You Can't Shrink From This Rivalry

Times Staff Writer

Life may return to normal today. Well, about as calm and quiet as it gets in New York and Boston.

The emotional roller-coaster series between the Yankees and the Red Sox has created havoc on the East Coast -- total mental havoc.

With an eye on that, Boston-area psychologist Jeff Brown of McLean Hospital created an emotional and behavioral model, SCORE, for fans of both teams to help "manage emotion."

S stands for "Stay in the moment."

But the E in SCORE may be hard for the fans of the losing team: E is "Expect your team to compete again."

Try telling that to a devastated Yankee fan.

Trivia time: Who were the three hockey Hall of Famers who played in the NHL after being inducted?

Food fright: Meanwhile, eating out is taking a big hit in Manhattan during baseball mania. On the positive side, it is easier to get a table in some exclusive haunts.

"Baseball is affecting us big-time," Alex Balbuena, manager of the Palm, told the New York Post.

"We usually have a wait of 45 minutes to an hour. Now it's just 15 to 20 minutes."

A-Fraud: This certainly won't be the last or even second-to-last thought on the controversial ball swat by Alex Rodriguez in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Maybe A-Rod needs a new nickname.

The play "clearly exposed A-Rod as a liar and cheater of the highest order -- the kind who would turn over an 'R' in Scrabble and pretend it's a blank letter," wrote Bill Simmons of ESPN.com.

Fan rage: Sure, Boston and New York are tough places for athletes. But there is a different kind of fan-based pressure in Europe after a few league losses. This week, angry Dinamo Zagreb fans showed up at the soccer team's practice facility and took the team's blue training shirts, stripping away more than dignity.

"I understand our supporters and their disappointment, but this is definitely too much," one of the players, who wished to remain anonymous, told daily newspaper Novi List.

It's easy to understand his wish to remain anonymous. The fans who took the shirts are known as the Bad Blue Boys.

Bates Motel: Florida football Coach Ron Zook was talking about his memorable first visit to Starkville, Miss., home of Mississippi State University, in 1992.

Memorable for the wrong reasons.

Zook told reporters he ended up finding a place to stay -- a dive motel with mirrors on the ceiling -- at 2 a.m.

"In coaching you have your ups and downs; that's the nature of the business," Zook said. "But I can safely say that was about as bad an evening as I've had. It's one of my four worst times in coaching."

Makes you wonder about the other three.

Trivia answer: Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Guy Lafleur.

And finally: Boston bartender Tom Bowen, 62, on staying up late every night to watch the Red Sox and then having to be at work the next day: "It's like a second job, but you've got to do it."

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