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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Curses and Jinxes

    The Curse of the Bambino. The Sports Illustrated Jinx. The Madden Jinx. The David Ortiz Jersey Jinx?

    Earlier this week, the trust fund babies of the Bronx — Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, paid $30,000 to dig up a David Ortiz jersey that had been buried under the cement of the construction of the new Yankee Stadium. The culprit, Red Sox fan Gino Castignoli, in a premeditated act, buried the jersey while mixing cement on his one day on the job. He thought it would curse the Yankees and their new stadium. But what he didn’t know is that there is no such thing as a jinx or a curse.

    People just turn to these words to make up an excuse for underperforming or being injured. The Red Sox were just terrible for 86 years, making it very convenient to say, “We were cursed.”

    Some of the athletes that graced the cover of Sports Illustrated just couldn’t deal with the pressure, and underperformed. And even more proof, no swimsuit model has ever been “cursed” or “jinxed,” showing the great performance of these models under pressure.

    But one look at the Red Sox over the years, anyone can see that they were not cursed. Rather, they just didn’t deserve to win, as a curse, by definition, stops a deserving team or person from being successful.

    In 1949, the Red Sox needed to win just one of the last two games of the season to win the pennant, but lost both games to the Yankees. If you can’t win one of two games, with your season on the line, you didn’t earn it.

    In 1978, the Red Sox held a 14-game lead in the American League East over the Yankees on July 18. On Sept. 16, the Yankees held a 3.5 game lead over the Red Sox, but the Sox won 12 of their next 14 games to overcome that deficit and forced a one-game playoff on Oct. 2 at Fenway Park. The memorable moment of the game came when Bucky Dent hit a home run in the seventh inning that hit the top of the left field wall Green Monster and skipped out of the park, which gave New York a 3-2 lead. They didn’t deserve to win after collapsing, just ask Mets fans, who at least didn’t blame being cursed.

    In Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Boston took a 5-3 lead in the top of the tenth. However, the New York Mets won it in the bottom of the tenth when Boston gold-glove first baseman Bill Buckner committed a fielding error on a ground ball hit by the Mets’ Mookie Wilson, scoring Ray Knight from second base. In the deciding seventh game, the Red Sox took an early 3-0 lead, only to lose 8-5. Bill Bucker obviously didn’t listen to his little league coach: “Butt down, glove down.” Hey, if you don’t listen, you shouldn’t win.

    In 2003, the Red Sox were playing the Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. Boston held a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning, and manager Grady Little opted to stay with pitcher Pedro Mart’iacute;nez rather than go to the bullpen. In the bottom of the eleventh, Aaron Boone hit a home run to give the Yankees a 6-5 win. Stupid managerial decisions were at fault here, Little should have known his pitcher was tired.

    See, Boston was not cursed, they were just bad all these years. And if the plot to have the Oritz jersey buried beneath the cement would have never been discovered, the Yankees wouldn’t have been cursed anyway.

    So my readers, I leave you with, in my best Dick Vitale voice, “Aaron friggen Boone, baby.”

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