Tuesday, October 11, 2005

An Essay On Sin And Baseball: Another "Curse" Point Of View From The Great Viva El Birdos


Interesting "sermon" from lboros at Viva El Birdos regarding the White Sox and their curse:

"did y'ever consider this: if the chixos reach the world series, it'll be the 2d straight year in which the al representative is trying to erase an 86-yr-old curse? in boxos' case last year, it was the curse of the babe; here it'd be the curse of the black sox, whose infamous series-fixing caper went down 86 years ago this autumn. talk about a curse: the xos finished 2d in 1920, after which season commish kenesaw mtn landis banned 1/3 of the team from the game. they would finish no higher than 5th until 1936 . . . . they stayed in the 1st division (mostly) until 1944, spent another 7 seasons in the bottom half of the al, and finally returned to 3d place in 1952 under paul richards. they finished 3d six consecutive years (did you know marty marion managed them from 1954-56? i didn't) before finally inching up to 2d place in 1957 -- their first return to that perch since before the black sox were thrown out of the game. they repeated as runners-up in 1958 and then finally returned to 1st place in 1959, having wandered 40 years in the desert.

they lost to the dodgers in six games. they have never returned to the world series.

i mean, where are the networks on this one? this thing has taken on biblical proportions -- a curse rooted not in the whimsy of some imaginary capricious god but rather in the commonplace sins of earthly humans: the wrongdoings of 1919. they have gone unredeemed all these years, a stain on the soul of the franchise. we heard so much last fall about the beantown geezers who could finally die happy, it took 85 years but they finally saw the sox win one. consider then the suffering of south-side grandfathers, who've have spent their lives rooting under a cloud much darker and more disturbing than the ridiculous "curse of the babe." from webster's 10th:

curse n [ME curs, fr OE] (bef. 12c) . . . . 3 evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation or as retribution
retribution. that's what these last 86 years have been on the south side; punishment of sin -- the greed of charley comiskey, the cynicism of eddie cicotte, the ignorance of shoeless joe jackson.

which may help explain why this plotline doesn't captivate us: it's too scary, not enough like a fairy tale. and so it gets swept under the rug, out of sight, where we like to hide all true sin . . . . . or maybe it's just that these sox have never had a ted williams, a jim rice, a wade boggs to put an epic face on their tale, nor a roger angell or peter gammons to elevate it from folklore to literature. but it's a pretty goddamn good story. under other circumstances, i would probably be rooting for these accursed to earn their redemption at long last, to remove the guilty stain and make those sox white again.

but if they play the cardinals? suffer on, ye wretched sinners. hellfire's too goodfer ye. . . . ."

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