November 1, 2013

The Alleged "No Championship Clinch At Home" Curse

Joe Posnanski addresses this silliness in a footnote to his column, "Red Sox Redefine What It Means To Be A Dynasty":
* Speaking of curses: A lot of people, it seemed, were trying to make a big deal out of the fact that this year was the first time that the Red Sox had clinched a World Series AT HOME since 1918. Television made it seem like the overriding story of the Series. The "clinch at home" angle seemed to give everyone a chance to trot out all the old curse talk, rehash the Babe Ruth trade, chat up all the old Red Sox fans who have been coming to the park for decades and had never gotten the chance to see a World Series clincher.

Seriously – clinching a World Series at home is a thing now? It's not enough to just win two World Series in the previous eight years, not you have to win it at home for it to really count? I mean, look, it's great that a wonderful town like Boston got to win the World Series in a wonderful park like Fenway. Happy that it worked out that way. It was great to see Red Sox fans get to unleash their happiness.

But I believe, and my Red Sox friends seem agree — not winning a World Series AT HOME is not a thing. It's not a curse. It's not a drought. It's not anything. If you win a World Series you win a World Series, it doesn't matter where. The Chicago White Sox have not clinched a World Series at home since 1906. The Reds did not clinch either of the Big Red Machine World Series at home. Those poor Giants fans have never clinched a World Series in San Francisco. So what? The Red Sox don't have a losing tradition anymore. It's over, you can't just keep bringing it up like it's a storyline. The Red Sox have won three World Series in 10 years. It's time for everyone to just deal with being Boston being Goliath.
Boston has clinched five of their eight World Series titles in front of their home fans (1903, 1912, 1915, 1918, 2013). That's 63%.

Of the Yankees' 27 World Series championships, only nine were clinched in New York (1927, 1938, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1977, 1996, 1999, 2009). That's a paltry 33%.


laura k said...

Good to see this. As I said on Jere's blog, the emphasis on this was ridiculous and so contrived.

Once again, baseball media thinks the game alone - and all the stories it generates - are not enough to entertain us. We need them to make shit up for us. NOT.

allan said...

The inability of some (many?) (most?) in the sports media to truly let go of the "Red Sox are cursed" meme is pretty surprising. Even though NINE YEARS have gone by since Boston won the 2004 WS - and the Red Sox have won THREE championships since then, so many writers and broadcasters remain wedded to it by increasingly threadbare connections.

Amy said...

I agree that this was overhyped. Although it was emotional to see the celebration AT Fenway, I read one article that made it seem that this was bigger than 2004. As far as I am concerned, 2004 was THE historic win, the one that changed everything. I loved this one---the Series itself was a lot more exciting than the easy sweeps of the Cards and Rockies in 2004 and 2007---but for me, 2004 will always be the one that meant the most emotionally and historically.

laura k said...

As far as I am concerned, 2004 was THE historic win, the one that changed everything.

I think that's as far as all Red Sox fans are concerned. If the media had not been hyping this thing, would any real fan say otherwise?

If we asked every Red Sox fan we knew, which was more important, the first WS win in your lifetime, your parents' lifetime and possibly your grandparents' lifetime - the first win in 86 years, after a series of heartbreaking near-misses - or the first clincing game to be played at Fenway, which is also third championship in 10 years... what do we think they'd say???

The inability of some (many?) (most?) in the sports media to truly let go of the "Red Sox are cursed" meme is pretty surprising.

Think of the sports media's inability to let go of... practically anything. It is an unbelievably slow moving beast.

Tom DePlonty said...

I only started following the Sox ten minutes before the Steal (already told that story), so I only know how cathartic and important that championship was secondhand. (It was amazing to see, even coming into it uh, late.) And I didn't know much about baseball in 2007.

So this is the championship season I've followed the best. There is so much I could say about it, but here are just two.

Often I'd be watching a game when they were down a run or two late, and think, no big deal, they win a lot of these. I don't remember feeling so relaxed in those situations before this season.

The other thing is how much fun they had playing (and winning). Recent years, even when they were winning, it didn't feel like they were enjoying it this much.

Coming after 2011 and 2012. all of this is especially sweet.

9casey said...

In 2004 with that World Series win people weeped like infants and visited cemeteries to let those know who past the Red Sox had finally won. It was years of frustration finally being rewarded. These last 2 just make you happy.

hrstrat57 said...

Good post Allan, what a load of crap the whole 95 year thing was.

Sure it was nice to party in our house but I said before the whole curse crew needs a new act....Dan Shaughnessy, Mike from Canton, Frank from Gloucester, Joey from the North End...sawx have 8 flags (4th most all time I think)

Take a hike Yankee loser nation. Yankees are changing networks moving from Yes network to the History channel.

Ha ha ha!