Today there is a great opinion piece placed, once again oddly, on the increasingly no-news front page of the Boston Globe.
The title is Please, banish ‘Sweet Caroline’ from Fenway Park written Geoff Edgars and heartily endorsed by this writer.
For those of you who are not familiar with the ritual: heading into the bottom of the 8th inning of every home game, every damn home game, the sappy “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond is played and sung along to by the gathered masses. It doesn’t matter whether the team is up by six or down by 12, the lemmings sing.
Edgars describes it like this:
The song isn’t exactly “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” It’s a largely forgettable, three-minute slab of Velveeta with a distinct creepiness (“Warm, touchin’ warm”) when you consider it was written by Neil Diamond, pushing 30 at the time, about Caroline Kennedy, then a preteen. For whatever reason, the Sox, so innovative and dynamic in so many ways, treat the tune as if it’s one of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
My feeling is that Boston needs David Ortiz‘ Big Papi more than Diamond’s Big Sappy.
And Edgars and I are far from alone.
Put together a group of music-savvy baseball lovers. Sit Bill Janovitz at the head of the table. He’s known for his band Buffalo Tom and helping organize the Hot Stove Cool Music event run by Peter Gammons and Theo Epstein. He’s also a season ticketholder. What song would be better than “Sweet Caroline?”
His answer was swift.