An Introduction.If you find the world of professional sports as exciting as a collection of belly button lint, you may want to stop reading now. I'm going to be talking baseball. I will eventually get on to other stuff, but I'm starting with baseball. Forewarned is well...forewarned.
Anyone Can HaveBoth the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox shared one major distinction for the majority of the 20th century. Neither team had won the World Series since the end of World War I. Legend has it that both team's World Series droughts were due to a curse.
A Bad Century.
A Bad Century.
- The Red Sox had the curse of the Bambino. Before the 1920 season the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth, baseball's best pitcher to the New York Yankees. Ruth became the greatest home run hitter baseball has ever seen. The Yankees won a bunch of World Series. The Red Sox had to wait until 2004.
- The Cubs have the curse of the billy goat. During the 1945 World Series versus Detroit, Sam Sianis (owner of the Billy Goat Tavern and the billy goat in question) was asked to take his goat and go home, because the goat smelled awful. (I've been in the bleachers in Wrigley Field. The goat gets a bum rap on the smell thing). Sianis, angry due to the eviction, said "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more." The Cubs haven't been to the World Series since.
Who Doesn't Need An Epstein?If you watch TV, listen to the radio or pay attention to annoying pop-up ads, everyone is pitching a Theo Epstein. Virility, diet, investing, residual income, complexion and even house cleaning has a one item magic answer. (Anyone have a Roomba?) But Theo Epstein didn't become Theo Epstein by magic. Epstein got a degree from Yale and started at the bottom rung, the PR department of the San Diego Padres. He worked hard, learned his craft and eventually had a hand in the Boston Red Sox winning 2 World Series. In addition to hard work, Epstein is also a success because he is willing to make a tough choice and perhaps be wrong. (Anyone remember John Lackey? Maybe he's selling Roomba's.) So hard work, dedication, discipline and more hard work leads to magic. Go figure.
Note: As I prepare to publish this post, the Cubs have yet to set a press conference to announce the hiring of Theo Epstein. Did I mention disappointment, frustration and embarrassment?