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A Yankee fan’s lament: I don’t hate these Red Sox

Up until 2003, my feelings about the Boston Red Sox were pretty much summed up by Leonard Cohen in "First, We Take Manhattan":  “You loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win.”

I didn’t exactly love the Red Sox, but over the years I liked some of them: Did any team ever have so many players that someone who was not a fan of the team knew just from their nicknames?

-- “The Kid.” I wasn’t old enough to see Ted Williams play, but he was wonderful in person at a card show in Atlantic City to me and my cousin Derek. When we saw him leave the building, I was happy to let him hear me saying what he always said he wanted people to say about him: “There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.” He turned to us, smiled and waved.

-- “Yaz.”  Did any hitter have a wilder corkscrew swing than Carl Yastrzemski?

-- “The Spaceman.” Bill Lee made a case for pot as a Perfomance Enhancing Drug. He once claimed that smoking dope while he jogged to Fenway Park “made me impervious to bus fumes.”

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