NEW YORK -- What do you do with two teen-agers who broke the law but kept the New York Yankees' pennant chances alive, prosecute them or give them season tickets?
Faced with a protest from the Boston Red Sox, who lost Saturday's game 4-3 thanks in part to the boys, Yankees management yesterday chose to say and do . . . nothing.
And the boys, who were allowed to go home to Westchester County with their church group after whimpering through a tongue-lashing from police, were also keeping mum.
But their pastor, the Rev. John Sheppard of the Presbyterian Church in Pleasantville, said the two 10th-graders can expect another stern talking-to when their youth group meets Friday.
"I suppose if we weren't responsible, we might be smiling with the rest of New York," said Sheppard. "But we aren't smiling, and they aren't, either."
The Yankees weren't smiling, either, yesterday after Boston trounced them 8-3 and erased whatever advantage they gained Saturday. The Bronx Bombers trail the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays by four games, five in the loss column.
All season long the Yankees have had to contend with unruly fans sprinting out onto the field. On Friday nine fans did so, causing play to stop while guards gave chase.
But when the Pleasantville boys took it into their heads to run onto the field, they gave the Yankees a chance to redeem themselves.
Trailing 3-1, with two outs in the ninth, the Yankees had one man on base when pinch hitter Mike Stanley came to the plate. Just as Red Sox pitcher Greg Harris was delivering a pitch, umpire Tim Welke spotted one of the boys cavorting on the field and called timeout.
But by then the ball was already speeding toward Stanley, who smacked the pitch to the Red Sox's left fielder for what seemed to be the final out. But Stanley's fly out was ruled a no-pitch, and he batted Harris' next offering into left for a single.
The Yankees went on to rally for a 4-3 win.
Chris Goodman, who chaperoned the church field trip, said he has a new plan to keep his charges in line: "The next time we go to a game, we'll handcuff them together."