Sport: The Lost Yankee

For 15 years, lantern-jawed Joe McCarthy helped fashion the Yankee legend. "You're a Yankee, young man," he hammered at his ballplayers. The name itself, lettered across a baseball uniform, became a symbol of invincibility. With Marse Joe as manager, the powerful New York Yankees won eight American League pennants before he stepped out of baseball two years ago. When he stepped back in again this spring, as manager of the archenemy Boston Red Sox, his old legend came back to haunt him.

Marse Joe, a practical man, kept telling himself there was nothing to the Yankee myth. He would beat them in...

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