OK, so being a Midwesterner, I was pulling for the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. I had to stop watching in the third inning of Game 3 — I just couldn’t stand to see such a good team get beat up on so badly.
What a crappy capper to a wonderful playoffs. The Red Sox seemed dead after Game 3 against the Yankees, then scratched and clawed their way to a four-game sweep. A comeback for the ages, probably the best seven games of postseason play that I can remember seeing.
And the Cards had a wonderful series with the Houston Astros — pounding their way to a two-game lead, then losing three in Houston — then storming back to win it at home in seven games.
In the National Imagination, though, the real Series was between the Sox and the Yankees. The Cards were an afterthought. But who’d have expected them to play that way in the World Series? Guess they bought into the myth as well.
I’m glad that the Sox fans’ anxiety wasn’t dragged out for seven games. It was impossible for them to truly enjoy this Series, because their imaginations were haunted by fear of the Inevitable Collapse. None dared to become optimistic as long as the Curse was lurking.
Except there never was a curse: there was only the New York Yankees, the winningest team in Series history. The road to the Series runs through Yankee Stadium, and if the Yanks are hot, the rest of the American League is toast.
Cards fans can take a little comfort in knowing that the Sox and their fans have won the Series but lost their mystique. But really, mystique is bullshit — fodder to help sportswriters fill space. Winning is what matters, elsewise they wouldn’t keep score.
I’d have traded all the mystique in the galaxy for a few timely triples from the Cardinals.