Return of the Curse: Red Sox and Cubs fall five outs short of the Fall Classic

Dave Pascone

“The curse.” Two words permanently engraved in the minds of the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs are scarred by a goat, while the Red Sox are haunted by the Great Bambino.

Many people would dismiss “the curse” as the fans’ excuse for these teams’ futility, but it is real. During the League Championship Series, “the curse” proved its veracity, as both the Cubs and Red Sox blew their chances at the World Series.

On Oct.r 6, 1945, the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers played in Game Four of the World Series.

The Cubs led the Series two games to one.

A local tavern owner, Bill Sianis, attempted to enter the game with his pet goat, but security ejected him from Wrigley Field.

Sianis allegedly stood in front of Wrigley and proclaimed that another World Series would never be played there. “The Billy Goat Curse” has thrived for 58 years now.

The Red Sox’s misfortunes date back to 1920, when they traded Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees.

Before the trade, the Red Sox led the Major Leagues with five World Series championships.

Since then, the Yankees have won 26 World Series, while the Red Sox continue to suffer from “The Curse of the Great Bambino,” winning none.

The 2003 League Championship Series proved “the curse” is alive. Both the Cubs and Red Sox were five outs away from clinching a trip to the Fall Classic.

The aces of both teams, Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez, lost the decisive Game Seven. Each team experienced its own unusual breakdowns at crucial moments.

Leading 3-0, the Cubs could not overcome shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s fielding error in the eighth inning of Game Six; the Cubs lost 8-3. Gonzalez had the highest shortstop fielding percentage this year.

In Game Seven, Red Sox manager Grady Little allowed Pedro Martinez to continue pitching the eighth inning, despite facing trouble early on.

The coaching mistake ultimately led to the Red Sox losing the ALCS. But wouldn’t everyone want their ace on the mound in crunch time?

The Cubs lost Game Seven, despite pitcher Kerry Wood’s two-run home run!

The most obvious sign of “the curse” occurred in the eighth inning of Game Six of the NLCS. The Marlins’ Luis Castillo hit a lazy foul ball to left field, and the Cubs’ Moises Alou chased after it and reached into the stands.

Inches away from the ball and probably the World Series, Alou botched the catch after Cubs’ fan, Steve Bartman, tipped the ball. Bartman now has a movie being based on his stupidity, while the Cubs have to wait until next year.

After this year’s occurrences, everyone should realize that “the curse” will never die. It is real; it is painful; it is history. It laughs in the face of destiny and drives Cubs and Red Sox fans insane.