Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 4/8/13
If you are superstitious you need to read this post, but be careful. You must, I repeat, you must blink three times quickly before reading any further. Phew. Okay, good job. Oh, the silly superstitions about baseball that only a true fan understands. Ballplayers are notorious for their strange regimens and even fans have them. Managers have been known to not change their underwear when their team is on a winning streak, and I am going to assume that is not because they can not afford it. People go through great lengths because of a superstition, even going as far as construction. There was an article posted recently by Sportressofblogitude.com about a locker being removed in the Atlanta Braves clubhouse because it was cursed. After a long history of misfortune to its users, no one would take a chance on the voodoo seeping from this particular locker. It had to be taken down, and now a computer sits in its place. Fortunately, there are no reports of the computer claiming any victims yet. There are also smaller rituals players do on the field daily. Notice how some players adjust their batting gloves after each at-bat. Their gloves could not have possibly moved that much. Some tap their bat on each foot before entering the batter’s box, or players will not touch the foul line when entering or exiting the field. Some switch bats if their bat is bringing unwelcome negativity, or they change their uniforms from long pants to tall socks to help get rid of any supernatural powers the long pants might possess. Some routines stay out of the viewing pleasure of the general public. It says on Aroldis Chapman’s 2013 Topps Calling Card that he watches Soap Operas as part of a superstition, five to seven per day in fact. That is a lot of Soap Operas. It also states that he does not replace his undergarments, but it is unclear whether he washes them or just will not get a new pair. Justin Verlander always eats Taco Bell the day before he starts. I am not sure if that is a superstition or if he is just that fond of Taco Bell, but in my opinion it is not delicious enough to eat every 5th start. Sorry, Taco Bell. But hey, Verlander is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now, with a 2.64 ERA in 2012, so maybe there is something to those tacos after all. I am going to go out on a limb and say that female baseball fans everywhere are hoping that Josh Reddick’s beard is for superstitious reasons. He can pull it off though. The fans get in on superstitions too. Making sure they have the same shirt on if their team is on a winning streak, not drafting a player in fantasy baseball because they will jinx them, or holding their breath during the last out. So, who is responsible for Yu Darvish destroying a perfect game on the 27th batter he faced last Tuesday? Darvish pitched flawlessly against the Astros, until Marwin Gonzalez, hit a ground ball single straight up the middle that actually went between Darvish’s legs. Gonzalez can ultimately be blamed for doing his job, but I am sure a fan must be kicking themselves right now for standing when they should have stayed seated, or left their hat on when it should have been off. Or was it CSN’s Ray Ratto that jinxed Darvish on Twitter for possibly the worse offense of all? He dared to utter the words “perfect game” before it was completed. We will never know, but I am sure that Ranger fans are not happy with Ratto and his uh, powerful words. And is the rosin bag exploding on Pirate AJ Burnett Opening Day a sign of a curse, or will it bring him luck? That day he pitched 5.2 innings and allowed 3 runs, taking a loss to the Cubs. Hmm. Rosin bag juju? On the other hand, he had a significant number of strikeouts. He forced 10 batters to have the walk of shame back to their dugout that day. So perhaps the bag just, in fact, broke with no curse attached? Only time will tell. Last year, he went 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA, and fanned 180. Not bad, but there is no telling whether the ruptured rosin bag will haunt him the rest of this season. Other sports have superstitions too, but it seems more prevalent on the diamond or else the players and fans are just more obvious about it. It is fascinatingly addicting. If people find themselves inadvertently “helping” their team they simply can not stop once they notice what is going on. It is the fear of the infamous jinx. No one wants to be at fault for not obeying the forces beyond their control. Because it might just work.
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