Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yankees, Red Sox To Merge, Form "Mega Team"

New York, NY. (Aug 6) - Realizing that their nearly century-long rivalry has become counter-productive, MLB's New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox announced that they will merge by the end of 2008 and become a more fan-friendly "mega team".

"It's time to bring out the peace pipe," said Red Sox owner John Henry, flanked at a press conference in front of MLB offices in Manhattan by Yankees vice chairman Hank Steinbrenner. "After many long, hard years -- indeed, decades -- of trying to best each other, we felt that our forces are much more powerful and intimidating when joined," Henry added.

"So it is with great pleasure that I announce to you the formation of the New York/Boston Yankee Sox," Henry said as a crowd of pre-selected well-wishers applauded and cheered.

Steinbrenner echoed Henry's sentiments.

"Why get at each other's throats when we can just slice those of our competitors?," Steinbrenner wondered aloud.

Under the merger, the Yankee Sox will play half their home games at Fenway Park in Boston, and half at the new Citi Park in New York, which is set to open in 2009. They'll combine rosters, coaches, and even ushers.

"It's an amicable joining -- 50/50, right down the line," Henry said. Current Yankees manager Joe Girardi will skipper games played in New York, while Red Sox manager Terry Francona will take the reins in Boston games. Current star players like Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, and Derek Jeter "will just have to come up with some sort of schedule" as far as who plays which games at which positions, Henry said. But Henry conceded that the merged roster will be "a joy" for Girardi and Francona to manage.

"Now, Joe or Terry can rest Jason Varitek at catcher and play Pudge Rodriguez," Steinbrenner said. "Or remove Mike Lowell for a pinch-hitter, which could be Jason Giambi.

"The possibilities are endless."

Henry said the idea for joining forces came out of an innocent phone call he placed to Steinbrenner after a recent Yankees-Red Sox game.

"I had had a few, I admit," Henry said, chuckling. "But I just said to Hank, 'Even I'm sick of the Red Sox and the Yankees. Why don't we shake things up a bit?' It just took off from there."

Steinbrenner, himself admitting to having had "3 or 4" gin and tonics by that time, suggested a merger.

"I don't know if he was serious or not, but I said, 'F**k yeah -- why not?', " according to Henry.

The next day, the two men met at a Starbucks "about halfway" between New York and Boston, and scribbled the preliminary plan on a "small, college ruled notebook" that Henry had brought, "just in case."

Henry shared the scribbled notes with reporters, holding it up then passing it around. On it were randomly scrawled words such as "Red Yankees?"; "Bosyork?"; "New Boston?"; "red pinstripes?"; and "TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION", which was written in bigger letters and followed by several exclamation points.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement that read, in part: "Major League Baseball, while saddened that the famed Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is now a thing of the past, is nonetheless eager to see this new 'mega team' formed by this merger. Mergers are becoming more of the norm in today's society, and we urge baseball fans to embrace this new partnership. If nothing else, it'll make it easier for those fans who hate both the Yankees and the Red Sox -- since now they'll only have to spend their energy hating one team."

Selig's office admitted, however, that the merger might have a short-term affect on television ratings, as there will no longer be anymore Yankees-Red Sox games to televise. However, there is early talk of airing great Yankees-Red Sox games of the past.

Also announced was a combining of the two storied franchises' histories -- with re-worked tales of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams fishing together in the mid-1940s being "worked on" currently. Future stories will include hilarious, wild antics of Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Doerr, and Johnny Pesky carousing together in alcoholic stupors.

To bring the American League back up to 14 teams, MLB announced that the Tampa Bay Rays would be broken up into two teams -- the Tampa Devils and the Bay Rays. That suggestion was also made by Henry and Steinbrenner, the news of which didn't surprise baseball analysts. At press time, Henry was trying to make that change effective as soon as next week, or at least before the end of the regular season.

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