A correspondence between father and son
Time for Baseball Trivia:
1. Regarding the Red Sox inability to beat the Yankees in
pennant races for so many years, do you believe that there really was a curse?
2. Assuming that there was a curse (for discussion purposes) do you
feel that the curse is now over or do you feel that the curse will not
be over until the Red Sox win a World Series?
P.S. Yesterday and in today’s Boston Globe, Dan Shaughennesy
wrote that the curse is still there until the Red Sox won the World Series.
What do you think?
1. No and Yes. Technically there was never a curse
but the mindset of Redsox nation (incl players)produced an
attitude that went a long way in contributing to past failures.
(Compare the dour and solemn look of Yaz vs. the love
and confidence exuded by Ortiz)
I think Halberstam compared the Sox to the New
England culture saying that a life was not complete without a
fair share of struggle, sacrifice, suffering, some success, some misfortune. Success was good but too
much would spoil the soul, i.e., World Series win, financial independence.
His implication, I think, was that alot of our misfortune is (was) self-induced … willingly,
both in our culture and on the field of play, and that, somehow, life is ok if the Red Sox fail in the
end. We, as Puritans of the Northeast, get to remain
grounded while our cousins to the South exult in
greed and gluttony, all attributes anathema to
On the other hand, the Yankees believe they deserve to
be champions and act like they are champions. It’s
their mindset and the mindset of New York. They are
not embarrassed with winning and dont believe that
life has to be a struggle.
Proof: since 1918, Yankees have won 26 championships.
Red Sox have won none. (well, one now but none when this correspondence took place)
2. The curse is over when Red Sox nation accepts
winning the World Series without guilt. I think
the Red Sox need to win the world series which will
enable all of New England to re-evaluate itself. Is it a
curse to lose? Or is it a curse to win? Or is it neither?
Thank you for a well thought out explanation. Quite logical.
It seems to bear out how gullible the “flock” is when a few keep repeating the same message.
My question is: Who had the power or touch to cast
the “curse”? As you say, it was based on a mindset
imposed by a few as well as the fans themselves.
I remind myself of one of my football coaches in
high school who told the players: “In any given
game, the team or individual who wants the win most
will prevail” In other words, are you willing to pay
the price to prevail?
Thanks for your thoughts.
I think I have a couple of answers for you:
1. As you said, the flock mentality – most of society
wishes to follow and will allow others to create
truths for them.
If the Times or Globe states it, it must have
If a journalist writes it, it must be true.
If someone says there’s a curse, then most will
believe it. It’s an excuse for thinking we can’t
control destiny and, after time, becomes convenient
and ingrained. The excuse becomes thought which
becomes energy which translates to action. The action
is borne from the thought.
2. If we believe as a society that we are borne into
sacrifice, challenge and suffering then it would be
easy to accept a curse. Again, fatalism is convenient.
If you ask Jeter why the Yankees lost, he will most
likely answer that his team was not good enough THIS
year. He will not blame the Yankee plight on bad luck,
umpiring (he’d better not!) or curse reversal. This is
why he is a winner and will remain one.
As you said, he knows that to win requires competence
and will, not voodoo.