Le Sacre du Printemps

Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?


Doesn’t your team really do better when you watch TV from the other side of the couch?

No, wait.  The radio broadcaster always brings an extra-base hit: mute the TV and turn up your radio.

But oh no! My guy will strike out if I even think about standing up to go to the bathroom. I’ll hold it (the pose and whatever).

Perhaps if I slide my foot just an inch to the right? Cross my legs? (Which leg over which?)

Put my head in the lower center of the couch and go into a spine-crunching, origami-like yoga position?

Ah, maybe if I turn off all sound, ball my fist into a make-believe microphone, and conduct a karaoke broadcast? (no one’s around for me to torture).

Yes! I’ll skip eating one more Tostitos!

Well, why don’t we go all the way?—it’s the World Series! Put on the lampshade, spin around four times, and say, “I’m a cheesecake!”

Ballplayers are a notoriously superstitious group. Don’t step on the first-base foul line. Heaven forbid I trot across the mound.  What if I’m not the first one out of the dugout for the National Anthem? And it all carries over to your average couch potato (or Tostitos-lover), whether he (or she) is eight or eighty. It’s in the Baseball DNA.

There must be some sort of law-of-probability concept at work here. (By the way, there is no such thing. It is equally likely or unlikely last week’s winning lottery numbers come up this week. Think about it.) Whatever forces motivate us to check our horoscopes, maybe they are behind it all.

Along with the rite of spring that ends the dreary winter in the citrus groves of Florida or the sun-baked sands of Arizona, we once more summon the Baseball Sprits of Win and Loss.

Thank our stars. It all begins again. . .

(Maybe for good luck, I won’t watch on TV at all.)


About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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