Thursday, July 01, 2004

the curse lives on ....

i have never quite been a yankees fan - for that matter, i have never even been a chicago bulls fan during the jordan years or a dallas cowboys fan during the 90s or the lakers in the kobe-shaq era. guess i am just the type who either favors the pittsburgh steelers, the pirates, penguins, pitt panthers or the underdog. ever since i started watching baseball, the boston red sox have always been the underdog in any game against the yankees. there kept coming up talk about a curse .... and although i vaguely knew something about a trade of babe ruth from the red sox to the yankees early last century, i never quite bothered to find out what exactly the deal was.

i had seen the yankees defeat the red sox after pedro martinez choked in the 7 th innings of game 7 of last year's ALCS after pitching so well early on ... and it was all yankees after that inning, when everyone started accumulating base hit after base hit. the same story today. the red sox had a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning, after which david ortiz at first base saw in horror as the ball passed through his glove - it was clear that the curse was still around. and those damn yankees, once they smell blood, they never look back. sheffield's hit got them the lead, and with rivera to close out the game, it was a no brainer - the yankees prevailed 4-2 eventually. but as chris burman pointed out on espn, this game will be remembered when the season is analyzed later ....

in this context, i went and tried to find out what the curse of the bambino really is, and here is what i found (ironically, from the blog of a red sox fan):
In 1918 the Red Sox won their 5th World Series, the most by any club at that time. One of the stars of the Boston championship franchise was a young pitcher by the name of George Herman Ruth, aka The Babe or The Bambino. In 1920, however, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee needed money to finance his girlfriend's play, so he sold Babe Ruth's contract to Colonel Jacob Ruppert's New York Yankees for $100,000 (plus a loan collateralized by Fenway Park). Since then, the Yankees, who had never won a World Championship before acquiring Ruth, have gone on to win 26, and are arguably one of the greatest success stories in the history of sport. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have appeared in only four World Series since 1918, losing each one in game seven. Many consider Boston's performance after the departure of Babe Ruth to be attributable to "The Curse of the Bambino."
ofcourse there seems to be plenty of evidence to support the conspiracy theory of a curse. ofcourse, that might have been the reason why ben affleck and jennifer lopez finally called it quits - what with him being a huge fan of the suffering red sox and bronx girl lopez reserving her affections for the bronx based yankees. again, its the red sox who get dumped in the end .... :) the curse certainly is for real !!!

[UPDATE: CORRECTION - the yankee comeback in game 7 of the ALCS began in the 8 inning (not the 7th as i have stated above) - to tie the game from a 5-2 deficit - and win it with a leadoff home run from aaron boone in the 11th.

on a related note, chicago cubs fans are more than familiar with the curse of the billy goat - more than evident last year in game when the cubs post season dreams unravelled after a fan Steve Bartman snatched a ball that the cubs' Moises Alou was all set to catch. ofcourse, it was a case of the choking cubs and the spirited marlins - no curse .... however boring baseball may seem in april, it certainly picks it up when october draws near ... ]

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