Standing in the shadows of Camden Yards is a statue of none other than Babe Ruth. For those of you who haven’t had the fifty-cent tour of Oriole Park, the Babe was born in Baltimore and center field roughly represents the spot where his house once stood. While watching the tune-up games from a beautiful suite above left field this weekend, it struck me just how easy it would be for Sox fans to believe this is all tied in to “The Curse”. I mean, Baltimore could easily be pointed to as the team that kept us from winning over 100 games and taking the division, right? So, to believers, it would be logical to assume the curse reached down I-95 to the other house that Ruth built. Yet even with all of this evidence, somehow I resist.

“I don’t believe in spooks”

“I don’t believe in spooks”

The Red Sox need 11 wins to secure the prize that has eluded them since 1918, now is not the time to look back. All the cliches will be used and reused, all the past failures revisited, and the Yankee organization will be tongue-bathed by every national broadcaster and reported who can get camera time. At 4:09 today, the chess game begins. It is a group of guys, of baseball players, looking to do what their predecessors have not been able to. Win three series in October. Every pitch, every out, every swing now becomes magnified. There is no more “big picture” to consider, it is here.

To a man, Francona and Sveum included, it is go time. War. The objective today is to win today’s game, not plan for tomorrow or save arms. Whatever means necessary must be employed to capture the all-important game 1. Game 2 is a million miles away right now. No looking back and no looking ahead. One game. Schilling versus Washburn. Win this game with no regard for the feelings (physical or psychological) of whoever is left out, overlooked, pinch-hit for or yanked for defensive purposes. Then focus on Pedro, who will make believers out of everyone tomorrow.

As I re-read this post, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I don’t care. In a few short hours I will be watching the beginning of something people have waited a lifetime for. A generation has lived and died since the last time. How can I be expected to put that feeling into words that other people will understand? For the fans who want this as badly as I do, you know what I mean. I’ll be lucky if I remember to put pants on before I go get coffee this morning. I will see or hear nothing that is not Sox-related until the final out is recorded.

I know this team and they will not let me down.

Less than 7 hours until the magic begins.