FIRE JOE MORGAN: This Guy Has a Curse Boner That Just Won't Quit

FIRE JOE MORGAN

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

 

This Guy Has a Curse Boner That Just Won't Quit

Boston's favorite cursemonger, Dan Shaughnessy, has probably been in a foul mood for the last calendar year given that his silly Curse of the Bambino myth was finally shattered.

So naturally, he's going to try to shoehorn a curse into this year's World Series even though it's an idiotic thing to do and there's no such thing as curses and people should have stopped believing that nonsense some time around the Renaissance and everyone should learn more about the scientific method and less about ghost whispering.

The money quote (and thanks to reader dave2380 for the tip):

The White Sox face a much tougher opponent than the Red Sox did last October. No, I'm not talking about the redoubtable Houston Astros and their stable of aces. I'm talking about the larger forces, the gallery of the baseball gods where superstition rules over science. The White Sox are up against the granddaddy of all bad karma.

Gallery of baseball gods? I know this stuff isn't supposed to be serious. It's supposed to be entertaining.

It's not. It's drivel.

Curse of the Bambino? That was nothing. It amused some, offended others (the estimable Gammons said it was more moronic than the wave), and made life easy for headline writers, but it absolutely pales when compared with the plague that has infected the Pale Hose.

It offended rational people with brains. Thank you, Peter Gammons, for calling this guy on his bullshit. Also, thank you for putting up with John Kruk and Harold Reynolds on Baseball Tonight.

The 1919 White Sox did something to earn a lifetime of hardball purgatory. They threw the World Series. And they have not won another one since. It is the big, dirty secret that no one wants to talk about as Chicago prepares to play host to the World Series for the first time since the ChiSox were beaten by the Dodgers in '59. Counting the Black Sox scandal, the Second City has lost the last seven (five by the Cubs) World Series played here. The last time Chicago had a baseball champion was in 1917, which was the year before Boston beat the Cubs, which was a year before the White Sox took money to lose.

It's all there in John Sayles's excellent movie, ''Eight Men Out" (John Cusack does a great Buck Weaver), or the book (same title by Eliot Asinof). Angry at cheapskate owner Charles Comiskey, eight of the White Sox, including all-world Shoeless Joe Jackson, took cash to intentionally lose the World Series to the Reds. They were beaten, five games to three, in a best-of-nine event. Two years later, after they were acquitted in a bag-job trial, commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned them for life. And the White Sox never won again.

Blah blah blah blah scandal no one wants to talk about? What? People talk about it all the time. I saw "Eight Men Out" on TV this morning! I'm totally serious. It was on a few hours before Game 1 of the World Series. Not sure which channel.

** SPECIAL ADDENDUM **

"Big, dirty secret that no one wants to talk about"?

FOX just opened its coverage of the World Series with an elaborately produced (okay, it looked sort of cheap) short film entirely about the Black Sox scandal, complete with actors in period costumes. And yes, they used the word curse. Because someone somewhere at FOX thinks that people watched the World Series last year because the Red Sox were cursed, and they're hoping they can trick people into thinking the White Sox are cursed, too.

So Shaughnessy, you're not the standard-bearer of baseball history you think you are. FOX has the exact same angle you had. FOX.

** END SPECIAL ADDENDUM **

Understandably, ballplayers, coaches, and managers want no part of this. They don't care about history.

They don't care about historical stories you make up to sell newspapers and your own books.

In the days before the miracle of 2004, the Red Sox routinely spit on the ground any time the old stuff was mentioned. Curt Schilling and Mike Timlin had nothing to do with Denny Galehouse and Mike Torrez. They didn't want to be asked about it and there was nothing relevant they could say about it.

Exactly. Because it wasn't relevant. You made it up.

Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Todd Benzinger once said, ''I don't know why people keep bringing up 1978. We're different players. It's not like we're related to those guys, like we have the same genes or something."

Thank you, Todd Benzinger. I'm extending to you a coveted invitation to post comments on FJM.

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posted by Junior  # 5:53 PM
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