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22.10.14 2207
The W - Baseball - the curse
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Goetta








Since: 15.7.02

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#1 Posted on
I had dinner with my Red Sox fan brother yesterday, and he surprised me with lots of talk about the curse being lifted. His point was that the greatness of their comeback and the fact that it was against the Yankees frees them of the curse. I argued that they still haven't won the World Series, which is the point of the whole thing. If they lose this week, their streak will extend to 86 years.

So I'm hopin gto hear from some Sox fans. Is the curse lifted? Isn't the goal to win the championship or is it just to beat the Yankees?



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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.83
The curse ends when the World Series is won. Beating the Yankees is just a (BIG) bonus.



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Since: 20.2.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.02
The curse ends when people stop talking about the curse:-) I, as a Cubs fan, would prefer my team stop bickering and infighting and feel that would do much more to helping them win then excorcising baseballs.
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.70
I totally agree with JJD. If the curse ended with an ALCS victory, then it would have been done with long ago. The curse ends with a World Series win.



    Originally posted by DEAN~!
    - Booker T stands like a statue in the ring. Paul London runs around the ring, bouncing off the ropes, jumps up and sticks his knees around Booker T ears and Powerbombs himself. London gets up and takes Booker T's hand and balls it up into a fist. He then extends Booker T's arm before hitting the ropes and smashing nose first into Booker T's fist. Paul, bleeding profusely, climbs onto Booker T's shoulders and dives into the second row- landing shoulder first onto the fixed chairs, getting more hardway color from his quickly sweeling upper lip. London runs into the ring and opens up Booker T's fist and raises it up to his face, as if Booker T was staring into his own hand. London when dives over the turnbuckle face first into the Spanish Announcers table. After the countout, London comes back into the ring and lays Booker T down on the ground while bending Booker's arms and legs and then spins him around. We go to a commercial for those burning Trojan condoms.


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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by messenoir
    The curse ends when people stop talking about the curse:-) I, as a Cubs fan, would prefer my team stop bickering and infighting and feel that would do much more to helping them win then excorcising baseballs.


Thank you.

The Curse of the Bambino is an invention of Dan Shaugnessy, and it ends when we shut up and stop lining his pockets.



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Since: 11.11.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.26
Hey, now, I hate Dan Shaughnessy so much that I have to invoke the "he didn't even invent the curse" comment. He was just the first person to invoke a "curse" in a book title. We just had a cool thread and link to that point over a week ago:

http://the-w.com/thread.php/id=22666
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2004/news/story?page=Curse041005


That said, I agree: nothing less than a World Series win counts for "breaking the curse." If you actually believe in the curse, that is.



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Since: 20.9.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.01
    Originally posted by PalpatineW

    The Curse of the Bambino is an invention of Dan Shaugnessy, and it ends when we shut up and stop lining his pockets.


There is no curse, there never was a curse. Until the other day, the Yankees have simply been better when it counted. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. Most likely it's a T-shirt implying that before the third baseman choked on every clutch AB in the ALCS, he was choking on the shortstop.

The Sox have got to win the series now, 'cause if they beat the Yanks, *and* PalpatineW and I agree on something, this can only mean that hell has clearly frozen over.

Shaughnessy is nothing less than a war profiteer. He'll send his great grandchildren through med school on the collective Autumnal pain of New England. He'll light cigars with Ted Williams rookie cards. He should be burned in effigy in Government Center. Then he should be run out of town on the bat Mookie Wilson got lucky with.

I'd do it myself, but, you know... Yankees fan.

You guys have fun though.



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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.94

    Most likely it's a T-shirt implying that before the third baseman choked on every clutch AB in the ALCS, he was choking on the shortstop.


That is quite possibly THE greatest sentence ever in the illustrious history of time.

I didn't mean to lump myself in with "curse believers" or anything. I think most Red Sox fans would tell you that calling it a "curse" is actually using a convenient noun to sum up years (86 of 'em) of frustration. It's a buzzword and nothing more. Bob Stanley sucked PLENTY of times before Game 6 of the '86 Series, it's not like he was Gagne or anything before he blew that game. The Reds were damn good in '75. The Cardinals had Bob Gibson in '67. Sometimes you're just not good enough to win the big one for a REALLY long time.

Regardless of whether they win the World Series or not (pleaseGodletthemwinit), a "cursed" franchise doesn't get Fisk's homer, Hendu's homer, the Impossible Dream, or the 2004 ALCS. More likely a "cursed" franchise is one owned by a Selig.

EDIT: Too early to be quoting, I guess.

(edited by JayJayDean on 23.10.04 0523)

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.17


Thank you for reposting that link, as it was me that originally posted it here. The whole notion of a "curse" was based upon a lie by Fred Lieb, a baseball historian and anti-semite. The article is very long but I'll repost some of it here....

The notion of the "Curse" rests on several pillars, most of them false. In brief, the story claims that Boston owner Harry Frazee, a failed theatrical producer, sold Ruth to line his own pocket, bail out his theatrical productions, and eventually bankroll his successful production of the musical "No, No Nanette," earning him a fortune. Furthermore, the Yankees provided Frazee with a second mortgage on Fenway Park worth $350,000, turning the $100,000 cash sale into a larger transaction of nearly a half million dollars. Over the next few years the cash-strapped Frazee gleefully sold the guts of his club to the Yankees, receiving little of value in return, making the Yankees a dynasty and forever dooming the Red Sox to also-ran status. After finally selling the club in 1923 and making millions on "Nanette," the inept Frazee squandered his fortune on more failed productions and died in 1928 with an estate worth less than $50,000.

Virtually none of this is factually accurate. As I have written in detail in "Red Sox Century," "Yankees Century," and in several articles subsequently here and on ESPN.com, the only "facts" that withstand scrutiny are that, indeed, Frazee was a theatrical producer, he did sell Babe Ruth and he did make several million dollars on "No, No, Nanette." The rest resides between utter fiction and imagination.

The truth is more complicated and not as easily packaged. Real history cannot be distilled to a simple phrase. Readers who wish for more detail should refer to the work cited above, for space prevents re-telling the entire story in detail here once again. In fact, however, the self-made Frazee was one of the giants of Broadway, one of the most successful innovative and progressive producers and theater owners of the era -- he pioneered the "road show," was the first producer to use a song written by the Gershwin brothers and the first Broadway theater owner to open his door to work by an African American playwright. He was a millionaire when he purchased the Red Sox and never ran out of money.

Frazee sold Ruth for reasons beyond money that stemmed from the fact that from the moment Frazee bought the Red Sox after the 1916 season, American League president Ban Johnson tried to drive him out of the game. Johnson ran his league like a private club and Frazee hadn't asked permission to join. Over the next few years everything Frazee said and did went against the wishes of Johnson -- among other things he wanted the league presidents replaced by a single commissioner -- and everything Johnson did was designed to run Frazee from the game.

Yet Johnson disliked Frazee for an even less savory reason. Just as an unwritten gentlemen's agreement kept baseball white, a similar policy prevented Jews from buying into the American League. Like many in the game Johnson looked at Frazee's New York-based theatrical background and assumed he was a Jew. Thereafter Johnson and Frazee's detractors sometimes referred to him in code, criticizing him for being too "New York," and referring to the "mystery" of his religion. Few observers at the time missed the inference.

In fact, Frazee was not Jewish. He was Presbyterian, and a Mason.

During World War I Frazee's Red Sox won the 1918 world championship and star pitcher Babe Ruth caused a minor sensation with his slugging. The next season, in 1919, Ruth wanted to hit, not pitch. The Sox agreed but Ruth slumped over the first six weeks of the seasons and the Red Sox fell out of the pennant race. Although Ruth recovered to hit a record 29 home runs, over the course of the year he became increasingly problematic, lobbying for a new contract, undermining the manager, flaunting team rules and then jumping the club in the final days of the season. The 1918 world champions finished sixth. At the same time Frazee angered Johnson by shipping suspended pitcher Carl Mays to the Yankees and lobbied for Johnson's removal. All parties ended up in court and the league split into two factions, with Frazee, the Yankees and White Sox a minority.

The ensuing sale of Ruth in late December took place in this context. Frazee did not even own Fenway Park and the deal was not dependent on any mortgage, although after he Frazee purchased the ballpark from the Globe's Taylor family he quickly secured a second mortgage from the Yankees. Over the next few seasons every American League team but the New York refused to do business with Frazee. His option was either to deal with New York or make no deals at all. But the resulting trades were not considered one-sided at the time by a consensus of the press in either New York or Boston or by the players of either the Yankees or the Red Sox. A sophisticated statistical analysis of the deals by Steven Steinberg and presented at the 2002 convention of the Society for American Baseball Research in Boston came to the same conclusion.

But luck went against Frazee. Boston's stiffs became stars in New York, while ex-Yankees sent to the Red Sox suffered strokes, sore arms and other injuries. The Red Sox hung around .500, finishing sixth with Ruth in 1919 and fifth without Ruth in 1920 and 1921 before collapsing to finish last in 1922 and 1923. Midway through the 1923 season Frazee sold the club to a syndicate led by Bob Quinn.

Between the sale of Ruth and the production of "Nanette" in 1925, Frazee mounted a number of mostly successful productions, just as he had done in the years immediately prior to the sale of Ruth. When he died of Bright's disease in 1929 his estate was valued at approximately $1.5 million dollars. While his obituaries in the Boston papers all made note of the sale of Ruth, and many decried it, they did not blame Frazee for the club's current dismal position under Bob Quinn, who ran the club into the ground after investor Palmer Winslow became ill and died. After Frazee died the flags at Fenway Park hung at half-mast in honor of the man that, to this day, delivered the Red Sox their last world championship.


So how then did Harry Frazee become the bad guy?

Fred Lieb is certainly one of baseball's most beloved writers. Lieb, who died in 1980 at age 92, began his career with the New York Press in 1911. After working for several other New York papers he entered into a lucrative free-lance arrangement with The Sporting News. Lieb covered sixty-five consecutive World Series and dubbed Yankee Stadium "The House that Ruth Built." But the primary reason he was inducted into the writer's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973 is due his authorship of six team biographies.

They are perhaps the most influential series baseball history books ever written and have long been considered the standard historical accounts. They include the first narrative history of the Red Sox, his highly collectable and still highly regarded Boston Red Sox, published in 1947 and still in print today. A number of baseball historians still worship at the altar of Lieb. In 2001 best-selling author and Red Sox senior baseball operations advisor Bill James even told CNN in 2001 that, "If 50 people remember me the way I think of Fred Lieb, I'll be doing all right."

By all accounts the slight, fine-featured Lieb was an exceedingly genteel and pleasant person, mild-mannered and personable. Yet underneath his button-down exterior Lieb was rife with prejudice, compromised by his relationship to baseball's power elite and eager to do their bidding.

Like that of many other sportswriters of his era, his work contains elements of the easy anti-Semitism so rampant within American society during the era between the wars. An occultist and faith healer who regularly consulted an "Ouija board" for insight, such latent anti-Semitism is particularly pronounced in his two "spiritualist" titles, "Sight Unseen: A Journalist Visits the Occult" (Harper and Brother's, 1939) and his self-published "Healing Mind, Body and Purse" (1941). In regard to Harry Frazee, Fred Lieb finished what Henry Ford started.

Throughout his career Lieb consistently backed baseball's ruling class, becoming a powerful and influential voice in the game. An unabashed fan of Ban Johnson, Lieb's books are littered with instances where he used his bully pulpit to further Johnson's aims and attack his enemies.

Beneath his genteel veneer, Lieb wielded a sharp ax. He wasn't afraid to smear baseball figures he disliked. In "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract," even James admits that "many, many of Fred Lieb's stories don't check out if you backtrack on them," but few baseball historians have ever bothered to check Lieb on the facts. For example, in one of his books Lieb charges that notorious first baseman Hal Chase threw games while a member of the Yankees and cites Chase's fielding record and performance in specific games as evidence. While Chase unquestionably threw games later in his career -- and perhaps with the Yankees -- in this particular instance Lieb was not only wrong, but he knew he was wrong. Chase played errorless ball during those specific games, got several big hits and the Yankees played their best stretch of baseball all season. In another instance a Lieb acquaintance told him that during the 1922 World Series pitcher Carl Mays' wife signaled the pitcher from the stands that a payoff had been made, after which Mays' effectiveness rapidly disappeared. Based on such scant evidence Lieb concluded Mays threw the game and later bragged that this story and his influence later kept Mays out of the Hall of Fame.

Lieb saved his best hatchet job for Harry Frazee in Boston Red Sox. The conversational, anecdote-laden history rescued Frazee from obscurity and delivered him into infamy.

Lieb gives Frazee plenty of ink in the book, all of it critical. He castigates Frazee for selling Ruth and making a series of disastrous trades with the Yankees that Lieb characterizes as part of some nefarious plot to help the Yankees at Boston's expense. Lieb resurrects Burt Whitman's notorious phrase "rape of the Red Sox" as a chapter title and identifies Frazee as the architect of the alleged assault on the franchise. The book glosses over Frazee's political battle with Johnson, ignores Frazee's many successes and misrepresents him as a theatrical failure operating on a financial shoestring. Lieb also alludes to the spurious notion that Ruth was sold to finance "No, No Nanette." In short, virtually nothing Fred Lieb writes about Frazee is accurate. As history, it fails entirely. As character assassination, however, it is thoroughly brilliant.

For the next 50 years Lieb's book "Boston Red Sox" stood as the standard history of the Red Sox, the single significant source of information about Harry Frazee in book form, albeit one written decades after Frazee's tenure as Boston owner. His twisted and incomplete portrait then became the standard account of Frazee's baseball career, taken as gospel by subsequent baseball historians and sportswriters. Over time, as Lieb's contemporaries passed on and changes in society made it even less acceptable to express anti-Semitism and baseball shed it's anti-Semitic past, the notion that Harry Frazee was a Jew faded from memory.

At best proponents of the "Curse" are ignorant of its history. They have done the bidding of others as unknowing pawns in a legacy of hate that dates back centuries, bit players in a larger, older drama far more significant than any ever contemplated by Harry Frazee. Stripped of its source, the hate and misinformation spewed by Ford and later revived by Fred Lieb that survives today in latent form in the "Curse" says nothing at all of value about Harry Frazee, or why the Red Sox have ever won or lost a single game. It does, however, say a great deal about the insidious and sinister nature of hate -- the influence of which lasts generations -- and the danger entailed in believing in anything without ever examining the basis of those beliefs. In today's world people die every day due to the prejudice born in misconceptions. If any "Curse" deserves to broken, that one does.

If one must blame Harry Frazee for anything, blame him for his inability to foretell the future. Just as former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette failed in 1996 to foresee that Roger Clemens was not in the "twilight," of his career, Frazee failed to divine that as a Yankee Babe Ruth would hit another 659 home runs and change the game of baseball forever. Frazee was not alone. No one in baseball knew what Ruth would do, not even the Babe himself.




(edited by BOSsportsfan34 on 23.10.04 1608)



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