Friday, October 23, 2009

The Curse - Part 2

In the recesses of my mind, it lingers. It speaks to me in my moments of uncertainty. As Nick Swisher flied out to center field and the series headed back to New York, the refrain in my head kept repeating itself. Was the curse of the Bambino transferred from the Red Sox to the Yankees in 2004?

From 1918 to 2004 the Babe had cast a spell over the team that traded him for a song and a dance. Yet, if we search our memory banks, we remember that the great Bambino did not end his career wearing the pinstripes of the team that traded for him in 1918, and whose House he built in 1923. He was discarded by the Yankees like an old worn out shoe and finished his playing days in 1935 wearing a Boston Braves uniform that must have seemed both foreign and demeaning. Maybe his early revenge was against the Sox, but possibly the ultimate prize was payback for the Bombers' transgressions.

I was at game 7 of the American League Championship Series in 2004, when the curse was lifted from the shoulders of the Sox. It was a palpable feeling of dismay that settled upon me that day. Kevin Brown was not a warrior and to place any trust in his resolve was an invitation to disaster. As the Red Sox flew around the bases and the fourth straight loss descended, a weight was lifted from one team and settled on another franchise.

Until World Series victory number 27 is completed, I will live with a doubt that was born on that terrible October day. Since then, a startling lack of consistency in post season pitching has doomed the Yankees to repeated early exits from the playoffs. We now have CC and AJ to calm our worried souls and bring us, once more, to our rightful place, but the job remains incomplete.

The gloom created by those 4 straight losses in 2004 will disappear for moments at a time, but will not go away. Last night I thought, ever so briefly, that with the 2 run lead in the 7th inning having come upon the Yankees with such swiftness, maybe the clouds were parting and the sun was about to shine once more. In my desire to drive all the demons away, I would have considered a 9 out call to the bullpen for the great one, Mariano. You see, the team would have received a 7 day all expenses paid vacation back to New York by winning last evening. But fate, and maybe the Babe, would not let such a scenario play out. Thus, we now await Saturday night, and the next installment of this series.

I ask the Babe, in all his greatness, to forgive the Yankees' trespasses. Vengeance is ugly, Babe. Let go of your anger, and bring us victory on Saturday and then against the Phillies. We do not curse you, but cherish your memory. Let's be friends once more.

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