Friday, September 30, 2011

Has the Curse Returned?

Nate Silver in the New York Times analyzes the statistical probability of the Red Sox biblical collapse this week and shows unequivocally that what happened, could not have happened, at least not in the real world.

But his alternative explanation is a shocker.  He refers to an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm that I loved when I watched it because I was warmed by the seeming redemption of Bill Buckner.  I didn't realize how diabolical it was.  Here's Nate's conclusion:
On Sept. 4, the day after the Red Sox’ playoff probability peaked, H.B.O. aired an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The show is the brainchild of Larry David, the creator of Seinfeld.
In the episode, “Mister Softee”, Mr. Buckner was featured prominently. Jeered by Red Sox fans everywhere he went, he dropped a baseball autographed by Mookie Wilson out a window. But he restored his reputation after catching a baby dropped from a burning building.
Since the Red Sox’ curse already seemed to have been lifted after 2004, Mr. Buckner’s redemption was superfluous: a case of two 180-degree rotations turning the Red Sox’ karma all the way back around. From the day that the episode aired, the Red Sox went 6-18.
The program was fiction, of course. But you couldn’t have scripted what happened last night. And Mr. David is a Yankees fan.
Hat tip to Matt Kroll

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