Well, we all know what happened. Since this blog sounded the "bad omen" alarm, the Baseball Gods settled down, the Sox took care of business, and now it's on to the post-season with the AL East flag flying at the Fens.
Today the Boston Herald featured a collector's edition pull-out section commemorating the divisional title, and it was a big event here on The O'Leary Farm. Inside was a feature on The Curse of Carl Mays. And it was nice. Boo-yah. I won't make you click a link; I'll re-print it below.
In related news, if you happened to be watching NECN's Morning Show [New England Cable News] on Friday around 7:45, that was me being interviewed. Next week, I may be a guest on Boston's ESPN radio affiliate (1510 AM); I'll post details in an update here (when I know them). We'll be talkin' playoffs, baby.
Now, if you still don't have the book, it would be good post-season karma to order it at this time. Just sit cross-legged in front of the network broadcast, rub the front cover, and chant the words "Jacoby Ellsbury" like a mantra, and it will all be good. And I'll still sign a copy for you, or more specifically, send you a bookplate (sticker) to slap into the inside cover. More offers -- if you have a book club and select Curse, I'll be pleased to appear (by phone) at your meeting; and if you're a student doing a book report or something, I'll happily submit to an interview (to spice it up and get that "A" you would so richly deserve, for your good taste alone).
And now, what The Herald said:
Red Sox fans are doomed to forever ask "What if?"
What if Dave Roberts didn't slap second base before Derek Jeter applied the tag in the 2004 ALCS? What if, in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner's glove was firmly pressed against the Shea Stadium dirt as Mookie Wilson's frantic grounder approached?
Now Florida attorney Howard Camerik has turned "what if" into a historical novel that shifts the blame for the Sox's famed "curse" from Babe Ruth to lesser-known former Sox hurler Carl Mays.
His question is from 1920: What if Mays, a former Sox ace who by then was pitching for the Yankees, didn't kill Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman with a deadly, soon-to-be-outlawed spitball?
Camerik's book, "The Curse of Carl Mays" (Virtualbookworm.com), maintains that deadly pitch locked the Sox into more than half a century of playoff futility.
Mays was the first star dealt to the Yanks, a year before the legendary sale of Babe Ruth. But the black-hearted hurler learned his headhunting ways in Boston under truculent Red Sox [team stats] manager Bill Carrigan.
"Although Mays killed Chapman in a Yankee uniform, you can say it was really the Red Sox's fault," said Camerik, a native New Yorker and former die-hard Mets fan.
"The Curse of Carl Mays" traces the life of the fictional Patrick McCarvill Jr., a prosperous Boston mayor with Southie roots and passion for baseball.
The mayor abandoned his pro-ball dream decades earlier, but has a cosmic connection to Chapman. On the eve of that fateful Game 6 at Shea Stadium, McCarvill is struck in the head by a line drive in a charity game.
The paramedic carrying him to the hospital is transported back in time to 1920, and armed with modern medicine, is able to save Chapman's life.
History is forever altered, the black cloud over the Red Sox is erased and the fictional characters surrender to a series of "what ifs."
McCarvill finds himself as a veteran journeyman pitcher brought back to Fenway for the '86 season, and finds himself on the mound to face Mookie Wilson in Game 6. The result is obvious, but how did Camerik's first pitch into the literary world end up earning high praise on Red Sox blogs throughout the Nation?
"I knew about Red Sox Nation and their fanaticism," Camerik said. "So I decided to immigrate on temporary work visa to the Nation. I viewed it as a cathartic experience, as righting a historical injustice."