Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Players With Both Yankee and Red Sox Experience Say Boston Is Tougher City

USAToday's Bob Nightengale has an interesting piece that analyzes the differences between playing major-league baseball in New York and Boston. Basically, the conclusion is that while New York is the bigger sandbox, Boston's is filled with quicksand. Johnny Damon is a good example. He played four years in Boston (won a World Series), then played four years in Baghdad-On-The-Hudson (also winning a World Series). Said Damon, "Both of those cities could be rough, but I would not go out if I was struggling in Boston, no way. In Boston, you feel like you’re in everybody’s living room each night while they’re having dinner. You don’t feel that way in New York. I’m just grateful I was able to play in Boston before New York. It made it a smooth transition." Mike Cameron had a similar take to Damon's: "I played in Chicago, New York and Boston, and whoa, Beantown was the roughest. I saw Big Papi almost get run out of town. I saw them boo Pedro, too. You’ve got to have some pretty thick skin because you’re going to get booed no matter who you are. It’s just a whole different experience playing in Boston. It’s almost like a family thing in Boston, they take it so personal. The big thing is how you respond to things. You’ve got to be a stand-up guy to play there. If you’re going to take the money, you better not be hiding, boy." Chris Young also played in both spots, he stated, "It just felt so different. When things are going bad, and you walk around town, you’re going to feel it. In New York, when you lost, it hurt in the clubhouse, but you didn’t hear it from the outside as much. In Boston, when things went bad, I felt like the thunderstorms came. We won the division two years in a row when I was there, and there were times it felt like we were in last place." Sounds like the verdict in in—we're tougher.