When the sun rose Thursday, little children skated on the frozen surface of Hell; pigs flew in great circles overhead and Apple was making nice with Microsoft. Most amazing of all, the Boston Red Sox were baseball's world champions. Truly the world had changed.
For a sport immersed in stats and science and a team whose home is in one of the world's great hubs of higher education, the Red Sox' brilliant and blindingly quick end to 86 years of heartbreak and futility was fraught with superstition, most notably the Curse of the Bambino. Supposedly the team was jinxed never to repeat its last championship, in 1918, because of the ill-considered sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Well, that's finally over and so is a thriving little industry in "Reverse the Curse" merchandise.
So, are the Red Sox now just another team? Not so long as fans remember the 2004 Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling with blood seeping through his sock, longhaired Johnny Damon rounding the bases after a leadoff home run, unshaven Derek Lowe methodically mowing his way through opposition hitters. Down 3 games to 0 against the Yankees, and seemingly doomed yet again, the Sox came back to win the American League championship — unprecedented — and facing the season's winningest team, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Sox swept the series in four games in which they were never behind. Eight straight postseason wins — also unprecedented.
The Red Sox fans are justly joyous, but true to the Celtic origins of so many, that joy is likely clouded by dark forebodings. High salaries and free agency may see the team that ended Boston's long civic nightmare dismantled by the start of spring training.
Still, the Red Sox are world champions, baseball is finally returning to Washington, D.C., and all things seem possible. A repeat? Perhaps. Peace in the Mideast, a controversy-free presidential election, pollution-free cars? All possible. An end to the Chicago Cubs' 96-year series championship drought?
Well . . . let's not get carried away.