Debate hangover, Sox Nation trivia edition

How did number-cruncher-in-chief Mitt Romney flub his Red Sox stats?

Topics: 2008 Elections, Mitt Romney,

At the end of Wednesday night’s debate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did his darnedest to show that he was a regular-guy sports fan. About the Boston Red Sox epic World Series drought, he said:

Eighty-seven long years. We waited 87 long years. And true suffering Red Sox fans that my family and I are, we could not have been more happy than to see the Red Sox win the World Series.

What’s wrong with this answer? Let’s act like a Bain Capital consultant, Romney’s former career, and audit the numbers. The Red Sox won the World Series in September 1918 and then again in October 2004, with no victories in between. 2004 – 1918 = 86 years. If you count how many seasons came in between without a championship, then you could say the wait was 85 years. But 87?

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To make the matter even more embarrassing, the number 86 has become a mythical one in Red Sox Nation. There is a children’s book called “86 Years: The Legend of the Boston Red Sox.” The Red Sox Web site boasts of the “86-year gap between Boston’s World Series championships.” Etc. Etc.

No correction has yet emerged from the Romney camp. But I will be sure to post it if it comes.

Michael Scherer is Salon's Washington correspondent. Read his other articles here.

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