It was a July, much like this July. In the words of Ernest Lawrence Thayer in the famed 1888 poem "Casey at the Bat," there was no joy in Mudville.

Well, in this case, there is no joy at Fenway Park as the hapless Boston Red Sox languish at the bottom of the heap in the American League East, 17 games behind the first-place New York Yankees as I write this on July 27, 2022.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox, Game 3
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So it was 10 years ago, on July 27, 2012, the Boston Red Sox were 11.5 games behind the first-place New York Yankees.

The Red Sox finished the 2012 season in last place, 26 games behind the Bronx Bombers in the American League East.

To quote the late, great Yogi Berra, "It's deja vu all over again."

MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade
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The only difference between then and now is that unlike July 27, 2022, the same date in 2012 featured a bit of off-field drama for the Red Sox. Though short-lived, it provided a distraction for beleaguered Red Sox fans.

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It was a Friday afternoon. The Red Sox were in New York where in just a few hours they would be clobbered 10-3 by the Yankees. All was quiet at Fenway Park as the Sox were on the road.

Or so we thought.

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
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At about 2:30 that quiet Friday afternoon, Boston Police received a phone call from Fenway. Wally the Green Monster, the beloved Red Sox mascot since 1997, had gone missing – or at least the Wally costume was gone.

Who could have taken it, and why?

Turns out the Red Sox employee who dons the costume during Red Sox games was on the streets of Beantown "spreading some cheer throughout Boston," according to WBZ-TV 4. Boston Police reported the well-intentioned employee "neglected to inform the proper supervisor."

The drama ended quickly as Wally was returned to the friendly confines of Fenway Park.

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The station reported that Wally was spotted on Boyleston Street taking photos with fans and visiting stores during his foray into the city. No word on whether the employee was reprimanded.

It may have been the most fun Red Sox fans had that season.

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