The curse of the Bambino is finally gone! The Boston Red Sox have won Major League Baseball’s World Series!
It was certainly an 86-year misery for the Red Sox until two Wednesdays ago, when the franchise officially reversed the curse after the Cardinal shortstop grounded out by closer Keith Foulke. From its inception into the MLB in 1901 to the infamous year of 1918, the Red Sox had appeared and won five World Series championships. Since then, they had appeared in only four World Series, losing all four contests in seven games.
For those of you who are not too savvy about baseball history, the curse, in myth, started after the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000. After leaving the team, the Bambino turned from being a dominant pitcher to one of the best hitters in baseball history. Ever since his departure, the Red Sox had fallen one game short four times of winning the most precious prize in the MLB.
Many would think that it was luck that the Red Sox broke the curse with flying colors. Maybe it was. Maybe it was Alex Rodriguez’s irrational swatting of the ball away from Bronson Arroyo’s hand in the eighth inning of game six that broke the Yankees’ momentum and caused two straight outs of two prime Yankee hitters – the swatter himself and Gary Sheffield.
Or maybe it was pitcher Jeff Suppan’s horrifically slow and imprecise base running in the third inning of game three of the World Series that turned the game around for the Cardinals.
Let me confess. I’m a New Yorker. However, I am not too fond of the Yankees and I was rooting for the Cardinals.
Although I am not a fan of the Red Sox, I have to admit that they played extremely well in their past eight games.
The pitching staff, both the starting pitchers and the bullpen, threw the ball as they had done the whole season, with a pinch of flavor to downplay the curse.
The Boston bullpen pitched five solid innings with four strikeouts in game four of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees as the team avoided getting swept by the Yankees. It all went uphill from there.
It was truly an incredible sight. Curt Schilling, despite an ankle injury, pitched in game six and won against the odds. Derek Lowe, who was short of magnificent during the regular season, pitched the way he had in his prime years during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He won both the ALCS and World Series final games. Let’s not forget Keith Foulke who closed out five of the last six postseason games and only gave up one run in the entire postseason.
Let’s face the facts and assess the astounding baseball the Red Sox had played. They kept National League MVP Albert Pujols and the fourth, fifth and sixth batters of the Cardinals lineup – Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Reggie Sanders – from making any significant impact. Red Sox saviors David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon – in the series ending games – and Mark Bellhorn made incredible hits at the right times.
Cardinals fans were putting up Babe Ruth signs to intimidate them. But it was no use, the team was too confident and the curse deteriorated.
The impressive Boston Red Sox won eight straight postseason games to become the 2004 MLB champions. They broke history twice by overcoming a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS and sweeping their opponent in the World Series after an 86-year drought.
In my opinion, this team should always be remembered as one of the best World Series teams in baseball, whether you like them or not.
Lee can be reached at email@example.com.