBowl last year with Jimmy Hoffa buried under the 50 yard line? Who I notice ain’t never been exhumed.”
“I don’t know nothin’ about that,” says Duck quickly. Real quickly. “Who?”
Don Tequila takes the point, and lumbers off to serve somebody something.
“The fucknuckle who pulled this stunt needs to have his hands cut off,” says Yankee fan. “He’s a fuckin terrorist. A baseball terrorist!”
“Son of a biscuit, talk sense, willya?” says Lu. “Or at least speak English.”
Evidently this conversation had absorbed a few drinks before my arrival. I finish my libation and pass by Don Tequila, who gives me a tired smile. “Looks like a long season,” he says. “Good for business. Bad on the nerves.”
Story of life, Don. It’s why we drink.
He raises his glass as I walk out.