This was a complete surprise to me and I'm sure to other Yankee fans. The Red Sox had a moment of silence in honor of the late George Steinbrenner. OF ALL TEAMS AND OF ALL FRANCHISES, THE RED SOX HONORS THE BOSS FIRST!!!! Maybe we all can just get along LOL!!!
BOSTON — Baseball’s schedule-makers create any number of twists in the course of a season. But on Thursday, they unintentionally outdid themselves. The Red Sox returned to action after the All-Star break one day before the Yankees did and as a result ended up honoring George Steinbrenner with a moment of silence before the Yankees could stage their own tribute in the Bronx on Friday.
Red Sox players observed a moment of silence Thursday for the Yankees’ George Steinbrenner prior to their game against Texas.
The Red Sox’ tribute, which also saluted Bob Sheppard, the Yankees’ public-address announcer for more than half a century, created some unusual theater at Fenway Park.
Here were 37,000 mostly die-hard Red Sox fans in effect silenced one last time by Steinbrenner, whose Yankee teams had often prevailed over Boston in his 37 years as owner.
During the tribute, players from the Red Sox and the Texas Rangers stood in unison in front of their dugouts, their caps off, their heads bowed. A military honor guard marched out to center field. Images of both Steinbrenner and Sheppard rang out from the scoreboard.
For the moment, all those awful memories of Bucky Dent’s home run in 1978, of Aaron Boone’s crusher in 2003, were put aside. Fans trained since birth to boo the Yankees instead summoned up a warm round of applause. In the long, fierce history of this rivalry, it had to rank as a remarkable moment.
“He’s a human being and deserves to be honored,” Bud Parrine, a Red Sox fan who saw Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio play at Fenway Park in the 1940s, said before the game, a sentiment that seemed to be shared by his fellow fans. “That doesn’t mean we love him, but we respect him. There’s competition, but also decency.”
His son, Tom, sitting with him in the center-field stands at Fenway, added that Steinbrenner spent so much money on players over the years that he ultimately motivated the Red Sox to improve as well.
“He worked the system to its fullest,” Tom Parrine said. “He probably provided fuel to the fire. Without him, the Red Sox may not be as good.”
Tom Werner, the chairman of the Red Sox, echoed that sentiment. The only way the Red Sox were going to win a World Series was to overcome the Yankees, he said, and that meant finding a way to beat the Yankees at their own game.
The Red Sox finally did in 2004, beating the Yankees in four straight games in the American League Championship Series after losing the first three. It was a historic comeback and the Red Sox then went on to win their first championship in 86 years.
“George elevated our rivalry and was a great competitor and a very important person in baseball because he made the Yankee brand a lot stronger than when he took over the team,” Werner said.
The bombast that made Steinbrenner so famous was greatly diminished in recent years, but fittingly, perhaps, some of his last genuine outbursts were directed at Boston.
Nearly eight years ago, Steinbrenner called Larry Lucchino, the president of the Red Sox, “baseball’s foremost chameleon of all time.” That was not long after Lucchino said the Yankees’ “evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America,” a remark that came after the Yankees won the bidding for Jose Contreras.
And nearly six years ago, Steinbrenner labeled John Henry, the principal owner of the Red Sox, a sore loser for complaining about the Yankees’ financial edge in acquiring Alex Rodriguez in a trade with the Rangers.
But that was then and on Thursday Werner and others in the Red Sox organization wanted to emphasize Steinbrenner’s considerable charitable endeavors and his contributions to baseball.
Steinbrenner, Werner said, would annually donate thousands of dollars during the Jimmy Fund telethon, a Red Sox charity. He said Steinbrenner also once donated $10,000 to help the son of Werner’s friend attend Williams College, Steinbrenner’s alma mater.
“It’s appropriate for us to honor him,” Werner said. “What he did for the Yankee brand is make it one of the most admired not just in sports, but in America.”
They were words of peace and perhaps they will even linger as the two teams battle again in the second half of the season.
Last edited by Cool Papa B.; 07-16-2010 at 02:42 AM.