Our correspondent, Jordi Scrubbings, is back with his take on game one of the ALDS…
Those who watched Friday’s debacle in Game 1 of the ALDS saw an unusual sight: Rays rightfielder Wil Myers getting confused and letting a fly ball drop between him and Desmond Jennings. Of course, the ball bounced over the wall, the Red Sox scored, kept scoring, and the Rays lost.
What was particularly interesting was the fan reaction to Myers. Throughout the rest of the game, Red Sox fans in rightfield rode Myers mercilessly, chanting his name – “My-ers” “My-ers” – while he stood stoically in his position. Then, when he came to bat, the chants continued, this time joined by the rest of the stadium.
This is not the first time a power-hitting young rightfielder was jeered by the Fenway Faithful. On October 23, 1986, during Game 5 of the World Series, Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry was the target of a similar chant. “Dar-ryl” “Dar-ryl”, the Red Sox fans sang, hoping to get under the skin of the young superstar who had his own adventures in Fenway’s rightfield.
Of course, neither Strawberry nor Mets fans let the chants get to them. While Strawberry recovered well enough to hit a dagger home run in Game 7 of the Mets’ eventual series win, Mets fans co-opted the “Dar-ryl” chant, turning a negative heckle into a positive show of love.
So that’s my recommendation to Rays fans: don’t call Red Sox fans “classless” or anything other derogatory terms because they are riding a Rays player. They are merely chanting his name. Co-opt the chant, claim it, and own it. Use it loud and proud at Tropicana Field. Be passionate, not prissy.
As Ty Cobb once famously said, “Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It’s no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It’s a struggle for supremacy, survival of the fittest.”
The Red Sox and their fans drew first blood. It’s time for Myers and the Rays to be their worst nightmare.