The Democratic candidate to fill Ted Kennedy's vacant Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat made one of the biggest errors a Boston-area politico could make last week: She called Curt Schilling a Yankees fan.
On the radio show Nightside with Dan Rea, Massachusetts Senate hopeful Martha Coakley inexplicably claimed that the Diamondbacks former ace and Boston Redsox darling was of all things, a New York Yankees fan.
Check out the audio here.
For anyone unfamiliar with the, um, little rivalry that's been going on between the New York Yankees and the Boston Redsox for the past century, this is no minor accusation. It's not exactly the equivalent of calling someone a Jew in Nazi Germany, but in South Boston, where Schilling is revered in an almost god-like fashion, it's close.
Schilling was a part of the famed Arizona Diamondbacks team that beat the Yankees in game seven of the 2001 World Series. He is also widely known for beating the Yankees in game six of the 2004 American League Championship Series, while playing with an injured ankle and the infamous bloody sock. The Redsox went on to beat the Yankees in game seven of the ALCS, which allowed them to win their first World Series since 1918.
Needless to say, Schilling is about as far from a Yankees fan as anybody can get, and he was quick to let Coakley and Boston fans know about it.
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"I've been called a lot of things," Schilling writes in his blog. "But never, and I mean never, could anyone ever make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn't know what the hell is going on in your own state, maybe you could."
Coakley, who was initially leading the Senate race, says the snafu was just a joke-gone-wrong, but her poll numbers have since dropped and she now trails Republican Scott Brown, 50 percent to 42 percent in some polls. This in what is traditionally a ultra-Democratic state.
Whether the Schilling comments contributed to Coakley's poll numbers, who knows? But one thing is certain: If you want to hold political office in Massachusetts, it's probably not a good idea to piss of "the nation."