EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 20, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CHEERS to the India Association of Greater Boston, which chose Andover to be the site of its annual India Day celebration.

India Day marks the anniversary of India’s independence from British colonial rule. The India Association has for more than two decades held the annual celebration at the Esplanade’s Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston. But this year, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, security costs around Boston landmarks have skyrocketed.

This year’s celebration had been scheduled for Aug. 18 but the event was cancelled after the cost of the event exceeded $20,000, India Association Director Zehra Khan told reporter Dustin Luca.

The organization found a replacement venue in Andover High’s Collins Center. The event will be held Sunday, Sept. 8 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Andover is an ideal location offering easy access from Interstates 93 and 495. The India Day celebration draws participants from across New England. The four-hour program features Indian classical songs, dances, folk dances and vendor tables.

“They come not just from the Boston area, but I’ve met people coming in from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island. People do come from far and wide,” Khan said. “This is the first time we’ve had the event outside of the Hatch Shell in many years.”

We welcome the India Association of Greater Boston and the India Day celebration to Andover and hope participants find their experience here an enjoyable one.

JEERS to poor strategy by the Boston Red Sox. The Sox are in a tight race in the American League East against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles. Having split the first two games of a three-game set against the fourth-place New York Yankees, the Red Sox had a chance to take the series and maintain their lead over Tampa with a win Sunday night.

It was a time to knuckle down and play some serious baseball. Instead, pitcher Ryan Dempster chose to send a pointless message to steroid-bloated bad boy Alex Rodriguez. On a 3-0 count in the second inning, Dempster drilled Rodriguez in the ribs.

The Fenway crowd loved it but the Yankees were infuriated. Manager Joe Girardi stormed from the dugout and was ejected from the game. Both benches emptied.

The Red Sox went on to blow a 6-3 lead. The Yankees’ rally was led by a huge home run to deep center field by Rodriguez, who went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs on the night.

There’s a lot of bad blood between Rodriguez and the Red Sox that goes beyond the standard Sox-Yanks rivalry. There was the Varitek mitt-to-the-face incident in 2004, then Rodriguez’s swatting the ball from the glove of Bronson Arroyo in the playoffs.

Now, Rodriguez, fighting a 211-game suspension for violating league rules on performance-enhancing drugs, is the least popular player in baseball. Rodriguez is deservedly drawing boos everywhere he plays. Stories out of New York say he’s not even very well liked on his own team. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman won’t even talk to him.

So why on earth would Dempster give Rodriguez the opportunity to be a hero? Why let him be the catalyst that brings a struggling Yankees team together?

The Yankees trail the Red Sox as of Monday by 7 1/2 games with 36 left to play. Will a fired-up Yankees team make a run at the Sox? More improbable things have happened in Red Sox history than this. If the improbable happens this year, look to Dempster’s ill-considered plunking of Rodriguez as the moment it began.