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Boston Fans and Gagne

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The ghost of Ed Whitson:


After the loss, he quickly dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and a pulled-low cap. He slipped out to the quaint surrounding streets with old fans and new neighbors for the short stroll to his apartment. During which he was jeered and heckled.

"I kept my head down and kept walking, what else was I going to do?" he said. "I mean, these people really, really love their team."

And these people really, really dislike him.

Since being traded a couple of weeks ago from the Texas Rangers, Gagne has pitched as if he's wearing a softball shirt, and been treated as if he were wearing pinstripes.

Thrown into the middle of the sort of collective sporting desperation he has never felt in this sport -- The Yankees are coming! The Yankees are coming! -- Gagne has reacted with tight stares and grooved fastballs.

"This isn't bigger than L.A.," he said. "But, man, it's really different."