The "Curse of the Bambino" died nine years ago. On two separate occasions, the Boston Red Sox brought titles back to Bean Town, defying the great Babe Ruth's wishes. But the Sox haven't won a World Series in Boston's Fenway Park, with the Green Monster looming, and the Boston faithful going mad, since 1918. That could change after 95 long years Wednesday night.
Controversy stayed home Monday night, as the Red Sox soundly beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 to take a three games to two lead in the 2013 World Series. No bizarre walk-off obstruction calls like in Game Three, a first for a World Series. No walk-off pick-offs like Game Four, another first for a World Series. One team scored more runs than the other. That's it. "Really, the only weird thing about Game 5 of the World Series on Monday night was that the 3-1 Sox victory took only those two hours and 52 minutes, because 21st century Red Sox games, especially in the postseason, are not that short," writes the Sporting News' Jesse Spector. "This was a totally normal baseball game," says Deadspin's Samar Kalaf.
So now the Series heads back to Boston, and the rolling Red Sox -- tripped up only by the obscure obstruction tripping call -- have a chance to clinch a World Series win in Boston for the first time since the Bambino still played there.
The last time the Red Sox clinched a world series at home was Sept. 11, 1918. Babe Ruth was used as a defensive replacement in left field— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) October 29, 2013
Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees the next year, cursing -- figuratively and literally -- the Sox on his way out the door. Not until 86 years later, in 2004, would the Sox win another title, beating the New York Yankees and, of course, the St. Louis Cardinals to win finally win a World Series. The curse was broken, a city lifted. But that year the Sox didn't leave any room open to take the title at home. The near-century drought was enough, so the Sox wasted no time, sweeping the Cardinals in four games. Had they lost just once, the deciding game would have been played in Fenway. There's a certain virtue to taking a night off in the playoffs, if only for the payoff. Three years later, in 2007, the Sox dispatched the Colorado Rockies in four games for another World Series. The title awarded in the shadows of mountains instead of a Monster.
But everything could change on Wednesday. The Sox don't have home field advantage this year, so two World Series losses puts them in a prime position to finally win at home. "The last time the Boston Red Sox clinched a championship at Fenway Park, they used carrier pigeons to deliver inning-by-inning updates to soldiers at a fort 40 miles away," points out the Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa. It's been a long 95 years. The Cardinals come after two straight losses, with almost no momentum, and their bats have gone as a cold the Massachusetts' fall. The Boston weather's prime for a pennant.