Red Sox AL East banner being held hostage by lucky Bostonians

A Red Sox 2018 division banner went missing this week and wound up in the hands of two roughnecks from north Boston, who are willing to return the iconic piece of history — at a cahst.

“We want to give it back to them because it belongs to them and it doesn’t belong to us, but…We’re looking for something,” said Louie Iacuzzi, speaking to The Boston Globe on Wednesday outside his home in Malden.

“We’re working too!” chirped his pal, James Amaral. “I mean, my man had to run across three lanes of traffic.”

In reciprocation, Iacuzzi said they would “like to go to a nice playoff game…maybe meet a player.”

“We just don’t wanna hand it over to them,” he said. “No, no, no. We need to negotiate here.”

If the Red Sox don’t play ball — and attempt to replace the banner with a new one — then the gloves come off, the pair said.

“If they do try to put a duplicate up, you best believe we’re going to show up and say, ‘That’s not the original,’” Amaral said.

“We’re hoping they do the right thing. You know, we did the right thing. We could have kept it, we could have put it on e-bay. You know, we got connections where we could have reached out to other sources.”

Iacuzzi claimed to have found the banner in the road while riding in a car with friends, but Tony Lafuente — owner of Flagraphics, the company that made the banner — thinks he’s flat-out lying.

“These guys stole my banner,” he told the Globe, dismissing Iacuzzi’s belief that it fell off the truck. “Fell off the truck, or if it walked off the truck?”

Lafuente said he’d been doing work for the Red Sox since 1992 and “nothing ever happened like this.”

“We already have a new banner made,” he added, all but ruining the pair’s hopes for a handout.

“[They] should be ashamed of themselves. This is not Boston.”

Iacuzzi, however, feels that he’s an unsung hero.

“If I didn’t pick it up, a hundred people would have ran over it,” he said. “I don’t want a million dollars. I don’t need a million dollars. All I wanted was to maybe bring my family, my friends to a [expletive] baseball game.”

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