“First off, superstitions work.” ~ Detroit Tigers Max Scherzer, 2013 Cy Young Award acceptance speech.
I’m a little concerned. Because, ever since Editor/Husband has been away, the Baltimore Orioles have been on a winning streak.
OK, maybe it’s just a two-game winning streak, but let’s not get all judgey about things.
Still, it makes me wonder how far I’m willing to go to win the World Series.
(Hi Honey, are you reading this? See you in November!)
I am a great believer in superstitions.
In the midst of a hot streak, some players will wear the same clothes, eat the same meals, or take part in strange rituals that might include touching certain parts of the ballpark, the bat, or themselves. Some won’t shave. Some will wear the same, unwashed jock through a hitting streak. (I know this is true because Mike Bordick said so during an Orioles’ broadcast earlier this season, and really, tell me why anyone would lie about a thing like that?)
(Here’s an important message to take from this last point: Ladies, no multi-million-dollar salary is going to make up for a lack of good personal hygiene. I’m pretty sure about this.)
Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman eats powdered donuts before starts. Hall of Famer Jim Palmer used to have pancakes before his. (That’s my Orioles – always recognizing the importance of a good breakfast.)
Food plays a big role in player superstitions. And, this is a good thing, because eating the same meal, or at the same restaurant, on game day is a far better superstition than that don’t-wash-your-drawers-while-you’re-winning thing.
I have my little superstitions, too. While the University of Virginia baseball team made their way to Omaha this year – and came within two runs of winning the College World Series – I wore, and refused to wash, Lucky Shirt through the post-season.
It lost some mojo around the time Vanderbilt showed up, but other than that, it did a fine job for the Hoos.
Lucky Shirt. All washed & ready for 2015.
And, while superstitions are head-shakingly stupid and totally irrational, they are also vitally important and absolutely real.
(Editor/Husband would say that superstitions cannot be both irrational and real. But, I’m Editor-free today … so, yes, they can.)
See this shirt?
Lucky Orioles Shirt. Black Cat Approved.
It’s a vintage 1989 Orioles shirt – the year they went from the worst record in baseball to nearly winning the AL East. Nearly. So, maybe not the luckiest shirt in the world.
Still, it tries hard and has become one of my go-to Yoga shirts.
However, it should only be worn following an Orioles win. I believe it can further a streak – if they won their last game, wear the shirt, do some Yoga, and they’ll win again. If they lost their last game and I wear the shirt, they’ll lose the next.
You may have noticed I haven’t spoken much about my Orioles these last few weeks. Not when they’re here …
I don’t want to jinx things.
But, here’s the thing. I’ve been dying to show you what the O’s have been up to this week. Because there’ve been some awesomely beautiful things in Birdland. Just watch …
Adam Jones home stealing (please note the excellent deke by Nelson Cruz):
Chris Davis grand slamming:
JJ Hardy double-playing:
Jonathan Schoop awesome catching:
I hope I haven’t jinxed things.
The Orioles won last night. I wore the shirt today. Check!
The Orioles have lost every – EVERY – game we’ve been to this season. I’m not at Camden Yards tonight. Check!
Editor/Husband is still away. Check!
I’ve lined things up as best as I can from here. Now it’s up to Chris Tillman to break his 0-3 record against the Twins tonight. (Cereal, maybe?)
If they lose tonight, it’s not my fault. I swear.
*** UPDATE ~ 10:22 p.m. ***
I’m not at all superstitious, but I still won’t watch my favorite teams in important games. When I do watch, they lose more often than they win. But I’m not at all superstitious, right?
I have all sorts of little superstitions at UVa games — in addition to “Lucky Shirt”, we have a lucky parking spot, there’s only one vendor I’ll buy a soda from, if they win I’ll have the exact same snacks at the next game, and I even have a lucky bathroom stall. Oh my … I’m worse than I thought!
Of course there are superstitions in baseball. Fact. Important stuff. If I may, let me suggest Stevie Wonder version of Superstitions with Jeff Beck. On the tubes. Jeff gave the song to S. Wonder (or something like that). Also, baseball blogess will enjoy Ram On story about Tim Lincecum’s first no-hitter. East to find over there.
What is this “no-hitter” thing of which you speak? I’m an Orioles fan and I’m not sure I know of this. :)
I was at Timmy’s last start at Nats Park last Saturday. It was heart-breaking. I miss the old Freak. I was also at Nats Park the next day … when the bullpen melted down in equally heart-breaking fashion. For Giants games I have attended, Jeremy Affeldt has an ERA of “infinity.”
On the bright side, I did get to see some of Yusmeiro Petit’s record-breaking outs record. You wrote about no hitters and perfect games on your blog recently. I gotta say, I put Petit’s record-breaking 46 consecutive outs over seven games over a single perfecto. Pretty darn amazing!
Plus, I saw a couple of Peavy’s no-hit innings last night (post-O’s game, of course). Ooops, maybe I jinxed him … I didn’t mean to!
I had to look. Jim Palmer was the last Orioles pitcher to make it through nine innings. The funny thing about this is that Palmer, Cuellar, Phoebus and McNally are still the Orioles starters I first think of. Sheesh…
We’ve enjoyed many Lincecum games. He was the prince of the yard when he first played for the Giants. The past few years, things have been unsteady. Remarkable how quickly things change.
I still remember the game from 1991, when four Orioles pitchers combined for a no-hitter. That was the last one for the O’s, and what a strange thing that it came from four pitchers … games just aren’t played out like that today.
I was sure Mike Mussina would throw one during his career … and he came so close with the O’s and then with the (sigh) Yankees. He’s right up there with Palmer in my book.
I took a swig of Pepto Bismo before every soccer game I played in HS and college. The trainer learned fast that, if she didn’t want to have to run to the bookstore to get me some Pepto, then she should keep some in her bag just in case. Lol. I nearly hyperventilated the time or two I didn’t have any. Baseball was different though. The superstitions were more ad hoc based on current success. I’d have to figure out what was going on. If I was hitting the ball well and noticed that I’d not washed my stirrups (remember those) then I’d not wash them for days or weeks until the streak or whatever was over. Whatever the superstition was, it was always better than sacrificing a live chicken.
Chickens around the world thank you.
With all that Pepto swigging you are probably now permanently flame retardant.
Also, you may only sacrifice a chicken if you have an altar to JoBu in your locker.
Fun Fact (well, fun for me, anyway): I’m an extra in the movie Major League 2. Yes, I was in the sucky sequel to one of the great baseball movies. It’s hard to see me, but it’s not hard to see that the “Cleveland Indians” home park in “ML2” is obviously Camden Yards (they didn’t even bother to cover up the Baltimore signs in the outfield.)
I have all kinds of superstitions and rituals. I try to eat chicken enchiladas the day before a Ryan Vogelsong start. I play Spider Solitaire during intense, close games. I had stopped playing during the game against Washington where the Giants had the lead and then the bullpen blew it. It was my fault.
Oh my gosh … it was YOUR fault! I thought it was my fault, because Randy and I were at that game (and we were also at Saturday’s game, and Timmy’s start just broke my heart). I thought we had jinxed them with our presence. I’m relieved to know that it was your solitaire game … because I was starting to feel bad myself and was contemplating burning the Giants tee-shirt I wore that day. The shirt is saved! :)
I played Solitaire during the 15-5 rout yesterday. We’ve got two games today and many hands of Spider Solitaire.
“When you believe in things that you don’t understand…” Sorry, Stevie Wonder. Baseball and superstitions go hand-in-hand, and they work, though I question if editor/husband should stay away until November.
The Orioles are now 4-0 since he’s been gone. Coincidence? Maybe, but I can’t take that chance. I’m cancelling his plane ticket back.
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