David Ortiz and the Red Sox have pulled a remarkable triple play on their hated rival, the New York Yankees, and if the Gotham guys keep fumbling their end of this deal, it runs the risk of developing into a full-fledged curse. Not that I believe in such things, mind you.
As you probably know, the Yankees spent roughly $50,000 digging up construction at the new Stadium because some enterprising worker entombed an Ortiz jersey within its walls; subsequent news reports indicate that additional memorabilia has also been sprinkled about the facility, which is slated to open next year. The Yankees had the right idea at the time, donating the jersey to the Jimmy Fund, which auctioned it for $175,000 a couple of weeks later.
But now, along with reports of the alleged additional “burials,” comes word that the Yankees are bristling about a MLB-planned promotion for the Home Run Derby contest held the evening before the All-Star Game, which this year will be played at, gulp, Yankee Stadium.
The State Farm Insurance “Call Your Shot” promotion would have Ortiz, the Sox’ jovial, midly rotund left-handed slugger, trying to hit a home run to a specified spot in the bleachers, thus mimicking (or paying homage to) Babe Ruth’s alleged called shot off Charlie Root of the Cubs in the 1932 World Series.
As I write this, Yankees officials are grousing about the idea of Ortiz, who routinely clobbers Bronx pitching, being the centerpiece of a promotion held in conjunction with the final All-Star Game (there have been four) at the legendary stadium. There is talk of perhaps including a Yankee player in the promotion, but it seems to me that any modification of the initial plan would likely leave the Yankees looking like the crybaby wieners that so many National League fans have for decades have insisted that they, in point of fact, are.
Laughingly, all the kibitzing about the “controversy” seems to center around Ortiz being selected for the role, without anybody bothering to note that the Bambino’s called shot – if it happened at all – took place at Wrigley Field, not at Yankee Stadium.
As they did with the memorabilia items entombed in the new facility, this one looks like its going to wind up being scored E10 against the Bronx Bombers. The Red Sox, having reversed “The Curse,” seem well on the way to reversing the whole concept, and the Yankees seem to be unwitting enablers in the process.