How Did This Guy Land In Sox Dugout?

The neighborhood tavern sits in what is accepted as Yankees territory. By all accounts, Greater New Haven is where Yankees fans begin to outnumber Red Sox fans in the state.

But the co-owner of The Dugout is Ed McCarthy, local high school football coach and West Haven native. And he happens to be one of those tortured, lifelong Red Sox fans.

So The Dugout beams NESN from DirectTV and shows almost every Red Sox game. Some patrons complain, others applaud.

``It makes for some interesting debates,'' McCarthy said.

How did McCarthy, 56, wind up cheering for the Red Sox? His father and brother were Yankees fans, but he became enchanted on a Little League trip to Fenway Park.

Despite being surrounded by Yankees fans -- ``It's torture, especially in September and October'' -- he remains true. There are the half dozen trips to Boston each summer and the nights in front of the big screen.

``It hasn't been easy,'' McCarthy said. ``Being a football coach is probably good therapy. From April until Labor Day, it's probably the most important thing in my day -- whether the Red Sox win. After Labor Day, I get involved in football. There have been some Septembers when I've been able to make believe I don't know what's going on. It's convenient I guess.''