Well, I came on to blog about how great Wednesday's night win was, how great it was that the Yankees lost, and how excited I am to see tonight's game. Instead, I felt I had to write about this instead: Red Sox fan assaulted in New York.
Just looking at that title, what do you picture? I pictured a brave, but foolhardy fan in Sox regalia sauntering into a Manhattan sports bar during a playoff game - "bearding the lion in its den," so to speak. In which case, violence is never the answer, but that guy was taking a risk.
However, when you read the article, the facts emerge & it's not at all that simple. Carlos Ortez, a carpenter from Quincy in NY for a construction job, was watching Wednesday's game in the lounge of the Ramada Inn in Yonkers. Another patron of the bar made a comment about his Sox hat. After the game was over, this patron & two others with him followed Ortez & his co-worker outside & attacked Ortez.
Ortez is in intensive care & two of the three men were arrested. Wait for it - the story gets weirder. The men arrested for Ortez's attack are from Pennsylvania.
From the known facts of the case, the attack did not appear to be a "heat of the moment" thing based on an argument between two rabid Sox & Yankees fans. Ortez & his co-worker were away from home, just watching the Sox play at their own hotel bar. They did not go out looking for trouble, but somehow it found them, in the form of two other construction workers from another state altogether.
Now, I'm not saying that I would have been ok with two opposing fans from NY & Boston getting into a fight & hurting each other seriously - but I would have at least been able to understand it. This seems like a calculated attack on a lone man (Ortez & his co-worker were walking in difference directions when the three men attacked Ortez) who didn't appear to be baiting his attackers.
As tempting as it is to point to the two attackers as "typical brutish no-class Yankees fans," I'm not going to do it. As sacrilegious as it seems for me to say, I think most Yankees fans are pretty similar to most Red Sox fans - fiercely loyal to their team, but law-abiding.
However, this attack was beyond the pale of normal sports loyalty & should absolutely be condemned by both sides. Please think of Carlos Ortez as the Sox go into the second game of the playoffs tonight.