Being both a Cubs and Red Sox fan (yes, I walk around in a silly optimistic haze), the true test of whether or not these teams can win the 2004 pennant is how they perform in October. So last night's zapping of the Bartman Ball means nothing, other than to remind Cubs fans how it all unraveled last October, five outs from their first pennant since 1945.
Red Sox fans already know this. In May of 2001, Paul Giorgio, a real estate investor, placed a Red Sox cap on the summit of Mt. Everest. For good measure, he burned a Yankees cap. Didn't matter.
Last summer, Bruce Springsteen played two sold-out shows in the shadow of the Green Monster, telling Red Sox fans that this was a "rock and roll exorcism." In other words, forget the Curse of the Bambino. This is your year!
If the Cubs and Red Sox reach the promised land in October, it will be because they will have finally come through in the clutch, winning the big games. It won't be because of a gimmick or an exorcism.
It's talent and sweat. Not glitter and shtick.