Thursday, October 21, 2004

Babe Ruth's daughter brings it to Boston.

"Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout..."

And we know where!

In Beantown, whose Sox have just escaped the Curse of Babe Ruth by hanging an all-time worst post-season loss ...
...the worst collapse in postseason baseball history ... the first time in baseball and only the third time in any major sport that a team holding a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series choked ... Humiliating, embarrassing, humbling ... "I feel like a 6-year-old who just watched his dog get hit by a car," said Paul Avvento, 19, from Wantagh, L.I., who watched the debacle last night at the Stadium... (NY Post)
... on the Yankee team with the highest payroll in baseball history -- $184 million, a mere $115 million more than the major league average of $69 million.

No team in 100 seasons, since 1905, had ever lost four games in a row to blow a best-of-seven series after winning the first three.

And, of course, no team ever had won four in a row to take a series after being down three games. So all kudos to the Red Sox.

As for the Curse of Babe Ruth, maybe The Babe this time decided to make his daughter happy...

Babe Ruth's daughter is a Red Sox fan, after years as a Yankee backer. And Julia Ruth Stevens, 86, said the "Curse of the Bambino" is way off base.

"I do not believe in the curse," Stevens told The Post yesterday in a telephone interview from her Arizona home. "It's just a coincidence. Daddy would have never put a curse on his old team. He enjoyed his time playing for Boston too much."

Since the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 for a mere $100,000, the Bombers have won 26 World Series titles compared to Boston's zero.

A longtime Bomber backer, Stevens switched allegiance to the Sox a few years ago, out of pity and because she makes her summer home in New England.

"I pull for Boston now," she said. "For one thing, Daddy did start out with them. But even more because I think they're overdue after all these years of losing out to the Yankees. They've had such terrible luck for all these years."

But Stevens insisted her late dad isn't turning over in his grave because of her rooting interests.

"Daddy will always be a Yankee fan, but I think he'd understand me pulling for the Red Sox because it's good for baseball," she said.

Fondly recalling her dad, Stevens said the Sultan of Swat was in a league of his own both on and off the field.

"Not only was he the best baseball player, he was the best dad," she said. (New York Post, 4/17/04)
"... But there is no joy in the Bronx,
Steinbrenner's millionaires have struck out.

[Right: A young Yankee fan imitates his rich heroes in playoff action.]

Update: In the 21st Century is it The Curse of A-Rod?