October 28, 2004


First Red Sox nation got the Babe Ruth monkey off its back--in less than a week the Bush clan gets its own redemption.

Red Sox Nation Rejoice (Jim Caple, 10/27/04, ESPN.com)

Prior to the game, Boston general manager Theo Epstein told reporters that should the Red Sox win, "I think it's awesome that Johnny Pesky will get to hold the trophy and ride in the parade. And we won't ever have to talk about him holding the ball again. There will be a lot of moments we can look back on without frowning.''

Pesky holding the ball, Bob Gibson shutting them down, Bill Lee throwing the Eephus pitch, the ball rolling between Buckner's legs ... those moments will never be forgotten -- in fact, they're hard-wired into the memories of everyone within the 617 area code -- but they'll be overshadowed now by far more pleasant memories.

David Ortiz showing the Yankees who was their Papi. Curt Schilling literally symbolizing the Red Sox by pitching with a blood-soaked sock. Mark Bellhorn homering off the Pesky Pole. And perhaps the sweetest moment of all -- Keith Foulke closing out Game 4 along with the ghosts and curses of the past.

Johnny Damon got the Red Sox started in Game 4 with a leadoff homer into the Cardinals bullpen in right field. It was the third game in the series Boston homered in the first inning and that lone run was enough for Derek Lowe.

Lowe saved Boston's season last week with his Game 4 start, won the clincher against the Yankees in Game 7 and in what was probably his last start in a Red Sox uniform, shut out the Cardinals on three hits for seven innings before handing it over the bullpen. After allowing nine runs in the series opener, Boston pitchers held the National League's most productive offense to four runs the final three games.

While Red Sox fans celebrate, St. Louis fans can start talking about the Curse of La Russa. The manager has been swept in his past two World Series appearances, hasn't won a game since the 1989 earthquake series and just presided over one of the worst performances in series history.

While the first three losses were due to poor pitching (no starter made it through five innings the first three games), poor hitting (the Cardinals had two baserunners in a stretch of 35 at-bats) and inexcusable baserunning (they missed bases and forgot how many outs there were), La Russa chipped in with a very questionable move in Game 4 that might have cost his team.

With St. Louis already trailing 1-0 in the first inning, La Russa had Larry Walker, who had two homers and two doubles in the first three games, sacrifice bunt Tony Womack to second base. Why he would play for one run so early in the game against a team that scored more runs than any other this season is very puzzling. It also didn't work.

Derek Lowe, relegated to the Sox bullpen by the end of the season, would be the #1 starter on the Yankees or Cardinals--in the end that's all that mattered. Does help that LaRussa is a horrific over-manager....

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2004 12:30 AM

Allow me to be the first to say that I was wrong in thinking the Sox would never win the series.

So much for the curse of Billy Buckner.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at October 28, 2004 12:40 AM

Congratulations. You're now one-for-whatever. Hopefully next week you'll be two-for-whatever. Don't let The Wife quit her day job.

Posted by: joe shropshire at October 28, 2004 12:45 AM

Oh, please, who cares about the Cards' curse?

I'm a Cubs fan!

Posted by: Sandy P. at October 28, 2004 12:51 AM

Well, if nothing else, I'm hoping we can at least get an all-encompasing quote from the pro sports-challenged Democratic nominee that will, in an attempt to show how big a Sox fan he is, annoy in equal parts the people of eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and the sections of the NYC Metro area that have an outside chance of turning red next Tuesday.

Posted by: John at October 28, 2004 1:38 AM

Remember Red Sox fans-- you've given up tonight the one thing that distinguished your team from the 29 others. (The Chicago teams aren't cursed, except with their own incompetence.) You can't start whining about curses again until at least 2045 now.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 28, 2004 1:41 AM

Congrats. The Red Sox outdid my Cards in every aspect. Too bad it had too end so soon though. It was a nice distraction from the election.

Posted by: MB at October 28, 2004 1:50 AM

Somebody needs to ask him if the name Calvin Schiraldi means anything to him. With any luck he'll beg off & say astronomy's not his strong suit.

Posted by: joe shropshire at October 28, 2004 2:01 AM

And yet the Mets still have twice as many World Series wins in the last half century than the Boston Red Sox has. Hell, we'll even spot you all the way back to 1918 :-)

Posted by: Steve Martinovich at October 28, 2004 2:12 AM

Johnny Damon got the series winning hit in the first at bat in the fourth game of the series. That is the earliest possible moment that the series winning hit could be made. Cool, huh?

Now that the Sox have won the series, I predict that the Minnesota Vikings will win the Super Bowl.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 28, 2004 3:00 AM

Congratulations to the Red Sox Nation, including my nephew Jason who only had to wait 20 years.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 28, 2004 3:22 AM

P.S. Who is the Yalie in the Picture.

It was Ron Darling who pitched the Yale game the day that Roger Angel interviewed Joe Wood. Schiraldi was from texas? The other Pitcher was from Minnesota? Big guy with a moustache.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 28, 2004 3:25 AM

After the series against the Yankees, the World Series seemed kind of anticlimactic... Never behind, never really threatened.

I hope next week goes as well.

Posted by: Bill Woods at October 28, 2004 4:45 AM

Congratulations to all the Boston Fans.

(from a Cardinals fan)

Posted by: h-man at October 28, 2004 6:51 AM

Finally, the Red Sox had the best team. They became Affirmed rather than Alydar, just to see how it feels.

Posted by: pj at October 28, 2004 8:08 AM

I picked Boston to win this year because of redemption from a source greater than Babe: Ernest Hemingway. When I taught Old Man and the Sea last year, I noted that the 84 days Santiago went without a bite coincided with the Red Sox's years without a Series title. However, Santiago caught his Marlin on the 85th day. I expected Boston to win last year because it was the 85th season of the curse. After they lost, I figured that maybe the 1994 season, when the World Series was cancelled, didn't count, so maybe this year, the 85th Series since 1918, would be the one. And it was.

Coincidence? Of course! But it's a good excuse to salute a great team and a great book! Bring on Tuesday!

Posted by: AC at October 28, 2004 8:22 AM

"Years later, in 1981, Wood was present at an historic pitcher's duel between Yale and Saint John's University, featuring future major leaguers Ron Darling and Frank Viola. Darling threw 11 no-hit innings for Yale, matched by Viola's 11 shutout innings for St. John's. Wood, sitting in the stands, recalled Ty Cobb and said, "A lot of fellows in my time shortened up on the bat when they had to--that's what the St. John's boys should try against this good pitcher." Darling lost the no-hitter and the game in the 12th, and Wood called it the best baseball game he had ever seen. The account was recorded in Roger Angell's 1982 book The Web of the Game, and, later, in the anthology Game Time: A Baseball Companion."


Posted by: oj at October 28, 2004 8:30 AM

The Yalie with the Babe is Bush 41. I believe this picture was taken in the spring of 1948 when Bush was captain of the school's baseball team. The Babe died in August.

Posted by: George at October 28, 2004 11:13 AM

Hey Steve:

And yet the Mets still have twice as many World Series wins in the last half century than the Boston Red Sox has. Hell, we'll even spot you all the way back to 1918 :-)

Heck, the Florida Marlins are 2 for 2 in the World Series and they have been around for how many years? 10?

Anywho, good pitching beats good hitting any time. The Red Sox acquisition of Schilling was more important and significant than the Yankees acquistion of A-Rod.

Posted by: pchuck at October 28, 2004 12:02 PM

Congratulations to all Red Sox fans.

And from all Diamondbacks fans - You're welcome - both for trading you Curt Schilling and for not trading Randy Johnson to the Yankees.

Posted by: Brandon at October 28, 2004 12:21 PM

Frank Viola! Thank You. See I haven't lost my mind. Schiraldi was a Texan. And that Picture Wow!

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 28, 2004 1:40 PM

It looked pretty clear that Walker was bunting for a hit. Silly move, considering how well he's been hitting, but he was probably thinking of the success Edmonds had in Game 1 doing the same thing. LaRussa's rep is as an overmanager, but he didn't have the chance to do so in this series--the Cards just stunk up the joint.

Posted by: brian at October 28, 2004 2:10 PM

You are free to view my murmurings on this subject.

Posted by: Brent Anderson at October 28, 2004 2:55 PM