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“In Lou Of”- Perfect Game, Stop Jinxing It!

DarvishThere have only been 23 perfect games in Major League Baseball history and on Tuesday, April 2nd, Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish was one out away from pitching number 24. Although there have been 6 perfect games thrown in the last ten seasons and 2 thrown in 2012, perfect games are one of, if not the rarest occurrences in Major League Baseball. No pitcher has ever thrown more than one perfect game and many teams have never had one in their franchise history. While watching the Rangers and Astros last night and hoping that Darvish would accomplish a great feat, I began to grow more and more frustrated by the broadcasters as the game progressed. When a pitcher is in the 7th inning or later with a perfect game, fans and the media alike should have the decency and respect for the pitcher and the rich history of baseball to simply not jinx anything by saying the words “perfect game”. In the 8th and 9th innings alone, those words were spoken over 10 times in the broadcast. As an extremely passionate baseball fan, opening week is something I look forward to immediately after the final out is recorded in the World Series. I personally had never been glued to a gamed played on April 2nd more than I was on Tuesday night and too have it ruined in the bottom of the 9th with two outs was heartbreaking. I am not a Texas Rangers fan nor do I care if Yu Darvish has a good season, but as a baseball fanatic, moments like last nights are the ones that you cherish. I have become a very superstitious person from my years of watching New York Yankees playoff runs and because of it, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people start saying “no hitter” or “perfect game” while one is going on. For those of you who question whether or not it is a “Jinx” to say those words, I have a little story for you.

On June 2nd, 2010, I was sitting in my friends basement with some good buddies of mine. We were tuned into the Stanley cup playoffs until I notified everyone that there was history in the making at Comerica Park in Detroit. We changed the channel to the Tigers and Indians game, where Armando Galarraga was 3 outs away from perfection. My friends claim that they weren’t aware that it was a perfect game and that they were under the impression that it was only a “no hitter”. Firstly, I know that a no hitter is vastly different from that of a perfect game, however there is still no excuse for what happened next. With two outs in the 9th, Galarraga was one out away from perfection. My friends, for some reason, began to chant “no hitter! no hitter! no hitter!”. Following this chanting (something that happens often amongst my group of friends), the unthinkable happened, a routine ground ball to first turned into one of the worst calls in Major League Baseball history. First base umpire Jim Joyce called the Indians batter Jason Donald safe at first when the replay showed he was clearly out, thus ruining Galarraga’s bid for perfection. Of course there is no way of knowing if my friends chant jinxed Galarraga and Jim Joyce, but as a superstitious baseball fan it seems like the only explanation for what happened on that night.

With baseball being the superstitious sport that it is, one can only wonder why so many fans and broadcasters continue to jinx these athletes. I was furious last night when Darvish lost his perfect game and this is my way of venting about it. If you are a superstitious person I would love to hear your thoughts and any stories you would like to share. If you aren’t superstitious thats okay too, but please don’t ruin it for the rest of us! Follow me on Twitter @In_Lou_Of and enjoy the rest of the MLB’s opening week.

Louis Friedlander

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ira Bernstein (@hot_behind)

    April 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I think its fair to say that any pitcher in that moment is chanting it in their own head, and probably started doing so WAY earlier than any random fan might. It’s up to them to over come themselves and the collective jinx to be great.

    Great writing Lou! Awesome memory too

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