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Red Sox Fence-Sitting? O, beware,
2003-01-29 15:45
by Mike Carminati

Red Sox Fence-Sitting?

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

- Othello by Willy "Author" Shakespeare of NY Mammoths fame

How much would you pay for a 3 and one-half hour view of Manny Ramirez's derriere? The Red Sox are banking on the average fan feverishly forking over fifty, ten fins, in filial faithfulness. Fie, you offer?

Well, the NY Times has an article on the 280 new seats being added to Fenway, perched atop of the Green Monster like Horton the Elephant a-sitting on that egg. The Red Sox, and I guess the Times who are part owners, expect to snare $1M in selling out the new section. I guess that will make carrying an extra starting third baseman on the roster easier on John Henry's wallet.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino offers another rationale:

"I think there's also the feeling that these seats could be very cool," Lucchino said. "There's something very special about seeing a game at Fenway from that perspective."

Gnarly, dude. Whatever.

The team president, meanwhile, has apparently been watching too many Kevin Costner movies:

"Nobody likes watching a ball go into a net," said Tom Werner, chairman of the Red Sox. "The thrill of not only accommodating a few hundred people with a great seat but actually having a ball go into the crowd is a much more exciting experience."

One thing's for sure from the designer's rendering. The Yankee fans are correct-the Red Sox are empty-headed automatons:

The Times quotes the manager of the bar behind Fenway, who says, "The general feeling of the fans is that touching the Green Monster at all, putting seats on top of it, is not going to give it the same atmosphere as it had before. But we'll have to wait and see. I don't know how high they're going, but maybe it'll prevent the balls from hitting my car every day." Cute, but isn't this The Times not The Post?

No mention is made as to how this will affect the on-field product that the additional fans will see. The Sox played with the walls in the Eighties and helped make a hitter's park into a pitcher's park. If Fenway turns into a throwback Astrodome, then the fans may not turn out as frequently as they currently do.

That also reminds me, John Henry, the welfare principal owner of the Sox, channeled the smarmy evil that is Michael Eisner to add:

"There are things you can do to increase revenue and make the ballpark come alive, make it more fan-friendly," Henry said. "This is in that spirit."

(By the way, if Michael Eisner or, more importantly, Michael Esiner's attorney is reading this, I am, of course, only joking about America's favorite sweater-wearer being evil.)

New Red Sox Motto: "Fenway Park is Fan-Tabulous"

The Red Sox were fourth in AL attendance in 2002, the article further point out. Their 32,717
average is nearly a sellout of the 33,991-seat park. And this is a team who have been a bitter disappointment to their fans in recent history. So why are they so concerned about revenue?

Well, the answer is Joe Willy Shakespeare's green-ey'd monster and the Sox' hatred of the "Evil Empire" that's just down the road a piece. Just take the Mass Pike, turn left at that Dunkin' Donuts at Sturbridge Village, and you'll wind up at Yankees Stadium. The place where right now George Steinbrenner is sitting by the phone, awaiting the next Red Sox' attempt to acquire a player, which he will of course thwart, while counting up his wads of dinero. Of course, this is all conjecture on my part-I have not been following George Steinbrenner's movements ever since that restraining order bugaboo-, but you get the point.

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