The Curious Case of Benjamin's Nuttin': Sox Garner big win for Affleck
Take heart and breathe easy, fellow Red Sox Nation members: The Olde Towne team may be in the midst of a season-long kamikaze death spiral, but at
least Ben Affleck’s long irrational nightmare is over.
On Saturday, the Old Towne Team pounded out 26 hits en route to
a 22-10 harpooning of the visiting Seattle Mariners as Jackie Bradley Jr.
stroked three doubles and two homers and drove in seven, but the best news by
far wasn’t what happened on the field.
Not by a long shot. August 15, 2015 will be a date that forever lives in
infamy for the fact that the Sox pulled together, put Fred O’Bannion on
their backs and finally put an end to The Curse of the Benbino.
Forget those 86 years toiling in frustration and outright
obscurity. The Red Sox hadn’t won a game on Aug. 15 — Affleck’s birthday —
since 1997, when the Sox über-fan and conjoined twin of Matt Damon hit the big time
as Chuckie Sullivan (What? A guy from Boston named “Sully”?) in Good Will
On that day, The Beantowners celebrated the then-25-year-old
Affleck’s newfound fame by recording a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at
Fenway as Kerry Lacy got the win in relief when Reggie Jefferson singled in
pinch-runner Mike Benjamin in the tenth.
Since that date, however, the Red Sox put a constant damper on Affleck’s big day
by going 0-15. Actually, it’s 0-16 if you count the fact that Ben’s birthday
game in 2008 was rained out and then replayed on Sept. 13, when the Sox lost to
the Blue Jays 8-1.
Affleck, star of such blockbusters as Gigli and Phantoms, thanked
his hometown team on Twitter following a win even more robust and tumescent than his recent shower scene in Gone Girl:
Affleck, in the news recently as much for his turn as Bruce Wayne
in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as his rumoured affair with
the nanny of his three kids — who (fun fact!) was ten years old when Good Will
Hunting premiered — clearly needed a win as much as the Red Sox.
It sure beat the gift given to him by wife Jennifer Garner, who
lovingly presented him with withering glares, choice expletives and a 67-year-old Filipina governess to watch little
Violet, Seraphina and Sam from now on.
THE CURSE OF THE BENBINO BY THE NUMBERS:
Since he was born on Aug. 15, 1972 — when the Red Sox beat the Rangers 3-0 — the Sox are 13-23 on Ben's big day. That doesn't count the off days the team had in 1973, '74, 1985, '88, the strike year in 1994, '96 or 2011.
Ben’s younger brother Casey has a significant edge in the
Affleckian Beantown Birthday Bonanza. Casey, who was born on Aug. 12, 1975 —
the day the Sox recorded an 8-2 win over the California Angels — is 21-13 when
the Sox play on his birthday. But his birthday on Aug. 12, 1994 was an
especially bad day for Casey — that was the day the strike that would
ultimately cancel the World Series began. Ben can rub his big 22-10 birthday win in Casey’s face this year —
Ben’s younger sibling didn’t have much to celebrate four days ago when the Sox
got thumped 14-6 in Miami on his birthday. Ben is being put to shame by fellow fanatic Damon, who was born on
Oct. 8, 1970. On that date the Sox have put together some of their most
dramatic wins to celebrate Damon-day. To wit — Oct. 8, 1986: The Red Sox defeat
the Angels 9-2 to win Game Two of the ALCS. Oct. 8, 2003: Boston beats the
Yankees 5-2 in Game One of the ALCS. Oct. 8, 2004: The Red Sox down the Angels
8-6 to sweep the division series and advance to the ALCS. Oct. 8, 2013: The Sox
edge Tampa Bay 3-1 to win the division series and move on once again.
Keep the Faith. Drink the
Dirty Water. Connect with me on Twitter: @jan_doh.