The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Cheers Gang Pulls Elaborate "A-Rod to Yankees" Prank on Sam Malone
Originally posted 2/16/2004

A-Rod (inset) with the Cheers gang (who, it should be noted, are not a real gang)
BOSTON - Several patrons and staff members at Cheers, a popular Boston bar, pulled an elaborate prank this weekend on owner and bartender Sam Malone. Malone, a former Red Sox relief pitcher and die-hard fan of the team, was led to believe that the hated New York Yankees had acquired Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Just weeks ago the Red Sox, who have a long and painful history of losing to the Yankees, failed in their bid to trade for Rodriguez.

"Oh, geez, I can't believe it," Malone said Sunday night. "Man, those lousy Yankees get us every time. They're worse than Gary's Olde Towne Tavern."

"Man, we really got the best of ol' Sammy this time around," said frequent Cheers patron Clifford Clavin, a Boston mail carrier. Clavin and best friend Norm Peterson reportedly enlisted the help of Cheers waitress Carla Tortelli Lebec and Boston city councilman and former Cheers bartender Woody Boyd as well as members of the local and national media in convincing Malone that the Yankees had gotten the best of the Red Sox yet again.

"We knew," Peterson said, "that the first thing Sammy does on Sunday morning is pick up the Globe and turn on 'SportsCenter.' So we pulled some strings and had the paper to a big front page write-up about it, and had ESPN all over it too, just to be safe. We were pretty sure that would get him."

Those who saw him Sunday night said that the normally upbeat Malone was nearly inconsolable after hearing about the Rodriguez "trade." "Man, this just stinks," he was heard to complain. "First Bucky Dent, then Bill Buckner, then last year they blow it in New York, now this. When's a guy gonna catch a break, huh?"

"Boy, Sammy's never gonna forgive us for this one," said Tortelli Lebec, the widow of former Bruins goaltender Eddie Lebec. "And to all the other people out there who were fooled, we're sorry about that, but this was just too good to pass up."

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