In case anyone is interested, a paper entitled "Curses and Catharsis in Red Sox Nation: Baseball and Ritual Violence in American Culture" by Dr. Darryl V. Caterine, Department of Religious Studies, Grinnell College, is now available online.
Abstract: Boston Red Sox fans once attributed their team's failure to win a World Series to its sale in 1918 of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. In the 2004 playoffs and World Series, the Red Sox exorcised the "Curse of the Bambino" by emerging victorious over their rivals. The Curse and its catharsis–which mirror Puritan jeremiads and execution ceremonies, respectively–reveal baseball as a rite of "sacred violence" maintaining social order by regulating aggression. Accentuated rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees demythologized the pastoral idealizations of baseball that have figured prominently in its history since the Civil War, finally rendering it a spectacle of ordinary violence for New England fans.
Because I am a masochist, I will read the whole thing. But PLEASE: I am a professional. Do not try this at home.