Sox usher in winning ways

by Beacon Staff • November 7, 2007

The taste of victory leaves an invigorated sense of accomplishment that has not only been noticeable to the Sox or their fans, but in Boston at large.,With their World Series victory in 2004, the Boston Red Sox ended all talk of curses and left behind a history of repeated and dramatic failure.

The taste of victory leaves an invigorated sense of accomplishment that has not only been noticeable to the Sox or their fans, but in Boston at large.

The team may not make the trains run on time, but their success has certainly given the Hub the jump-start it has long needed.

For 86 years, it appeared divine intervention was repelling Boston from victory. In game six of the 1986 World Series, victory was within the Sox's grasp until Bill Buckner's legendary error resulted in a New York Mets win. Optimism was a thing of the past, and defeatism was manifest in a knock-on-wood, hesitant mentality.

But in 2004, fate dropped its grudge against the hometown team. Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein said that the defeat of the Yankees in the 2004 Amercian League Championship Series "gave us a collective, cathartic exhale. The region dumped all its collective baggage at once."

And following the Sox's most recent triumph, their October World Series sweep of the Colorado Rockies, Bostonians took to the streets not just to celebrate their beloved team's victory, but to revel in the rise of an exciting future in the city.

With two World Series wins in four years, Boston is learning how to think like a champion.

The grand scope of Boston's long-term goals coincide with this victorious aura. Mayor Thomas M. Menino developed a grand plan to turn the South Boston Waterfront-a former industrial wasteland-into a business and tourist center. Menino also intends to make the pinnacle of this neighborhood reinvention a relocation of Boston City Hall from the run-down Government Center to the Waterfront he has worked hard to rehabilitate.

Boston's long-awaited facelift is not neighborhood-exclusive. The city has begun overhauling the condition and accessibility of the MBTA's decrepit subway stations.

The new, state-of-the-art Convention and Exhibit Center, site of much of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, as well as the 2007 Bio International Convention, has boosted Boston's image on the international scale and provided the city with a venue to display its newfound sense of modernity, confidence and relevance.

Even the broken window theory (popularized by former Boston Police Department consultant George L. Kelling) has made an impact on the hearts and minds of Bostonians, just as it affects the general appearance of the city.

The theory says that neighborhood with moderate vandalism-like broken windows-will face more serious, escalating crimes if smaller problems are not promptly fixed. Likewise, the theory suggests that people living in a clean, well-maintained community are more apt to keep it that way.

All of these changes point to a bright future for the city, but there is still an abundance of work to be done. Murder rates in Dorchester and Mattapan emphasize the Boston Police Department's ineffectiveness in combating crime. The Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa's prominent red beret-clad neighborhood watch group, have once again returned to curb the violence.

It is crucial the city invests more resources (and demands greater accountability) in Boston's finest, which has performed poorly compared to other major cities' police departments. Since the beginning of 2004, the BPD has made arrests in less than one-third of homicides-far below the nationwide average of 65 percent, according to the Boston Phoenix.

Despite all this, Boston is taking the Sox's lead and approaching problems from a winner's perspective. Many facets of Boston life still require attention, but the post-curse mentality suggests the city has every reason to be a optimistic about the its future-starting now.

No longer will Bostonians have to wait 'til next year.