Tabs to Rudy: A Pox on Sox Pick!
He must have known New Yorkers would react like this.
A day after former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani said he plans to root for the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, two of the city's tabloid's offered their response.
"TRAITOR!" screamed the Daily News. "C'mon Rudy, How Could You Root For the Red Sox in Series?"
"REDCOAT" blared the New York Post. "Yank Fan Rudy Pulls for Bosox"
Perhaps it won't matter. After all, it's not like he's rooting AGAINST the Yankees, who once again failed to make it to the series. But the baseball flap is a poke in the eye to all those die-hard Yankee fans who have always thought they had Rudy in their corner.
Hizzoner has always been such a fan. He even got into a bit of hot water earlier this year over questions about the four World Series rings that he owns -- just like the players and coaches.
Which raises an interesting question: Does he want a Red Sox ring if they win this year?
Whatever the answer, Giuliani's sudden change of heart about the nation's pasttime could open him up to charges of flip flopping and pandering.
Could it be that he is supporting the Red Sox because the team is so popular in neighboring New Hampshire, where, by the way, the nation's first primary will be held sometime in January (or maybe even December)?
No, says Rudy.
"I'm an American League fan, and I go with the American League team - maybe with exception of the Mets," he said. "Maybe that would be the one time I wouldn't, because I'm loyal to New York."
But that answer may not satisfy everyone.
Kevin Madden, the spokesman for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney despite being a long-time Yankee fan, offered this observation in his morning email to reporters Wednesday:
"For me," Madden said, "baseball season ends when the Yankees play their last game. I don't even root for the AL in the All-Star game!"
But give Giuliani credit. At least he made a choice. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton was asked during a recent debate what she would do if the Chicago Cubs played the Yankees in the World Series. Pressed by NBC's Tim Russert, she would only say that she "would have to alternate" her suppport, presumably from game to game.
And then there's Barack Obama, who declared himself a "sox" fan, but not the right one. In Boston campaigning with the Massachusetts governor, Obama said that "I am a White Sox fan," eliciting some negative reaction. "You don't want somebody who pretends to be a Red Sox fan to be president of the United States."
Hear that Rudy?
UPDATE: Giuliani's willingness to root for the Sox appears to be a recent phenomenon. In June, he was asked the following by a political columnist for the Providence Journal-Bulletin:
"If the devil said you can be president if you become a Sox fan, would you do it?," asked M. Charles Bakst.
The answer was typical Giuliani, which means, blunt.
"I'm a Yankee fan. My father made me a Yankee fan probably before I was born. I always believe it's a sign of my being straight with people, about not wanting to fool them, that I was one of the first mayors to be willing to say I was a Yankee fan. Most mayors pretended they rooted for both sides. I have great respect for Mets fans, Red Sox fans. I have great respect for people who really are fans of the team they say they are fans of. But probably that's a deal I could not make."
And then he laughed, Baskt reported in a column last June.
--Michael D. Shear
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