I have witnessed, in some form or other, every major Yankees-Red Sox brawl, be it the days of Bill Spaceman Lee and Thurman Munson, or the wild fracases of 2003 and 2004. Although these two teams have a mutual respect, and their feistiness has declined in the last couple of years, last week’s brawl may have sparked a new generation of mutual hatred.
It all began when Tyler Austin slid into second base on a bunt by Tyler Wade, and his spike made contact with the leg of Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt. Both from meeting him, and what I have heard about the play, I will say that, while Austin did get a piece of Holt, it was not the worst spike to happen since I started covering the game. It certainly was not harmful enough to begin a brawl.
In the National League, there is a rivalry that does not quite echo that of the Bombers and the Sox, but did find itself a lot of publicity in the baseball world last week. I am speaking of course of the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres.
The NFL’s draft lottery for free tickets set a record, and with a capacity of 108,000 each day at the Draft Experience outside the stadium, this draft could surpass last year’s numbers. I would just say that we always hope to beat previous numbers, Chad Estis, the Cowboys’ executive vice president of business operations, said…. We have high expectations. The lottery for people to receive the tickets in the actual theater has exceeded what they had last year, so there’s some early indications that we have an opportunity to have some super large numbers out there. Philadelphia drew 250,000 last year to the three-day outdoor event, setting the all-time draft attendance mark, while drawing rave reviews.
The Cowboys expect thousands to attend the festival outside the stadium without seeing the actual draft, with total crowds somewhere around 90,000 fans in attendance each day. Everything we do, I’m told a record is a must, Estis said. We’ve got a nice list going with NBA All-Star and WrestleMania and Academy of Country Music Awards. Add this to the list. For the first time, each of the 32 teams will have a section just for its fans.