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Batter Up for the Celebrity Sox

I love cruising. I love baseball. When Celebrity announced yesterday that it's now the "official cruise line of the Boston Red Sox", for me there was only one thing I didn't like about it.

Wrong Sox.

When I was a still a second-grader, my parents took me to Chicago (Palatine, Ill. actually) and introduced me to big-league baseball. It happened that the White Sox and not the Cubs were home that week, planting the seed for a lifelong attachment to a team that has won the World Series fewer times than Boston in the last century — which is to say one time.

But the Red Sox are the darlings of Fenway. There's something romantic about all things Boston but especially the Red Sox. Before they broke their 85-year curse for trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees, sympathy poured over the Red Sox and there were widespread celebrations when the jinx mercifully ended in 2004.

The next year, the "other Sox" ended their 88-year drought by winning the Series. Outside of Chicago, did anybody but me really care? Were there any distant celebrations beyond the champagne cork that popped on our patio?

So it figures that when Celebrity went looking for a "celebrity" big-league team, it would be the Red Sox, who by the way have won two World Series since 1918 yet still are more popular than teams far more successful. The new marketing arrangement 

between the two means a 2014 Red Sox Fan Cruise with former (unnamed) Boston players and announcer Joe Castiglione. The Silhouette leaves Fort Lauderdale on January 12 for a week in the Western Caribbean.

Not everybody will pay to be there. At four home games every month before then, Celebrity will give Fenway fans a chance to win a trip for two on the special cruise. Every time the Red Sox turn a double play at home this season — Boston's averaging one DP a game so far — one fan will get $200 off a Celebrity cruise. There will be special events with giveaways and appearances by Red Sox legends throughout the season, and it won't be hard to find a Celebrity sign at Fenway.

The timing of the announcement couldn't be better for the cruise line: The Red Sox have the best record in baseball and they have rabid fans from "Red Sox Nation" ready to line up for World Series.

But they still have the wrong Sox.


Carnival Glory
7 nights
September 28, 2013
 New York (return): Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney
Inside: $369
Cost per day: $52
www.carnival.com

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