10/25/2004: Gem o'the Day:
Speaking of a sweep, it seems clear that the Red Sox Curse has very little to do with sorcery and witchcraft and very much to do with their World Series opponents. As Rob Neyer put it recently:The Red Sox lost one World Series in the 1940s, one in the 1960s, one in the 1970s, and one in the 1980s. In 1946, of course, they lost to the Cardinals, who won more games in the '40s than any other National League franchise. In '67 (Cardinals) and '75 (Reds) and '86 (Mets), they lost to the team with the best single-season record in the National League during that decade. This was tough competition. And this year? You guessed it: the Cardinals' 105 wins during the regular season are tops in the league for their decade.So what about those 105 wins now? Well, there were times in this game when I felt like Carrie, as in the character from the novel (and the movie) by that BoSox-loving horror writer, Stephen King. If you remember, Carrie is the class weirdo, the outcast who is led to believe, for one night, that she's a beautiful prom queen. But it turns out no one thinks she's beautiful. She's just being set up to be drenched in pig's blood.
Likewise, all year long people said the Cards didn't have what it took to go over the top -- their pitching was lousy, they had no supporting cast, they were playing over their heads, whatever. But when the Cards won the NLCS, I thought they could really do it: succeed at the Big Dance, just like Carrie. It remains to be seen if we'll get doused in pig's blood, but I can sure feel the bucket teetering overhead.
(It didn't help that America's prom king, Tom Hanks himself, showed up on TV tonight to declare his love for the Red Sox. "I'm an American," said Hanks. "There's nothing wrong with the city of St. Louis. They are a lovely people, they have lovely colors on their baseball uniforms -- but come on! I want Billy Buckner to have a good night's sleep for crying out loud!" Two seconds later David Ortiz hit a long drive foul, then protested that it was fair. As the umps were huddling on the field, I half-expected them to turn to Hanks up on the Green Monster. Hanks would yell out, "Come on! Do it for Billy Buckner! Do it for America!" Whereupon first-base ump Brian Gorman would circle his index finger: home run!)
Len on 10.25.04 @ 07:43 AM CST