First things first: I am a New Yorker that lives in Boston. I am an unrepentant Yankee fan. I sincerely doubt that anything in the world will ever change that.

However, if I may pat myself on the back, I’m a “good” Yankee fan. Or at least, I realize that we’re talking about sports, and any rivalries are to be taken with a grain of salt and a dash of good humor. I don’t hate the Red Sox. Never have. Hell, even as a kid, I knew Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens and Mike Greenwell’s stats as well as I knew Don Mattingly’s, Dave Winfield’s and Dave Righetti’s. So although you will often catch me walking the streets of Boston with my Yankee cap on, I have a fair amount of respect for the Red Sox organization. In other words, I’m not an asshole.

Jon Chattman (who has contributed several pieces to this very site,) Rich Tarantino and Allie Tarantino aren’t assholes, either. They are an interesting breed-Red Sox fans who are from the tri-state area. And they’ve written a book called “I Love The Red Sox/I Hate The Yankees.” While the title will certainly ruffle some feathers, the book is written with a healthy dose of humor, and not meant to be taken completely seriously. A collection of facts, stats and anecdotes about both teams, it’s a solid, fun read for any baseball fan, no matter which team you support.

These guys have quite obviously done their homework, and their knowledge of baseball history runs pretty deep. While the bulk of the book covers the last four decades of Yankee/Red Sox lore, some passages go back as far as the early 20th century with Red Sox championships in 1915 and 1916. Events ranging from Bucky Dent’s home run in a 1978 one-game playoff that garnered the Yanks an AL East title to the infamous Curt Schilling bloody-sock escapade are covered humorously, with enough modern-day pop culture references that even someone with a passing knowledge of baseball might find this book enjoyable.

Yankee fans like me may cringe at the re-enactment of Game 7 in the 2004 ALCS (a series I still have nightmares about,) but if our heads are screwed on straight, we’ll also chuckle at the passages covering Kevin Maas (remember him?,) tip our hats at the genius of Theo Epstein, and admit to ourselves that, yeah, Phil Rizzuto really was kind of annoying (although not as annoying as former Mets/current MLB broadcaster Tim McCarver.) Of course, us Yankee fans can also take this book with a grain of salt knowing that our favorite team still has the Red Sox beat when it comes to World Series wins…by a lot.

Bottom line: sports are meant to be fun. Sports rivalries are meant to be fun. “I Love the Red Sox/I Hate the Yankees” is a book that certainly represents for the Sox, but in the end doesn’t take it too seriously. As such, fans of both teams (or neither team, for that matter) should enjoy reading it.

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