It's October 28, 2004…I think. I'm still trying to figure out if I'm awake or if this semi-nightmarish world I have been in for the past two weeks is reality. I mean it didn't happen, did it? This wasn't real. No way. No way what just happened happened. No way a team did what they just did—come back like that in one serious, then completely dominate in another. It's just not possible—it's never happened before. Hell the only time this happened was in freakin' hockey back in the 30's I think. So I must be dreaming.
If only that were the truth. If only I could wake up from this, but I cant. No folks, I'm not dreaming. The Boston Red Sox—the Boston Red Sox—are…oh boy, this is tough….the Red Sox are…I can do this…the team from Boston are World Series Champions.
Excuse me while I vomit.
Yes, it happened. And somehow Boston didn't sink into the ocean, the world did not explode, the Apocalypse did not come, a giant comet did not strike the planet, and Hell has yet to break out the parkas. After 86 years, one of the greatest curses in all of sports history has finally come to a close (or so it is believed) and now the city of Boston can rest easy.
The Curse of the Bambino was a Yankees fan greatest weapon against a Bean Town fan. It was just so easy to mention the Babe, or Bucky Dent's home run in 1974, or the greatest low blow: 1986 and the infamous Bill Buckner guffed ball at first. Or even to drive it home that last year, in New York, the knuckleball little Brett Boone deposited in left field last year in the Battle for the American League. It was so much fun. Each year we Yankees fans just sat back and waited to see how Boston would screw it up this time. Would it be an error? Or a home run? Or maybe just another Pedro Martinez outing that starts good but ends miserably? Maybe it'll be another 7 game ALCS that ends in the 15th inning with a call that would be contested for years to come. All we knew was that something, something, would happen and Boston would choke, like they're supposed to
So when my Yanks were up 3 games to none in the ALCS, I was happy and joyful and just waiting to write my next chapter of Yankee dominance when the impossible happened. After coming off a Game 3 asswhipping, the Yankees were in the bottom of the 9th with three outs left to silence Boston for another year with the greatest closer in baseball history, Mariano Rivera, on the mound. Rivera had a small number of blown saves, so small in fact, that the odds of him doing it again were slim to none. This was over, right?
Wrong. Boston was able to eat away at Rivera and in extra innings David Ortiz decided to personally deliver a souvenir to a fan in right field, and did so using his bat at the plate.
Hey, that's okay though—just one game. Then it happened again in Game 5. Ortiz again, this time with a bloop. And in 48 hours the Yankees, who were up 3 games to none and three outs from the win, were now going back to New York with quiet bats for Game 6.
Then the Frankenstein monster pitched a win for the Red Sox and just like that, we had another Game 7. History was about to be made. No team in baseball history had ever come back down three games to win four straight. The Yankees never lost the AL after being up ten or more games in the division during the season. Somewhere a statistician was plugged into a life support system.
The game was being heralded as the "Greatest Baseball Game to Ever Be Played." This would be the epic battle of Troy played out on a baseball field. The Battle of the Bulge for the Red Sox or Waterloo for the Yankees?
The answer came very quickly in the very first inning. Johnny Damon, the lead off hitter was 2 for 31 or something going into the game. He had been hitting like crap. So to make up for it he blasts a home run into deep right field. Then he hit a grand slam a few innings later. The Red Sox would go on to make history by crushing the Yankees 10-3. It was embarrassing and completely anticlimactic. It was not even a contest—the Yanks looked like crap and couldn't get a damn thing started. And the Red Sox just rolled over the Yanks in an unexplainable fashion.
Yet I wasn't worried. They're still the friggin' Red Sox! The Curse didn't end with a win over the Yanks (even though it came the night Bucky Dent threw out the first pitch, in the House That Ruth Built, on what would have been the 73rd birthday of Yankee legend Mickey Mantle). No, the Curse was about winning the World Series.
They would be playing a team that had beaten them twice in the World Series before. This would be fun to watch. Bostonians, after 18 years, were going to see their team get so close again, only to choke. I had my money on Manny Ramirez throwing the ball into a dugout or something. Either way, I was confident that no matter what happened, the Red Sox would lose. It was their destiny, they were cursed!
Apparently somebody forgot to tell the Red Sox that.
Coming off their emotional high of beating the Yankees in four straight, the Red Sox easily cleaned up the St. Louis Cardinals in three games and went into a Game 4 with high hopes. They had been making errors left and right and yet continued to win! But with Game 4 looming, the city of Boston was scared. There would be a lunar eclipse that night—that could be the catalyst, the mystical power to embolden the Cards to win four straight, just like the Red Sox had done a week before.
But instead, the eclipse did just that: it eclipsed the Curse. And once again, it was Johnny Damon and his lava hot bat, that started the game off with a home run, and Boston never looked back. The Red Sox had their first World Series win since 1918. Eighty-six years. It happened in Boston's first World Series appearance in 18 years (18 à 1918) when the Sox faced the Mets in 1986 (1986 à 86 year Curse). Spooky.
So now what? Well Boston is just Boston now—they're nothing mystical or special—just another team with a World Series win. That would give them 6 World Series wins.
And with that I can smile again. Yes my Yankees got crushed. Yes the Red Sox beat up the Ghost of the Bambino. But there's something I can take happiness and joy in.
New York: 26.
Yes, life is still good with a 20 title lead over the Beaners.