Sunday, August 7, 2011

When You Become the Baseball Albatross

In Coolidge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" a sailor kills an albatross that, at first, appears to bring him and his crew good luck. It is only later, upon running into heavy seas and running out of drinkable water ("water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink") do they all realize that the albatross was good luck, leading them to safety. And that by killing the albatross the sailor had doomed their ship. As his punishment, he is forced to wear the albatross around his neck, which is of course where that idiom comes from.

What does all this have to do with baseball? I'm not entirely sure. But I know that somehow I have become bad luck when it comes to the San Diego Padres.

To be honest, this extends beyond the San Diego Padres now that I'm thinking about it. For a few seasons now I have taken to calling myself the "no-hitter cooler." In the same way casino's bring in "coolers" to stop some guy on a heater at a blackjack table, I have found that more often than not I have the same effect on no-hitters. You know the situation. You're at home when on the ticker or in a Tweet you learn so-and-so has a no-hitter in the 8th inning. You quickly turn to that game to see some history. And the very first batter you see breaks up the no-hitter. Like they knew you were watching. This has happened to me on countless times, so much so that I wouldn't turn the Padres no-hit bid vs the Dodgers on earlier this season.


On July 27th, I publicly announced my bandwagon jumping support of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since that day they have won once. 1-10. They have been swept by the Phillies, Cubs and are one game away from being swept by San Diego. It is collapse rivaled only by another 10 game losing streak that anyone who reads this blog is well aware of (the streak that shall not be named).

Now the Padres have scored 28 runs in the past 2 days. I have not seen or heard one play from either game. On Friday night, it was simply due to an east coast start time and me being at work. On Saturday, it was on purpose, to test the theory: do I make the Padres nervous? Am I the "harbinger of death" (if you'll excuse the slight bit of hyperbole there) when it comes to scoring? I think the evidence is clear...


This was, sadly, not new. Opening Day 2011 I posted about how I was unable to watch the Padres game despite my best efforts to see them open 2011 in St. Louis.

Padres win. I'm nowhere to be found.

The last time I remember watching the Padres win a game I think I was still into ska music. It's been awhile.

The Pythagorean record for the Padres is 56-58 (reality being much crueler at 50-64). I can only imagine their record if I didn't have cable or an internet connection.

So, until they lose, I have put a personal moratorium on watching or listening to Padres games. I will rely on my Twitter feed to determine whether they are winning or losing.

Apologies for whatever albatross I shot down.