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Author Topic: A Myth That Should Not Be Perpetuated
snopes
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Of course, of course, the Boston Red Sox might be haunted. How else do you explain a franchise with such serial disasters?

However - and this is a gigantic however - we must all take a new look at why Harry Frazee has been such a scapegoat for decades. It is not a pretty story.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/24/sports/baseball/24vecsey.html

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Johnny Slick
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IMO the selling off of Ruth had less to do with cost-cutting and more to do with the Red Sox simply not recognizing the direction the game was about to go in. The Sox had themselves a pitcher who, well, didn't want to pitch anymore. Unlike Smokey Joe Wood, his arm hadn't blown out (and also unlike Smokey Joe, he wasn't a big strikeout pitcher), so I can imagine that this must have just plain perplexed the team. And Babe Ruth was not, not, not a Boston Red Sox style hitter. It took them a *long* time, even taking the Babe Ruth deal into account, to embrace the long-ball. IIRC the team didn't hit 100 homers in a season until after the Sultan of Swat retired. Ruth's skill set as a hitter was so much different from any successful hitter of the past that a lot of guys just plain didn't know what to do with him.

Okay, and the Sox were looking to trim payroll. After all, they sold Carl Mays to the Yanks at about the same time. And baseball was not in the same situation as it's in today. As late as the 1950s, several, maybe even half the teams in the league, were down-and-out. The game wasn't run by people who were looking to pour some money into a franchise for a few years and then make oodles of money by selling the squad off. Many of the owners were themselves former ballplayers, and the ones who weren't, weren't exactly Nelson Rockefeller.

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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The fact remains that Frazee sold Ruth. To. The. Yankees, and we haven't won a Series since. His motives -- No No Nanette, trim payroll, possessed by demons, whatever -- are irrelevant. Did he set out to curse the team and disappoint the fans for the next 85-and-counting years? No. Is that what happened anyway? Yes. Is he responsible? Yes. Is that fair? No, but life ain't fair. How long can I continue to answer my own questions? I don't know.

Four Five Kitties

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ALadUnsane
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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties Fricassee:
Did he set out to curse the team and disappoint the fans for the next 85-and-counting years? No. Is that what happened anyway? Yes. Is he responsible? Yes. Is that fair? No, but life ain't fair. How long can I continue to answer my own questions? I don't know.

Four Five Kitties

What are you? Don Rumsfeld?!
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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Oh [insert name of preferred deity/life force/uber-entity here or, in the alternative, the scatological interjection of your choice], I certainly hope not!

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Slick:
Okay, and the Sox were looking to trim payroll. After all, they sold Carl Mays to the Yanks at about the same time.

Not only Mays. As several writers have argued, the Yankees in the 1920s were in many cases merely the Red Sox in Yankee drag.

Look at the 1923 World Champions. Eleven of the players on that team came directly from the Red Sox -- in addition to Ruth and Mays, pitchers Joe Bush, Waite Hoyt, Sam Jones, and Herb Pennock (the entire starting rotation), catcher Wally Schang, infielders Joe Dugan, Everett Scott and Mike McNally, and outfielder Elmer Smith were sold or traded to the Yankees.

Pogue

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CD
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Yankees Suck.
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The Rubber Chicken
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Amen.

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Methos Divino
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Yay A-Rod. [lol]

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Yankees suck.

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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Mr. Furious
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Personally, I've always thought that the Curse of the Bambino was horse hockey. Yes, Frazee made a deal that ended up being absolutely disastrous. It certainly set the franchise back.

Babe Ruth retired in 1935. He died in 1948. To blame the loss of one player, no matter how great, for 85 years of (relative) failure by the team that traded him is ridiculous. It's a crutch that helps some Sox fans deal with the fact that the Red Sox have failed to deliver in the postseason since they beat the Cubs 4-2 in 1918.

The "curse" is only as relevant as the players and coaches on the field make it. If it gets into their heads, then it's real.

I don't think that Babe Ruth had anything to do with Grady Little leaving Pedro in too long in last year's ALCS. I don't think he had much involvement in Billy Bucks' error (which took place, it should be noted, when he shouldn't have even been in the game) in 1986. Joe Morgan singled in the go-ahead run in 1975, not Ruth. Ruth didn't get Wally Moses and Johnny Pesky out in 1946 - that was Harry Brecheen.

This year, the Red Sox have the best chance to win the World Series that they've had since 1986. They have Curt Schilling who, despite being an annoying gasbag, has a World Series pedigree. Their offense is just plain crazy. They keep signing players that I love (Bellhorn, Mueller, Reese) but the Yankees won't sign because they're busy trying to assemble an all-star team.

Hey, George, here's a memo. Notice what happened with the Olympic hoops team this year? That's what happens when you emphasize individual talent over team play. The same thing that's happened every season since 2000. You have a great regular season and can't finish the deal.

Anyway. It is my opinion that the failure of the Red Sox to win a World Series since 1918 has nothing to do with the loss of George Herman Ruth. It's the best example of the logical fallacy "post hoc ergo propter hoc" that I've ever seen.

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schemmy
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Furious:
Hey, George, here's a memo. Notice what happened with the Olympic hoops team this year? That's what happens when you emphasize individual talent over team play. The same thing that's happened every season since 2000. You have a great regular season and can't finish the deal.

Baseball is a lot less of a team sport than basketball.

The playoffs are pretty random, and the best team (Yankees or no) isn't going to be winning most of the time. That's how it is in just about any sport, actually. More so in baseball, I think.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by schemmy:
Baseball is a lot less of a team sport than basketball.

Baseball is a lot more of a team sport than basketball.

A superior basketball player can dominate the game in a way a baseball player, no matter how good, simply cannot. A great homerun hitter can be limited if no one gets on base in front of him or hits behind him. An outfielder with a rocket arm is useless if the fielder can't catch the ball and tag the runner.

The greatest pitcher must depend on his fielders to catch the ball and back up the players. Besides, he only plays ever five days.

A great baseball player can be isolated. A great basketball player can carry a team.

quote:
The playoffs are pretty random, and the best team (Yankees or no) isn't going to be winning most of the time. That's how it is in just about any sport, actually. More so in baseball, I think.
That's because baseball depends so much on the regular season, and winning a short series calls for a different group of talent than winning a long grind -- especially with pitching. For a healthy regular season, you need far more pitching -- four good starters, an good middle innings guy, and a closer. In the playoffs, two good starters and a closer can carry you through.

Pogue

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ravensbane
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I may not always agree with your politics, Pogue--I'm a libertarian--but that is a brilliant and concise precis of baseball as a team sport.

Very nice.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Tim Duncan is a great player. Tim Duncan was isolated mercilessly in the Olympics.

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Myshkin
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quote:
[/QB]That's because baseball depends so much on the regular season, and winning a short series calls for a different group of talent than winning a long grind -- especially with pitching. For a healthy regular season, you need far more pitching -- four good starters, an good middle innings guy, and a closer. In the playoffs, two good starters and a closer can carry you through.

Pogue [/QB]

Which is why I'll be shocked if the Sox don't make the World Series this year and that the Yankee heyday may indeed be closing. When even the best hitters only succeed 1/3 of the time, you just can't count on hitting to produce wins consistently. Despite Darth Steinbrenner's attempts at building a team for October, he has once again fielded a 100-win team that is unlikely to be successful in the playoffs. Though I'm a lifelong Yankees fan, I can see the writing on the wall.

I hope I'm wrong.

Manny and Ortiz are scary. Schilling is world-class, and even if Pedro continues to struggle against the Yanks, he's leagues better than the Yankees best (El Duque?). And for some reason, Caveman Damon always seemd to get big hits against the Yankees.

And the Yankees? Sheffield and Jeter (though A-rod earned his pinstripes yesterday vs Twins) have to carry the team. Do you give Rivera the ball in the 9th in a big game against the Sox in the playoffs? Torre will, but Rivera looks scared on the mound vs the Sox. I was at the 09/17 game where he blew the save. I wan't impressed.

Boston is the best team in the AL. Unlike some Yankees fans, I'm not a Sox hater. If the Yankees don't make it, I'm rooting for the Sox.

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Mr. Furious
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quote:
Originally posted by Peeps Myshkin:
If the Yankees don't make it, I'm rooting for the Sox.

While I agree that the Red Sox are the best team in the AL this year, I will certainly not be rooting for them if the Yankees don't make it to the World Series. Of the other AL teams, I'd be rooting for the Twins. In the NL, I'm rooting for the Cardinals because I like so many of their players, primarily Rolen, Renteria, Walker, and Morris.

I don't hate the Red Sox (indeed, I admire a great many of their players), but I absolutely do not want to see them win the World Series. This is, however, the best chance that they have to do so at least since 1986, perhaps longer than that.

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Jay Temple
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As a Cardinal fan: If they win, I'd like it to be over the Yankees. If they lose, I'd like it to be to the Red Sox. A good second choice on whom to beat would be the Twins. "You're not so great when your building superintendent doesn't shift the ventilation around, are ya?"

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CD
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First of all Damon isn't a caveman. He is a Charles Manson look-a-like. Second of all, I will root for the Sox in the post season, and am prepared for another letdown. Third of all, I hate the Yankees. They suck.
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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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I will root for the Red Sox in the postseason. I will root for the Red Sox in the off season. I will root for the Red Sox in spring training. I will root for the Red Sox next season, and the season after, etcetera.

I hate the Yankees with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. They suck.

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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nerdymcnerd
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Sing it sister! I grew up in Chicago and was raised a die-hard Cubs fan - that is until I went to grad school in Boston and transfered my die-hardedness to the Red Sox and it has stuck. I have since moved back to Chicagoland, and still only care about the Red Sox. Just the other day I told SO, "you know, I'm done with the Cubs, it's over". He was delighted (being the evil Whites Sox fan that he is) at first, then realized the implication.

Yankees suck.

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Cowboy Joe
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quote:
Originally posted by Jay Temple:
As a Cardinal fan: If they win, I'd like it to be over the Yankees. If they lose, I'd like it to be to the Red Sox. A good second choice on whom to beat would be the Twins. "You're not so great when your building superintendent doesn't shift the ventilation around, are ya?"

As a Braves fan, I know I'll be free by the second week in October.

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Mr. Furious
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I was in Barnes and Noble today, and ended up looking at DVDs in the same section as a guy with a Red Sox hat. I was wearing my Yankees BP jersey. We struck up a really cool conversation.

He knew baseball very well - he was kind of a Rob Neyer type. I told him flat out that I feel the Sox are the best team in the AL this year. We discussed whom the Yankees would be pursuing in free agency this year, and how Nomar is an absolutely dreadful defensive shortstop. He said something that was pretty funny - that he felt that Derek Jeter was the best center fielder the Yankees had. It was a dig at Bernie and Lofton, but I had to correct him. Hideki Matsui is the best center fielder they have.

Connor man wasn't feeling well today, so I had to cut the conversation short when I heard him screaming in the kids' books section. It reminded me, though, of how much I love talking baseball with people who both know and love the game.

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Asynjur
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Not that I believe in curses, but my husband and I have wondered about a curious thing. You always hear about the Red Sox curse and the Cubs curse, but why don't people talk about a White Sox curse?

They haven't won the World Series for just as long, and they threw the 1919 series in the Black Sox scandal. What would be a better reason to be cursed than that! Why don't you ever hear about White Sox fans doing silly rituals, like the Red Sox and Cubs fans do with the goat or whatever... Why aren't they in the stadium bleaching black socks to turn them white or some such nonsense?

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CD
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quote:
Originally posted by Asynjur:
Not that I believe in curses, but my husband and I have wondered about a curious thing. You always hear about the Red Sox curse and the Cubs curse, but why don't people talk about a White Sox curse?

They haven't won the World Series for just as long, and they threw the 1919 series in the Black Sox scandal. What would be a better reason to be cursed than that! Why don't you ever hear about White Sox fans doing silly rituals, like the Red Sox and Cubs fans do with the goat or whatever... Why aren't they in the stadium bleaching black socks to turn them white or some such nonsense?

Maybe because they brought that curse on themselves.

Another thing I was wondering. Several years ago (80's) I lived in Illinois for a brief time. I didn't particuarly follow basball too much then (it was shortly after the '86 Buckner incident, and I was in one of my "to hell with it" phases) but the Cubs were who everyone seemed to care about and the White Sox got little, if any, coverage. Why?

quote:
I don't think that Babe Ruth had anything to do with Grady Little leaving Pedro in too long in last year's ALCS.
If you look at the bullpen carefully at the end of the 7th inning, you can clearly see Babe's ghost possessing Grady Little. My FOAF saw it with his very own eyes.

quote:
I don't think he had much involvement in Billy Bucks' error (which took place, it should be noted, when he shouldn't have even been in the game) in 1986
Babe's ghost was seen sending a whoosh of wind to hurry the ball through Buckner's legs before he could reach down and snag it.

quote:
Joe Morgan singled in the go-ahead run in 1975, not Ruth. Ruth didn't get Wally Moses and Johnny Pesky out in 1946 - that was Harry Brecheen.
Another Ruth possession incident. He also possessed Bucky Dent (how else could a guy with 4 homers all year all of a sudden "coincidentally" get one right then and there.

Babe Ruth is the devil and George sold his soul to him.

Yankees Suck. Go Patriots!

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fictional lie
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I will root for the Red Sox in the postseason. I will root for the Red Sox in the off season. I will root for the Red Sox in spring training. I will root for the Red Sox next season, and the season after, etcetera.

I hate the Yankees with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. They suck.

[/QUOTE]

Hellz yes...RED SOX NATION IS UPON US...GO RED SOX!!!

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Another Red Sox hangover this morning, from staying up to watch the game. The weather here is miserable, the commute is miserable, and yet the citizens of Red Sox nation go about with smiles on their faces! [Big Grin]

Go Sox!

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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