Curse haunts the MLB

Sideline Scholars

Only five outs stood between the Boston Red Sox and the World Series on Thursday night and Red Sox fans were convinced The Curse had been broken.

The team had a chance to win its first championship since 1918. The case was the same on Tuesday night, when the Cubs were five outs away from heading to their first World Series in what seemed like centuries.

Then, the unthinkable happened for both teams. In Chicago, Steve Bartman did what most fans would do and attempted to catch a ball coming his way. In New York, it was the case of the pitcher who simply didn't have enough gas left in the tank to get the necessary outs. In both cases the nights ended with fans in tears asking that fateful question- Why did this happen all over again? Why?

Curses are a touchy matter, especially sports curses. Most teams have something in their past that could count as a curse, yet they hardly ever want to talk about it, and rightfully so.

The memories of lost opportunities are ones that last a lifetime, and trouble some people to the point where they lose sleep over them. Ask the Red Sox fans what they hate most, and I guaranteed the second answer is "The Curse." The first, of course, is "The Yankees." They only say the Curse because it is so commonplace to talk about it.

Ask Cubs fans what they hate the most, and the first answer will be "Steve Bartman." The second will surely be "The Curse."

And when their seasons ended abruptly, all anyone thought of were their curses. How else does a guaranteed Red Sox victory turn into a situation where Aaron Boone, a starter taken out of the starting lineup because he wasn't producing, hit a ball into the left field stands in the bottom of the 11th inning? Just three innings before, the Red Sox had their ace on the mound and were up 5-2. The game was thought to be over; in fact some fans had turned off their TVs and called it a night as the game ran into Friday morning.

Yet some fans still don't believe in The Curse.

"They don't like to blame the team's losses on poor management so they blame it on the curse," says devoted Sox fan Kolby Goryl.

Most will admit the curses that hover over both the Cubs and the Red Sox have some kind of truth to them. It was back in 1918 when the Red Sox won their last World Series, behind Babe Ruth. Yes, that Babe Ruth. The one person who is quite possibly the most heralded Yankee in pinstripe history. And to think it was one year after the Red Sox traded Ruth to the Yankees for a minimal fee.

Ever since, the Yankees became a powerhouse, winning 26 world championships, and the Red Sox are still stuck on that fateful zero.

The Cubs curse dates all the way back to 1908. This year, when the Marlins' Jeff Conine closed his glove to secure the final out Wednesday night, dedicated Chicago fans were yet again reduced to tears.

So, as yet another World Series passes by, Chicago and Boston baseball fans will have to look forward to spring training and another chance to break "The Curse." They will be left with haunting off-season images of Aaron "bleeping" Boone and Steve Bartman as opposed to images of players celebrating with champagne and holding a World Series trophy high above their heads.

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