The 2004 ALCS and The Wizard of Oz
Looking back at the Red Sox/Yankee series, it struck me that there were amazing
parallels between the series and the great story of the Wizard of Oz. I was first
inspired by that inane commercial Fox kept playing with Joe Buck where he calls the home
run with "Slamma Lamma Ding Dong". Then I was inspired after the last out of game 7 to
sing out "Ding Dong the witch is dead." As I thought more, the similarities were
Here are the stories told in parallel. I'm sure you'll agree.
Dorothy's house falls on the wicked witch of the east.
The Red Sox follow up a great season with a convincing 3 games to 0 whacking of the
talented Anaheim Angels. Our heroes lose their way as they let Anaheim wipe out a 6-1
lead, but Big Poppi (Glynda the witch of the north) shows the way by hitting a two run
homer to walk off with game 3.
The wicked witch of the west swoops down, and wants her ruby slippers. “Those
slippers will stay there – as long as you’re ALIVE!”
The Evil Empire shows its brute strength with two comeback extra inning wins against the
Twins, and challenges the Red Sox to come and beat them in the House that Ruth Built.
Dorothy is far from home, but the munchkins show her the way with the chant “follow
the yellow brick road”.
Our heroes tremble at the raw power of the Evil Empire, but rejoice in the fact that
Curt Schilling is going in game 1 and at least one more game. Maybe Curt can pull them
through in games 1, 4, and 7.
Lions, and tigers, and bears oh my! Lions, and tigers, and bears oh my!
The journey is a rough one. Games 1 and 2 are lost, and Curt Schilling appears to be
done for the season. He pitches horribly in game 1, and no one knew the extent of his
injury. The great equalizer has been neutralized. The Sox are down 2-0 with no
Schilling in their future.
Dorothy is joined by the scarecrow, tin man, and cowardly lion and they reach the
promised land of Fenway Oz. They are promised that they can see the Wizard in time.
The Sox come home to an adoring crowd. Game 3 is rained out for a day, and the Sox
enter Fenway with high hopes to get back in the series.
The Wizard exerts his raw power and challenges our heroes to an impossible task.
“Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch!”
“But but but …. we’ll have to kill her first…”
“BRING ME THE BROOMSTICK! Now GO!”
The Sox are crushed in game 3 19-8 in the worst beating of anyone’s memory after such
high expectations. The Evil Empire has a 3-0 series lead and will just finish them off
with a few more flicks of their great bats. Getting this broomstick will be a most
difficult task indeed.
“I’ll get you, my pretty!” The witch cackles as she watches Dorothy in her crystal
The Evil Empire grabs a 4-3 lead in the 9th inning of game 4, and the great Mariano
Rivera digs in to pitch the final inning of the series.
The cowardly lion shows courage, the tin man shows heart, and the scarecrow shows his
Our heroes show amazing resolve as they tie up the empire against Rivera, then win it in
the 12th on Ortiz’ home run. Then the next night, they tie up the Yankees again in the
8th, and show amazing courage to hold the Yankees back through the 14th inning, long
enough for our hero Ortiz to win it again with a soft single this time.
The witch and her monkees go all out to bring Dorothy to the witch’s castle and
finish her off.
The teams travel back to the Bronx, where so much abuse has been inflicted on our heroes
in the past. The Evil Empire is ready to finish off the Sox in Yankee Stadium, this
time for good.
The scarecrow, tin man, and lion show incredible resolve to frustrate the castle
guards, enter the castle, and find Dorothy. The witch is frustrated at her inability to
finish off Dorothy.
Curt Schilling, with the help of an unheard of medical procedure, shows incredible
resolve and courage by pitching 7 strong innings in game 6. Two umpire’s calls are
reversed. The evil A-Rod shows his frustration by swatting the ball from Arroyo’s
glove, but the umpires get the interference call just right, prompting Yankee fan thugs
to litter the field with debris.
The witch finally corners Dorothy and her friends. With her immense power of magic
and fire, she prepares to once and for all finish off our heroes in her castle.
Game 7 at Yankee Stadium begins. The Yankees even bring out Bucky Dent to throw out the
first ball, attempting to invoke memories of the curse and the Yankees tormenting the
Red Sox. Dozens of fans can be seen holding signs of the Babe and 1918.
“How about a little fire, scarecrow!” The witch cackles as she lights the scarecrow
Game 7 starts out poorly, as Damon is thrown out at home in the 1st inning on a terrible
3rd base coach decision.
Dorothy dumps water on the scarecrow and also on the witch. The witch begins to
On the first pitch after Damon is thrown out, Ortiz drills one into the right field
seats for a two run homer.
“I’m melting. I’m melting. All of my beautiful wickedness!”
Damon drives a stake through the Evil Empire by smashing a grand slam in the 2nd for a 6-
0 lead on the first pitch from Vasquez. He comes back in the 4th with another 2 run
homer on the first pitch from Vasquez. The Sox carry an 8-1 lead and never look back.
Ding Dong. The witch is dead! Dorothy and her friends and all of the witches
helpers rejoice in the witch’s castle that indeed the witch is dead.
The Sox finish up a 10-3 thumping of the Evil Empire as they celebrate on the field at
Yankee Stadium. Sox fans hang around the stadium mocking the Yankee fans’ “Who’s Your
Daddy” chant. Yankee fans leave to fight the traffic.
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
The Red Sox return home with two days off and home field advantage in the World Series.
They have the best fans anywhere, although some got a little too crazy in Kenmore Square
after the game.