:: Thursday, October 28, 2004 ::

Congratulations, Red Sox Nation!
Well, Red Sox, you finally did it. Coming into Major League Baseball's playoffs as the wild card team, you swept the Anaheim Angels in three straight, then came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat your AL nemesis, the New York Yankees, and then you destroyed the team with the year's best record, a team that recorded 112 wins, the team I was rooting for. You swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight.

You broke an 86-year dry spell. And finally, you broke the alleged curse.
Climb to the top of Mount Washington and shout. Blare those horns out in Boston Harbor. Break out the bubbly and dance in the streets around Kenmore Square. Wake the Babe and tell him to find some other team to haunt. And while you're at it, lift a glass to manager Terry Francona and his delightful band of idiots.

The wait is over, Red Sox Nation.

For the first time since the 1918, your team stands atop the baseball world. -- Jim Salisbury, Philadelphia Inquirer
Well, at least maybe I can get some sleep tonight. I have not slept well since the opening game of this series, which the St. Louis Cardinals should have stolen from the Red Sox. Perhaps that would have changed the tenor of the series. But the win didn't come for the Cardinals -- not Saturday night, and not at all in this series.

And that leaves many of us wondering, along with Boston Globe columnist Jack MacMullin, just how did this Red Sox team manage to pull off such a feat.
How did this happen? How is it this band of self-described idiots, with raggy hair and baggy pants and shabby defense (eight errors through the first two games) find themselves on the cusp of doing something Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, Roger Clemens, and Nomar Garciaparra never were able to achieve wearing the Boston uniform? (Link via Bambino's Curse, which now needs a new name.)
MacMullin goes on to quote Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe as attributing it all to the team's attitude. That may be part of it. And without taking anything away from a terrific Red Sox team, and at the risk of sounding like I'm making partisan excuses for the Cardinals, the Red Sox simply did not play the real St. Louis Cardinals during this World Series.

In Game 4, a Cards fan held up a sign: "Will the real St. Louis Cardinals please show up?" That about sums it up for this team's performance in the 2004 World Series.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch scribe Bernie Miklasz explains:
The Cardinals were almost helpless against this Boston surge. A great team went bad. A joyous season turned sad. But don't lose too much sleep; clearly the superior team won. Sometimes, you just get outplayed in every phase, and that's what went down in this quick, merciless Red Sox march to a championship.

The fact of the matter is, I'm not upset at all with the outcome of this World Series. The better team did win, and there can be no question in anyone's mind.

So, a tip of my St. Louis Cardinals cap to my Red Sox friends. Your team is the World Champion.

:: Andrew 07:25 + ::

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