October 28, 2004

The Footnote

The 2004 World Series may always be remembered as the game Boston won after they finally beat the Yankees.

It would be fair to say Boston’s curse ended in Game 7 of the ALCS, when the Red Sox overcame their worst nightmare, New York, in the most dramatic fashion possible, coming back from a 3-0 series deficit, something no team has ever done in the postseason.

The World Series proved uneventful by comparison. Like a giant tsunami, Boston’s pitching machine came down hard on St. Louis, who finished the regular season with the second-best record in franchise history, coming off their own remarkable seven-gamer against Houston in the NLCS.

History will write that the curse, offically, ended with Game 4 of the World Series, but fans will likely remember Game 7 more. The World Series then becomes the symbol of Boston’s new identity crisis; they’re no longer the special needs child of the baseball world, no longer lovable losers.

I’ve read opinions that said this championship puts them in the same category as the Florida Marlins, but I would disagree, based on their rich history and loyal fan base. But there’s something deflating about it, too. Maybe it’s the sudden reminder that it’s just “one,” next to the mantle full of Yankees trophies since 1918, or maybe it’s the sudden removal of disappointment, something they’ve lived with for so long.

Whatever it is, I believe this much to be true. I believe the drama will never be the same. Boston vs. New York will never mean as much as it did this year. I believe George Steinbrenner will never let this happen again. Get ready for Pedro in pinstripes. I believe the media will start playing up the Chicago Cubs as soon as possible. And I think “Who did the Boston Red Sox beat to win their first World Series in 86 years?” will have lots of casual fans guessing “Yankees” in future editions of Trivial Pursuit.


At 3:27 PM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Re: Pedro in pinstripes. If they do sign him I suspect he will end up being another Yankee veteran on the downslope. Steinbrenner hasn't figured it out yet: sign good young pitchers not aging veterans like Brown and Contreras. I expect the Yankees to make a big run at Pavano. He may not want to pitch in NY, but he will certainly get an offer.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Jason Weitzel said...

In some ways, the Phillies are guilty of having that approach, too. Is Thome, with his overswing and size, going to get better or worse? Is Wagner, 5-9, 185, able to keep throwing 100 mph? There's no argument whether they make the team better. But the idea, as Theo Epstein proved, is to form a team that can do it in October.

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post reminds me of something I heard Theo Epstein say, something to the effect of coming back against the Yankees was like USA Hockey beating USSR in 1980 and then oh, by the way, you still have to beat Finland for the gold. St. Louis was Finland.

T. Goodman - I couldn't agree with your assessment of Big Stein more.

Tom G.


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