Maybe an athlete wears a special pair of underwear for every game, or an entire team will refuse to shave during a playoff run.
But these superstitions aren’t just limited to the players on the field. They extend to the commentators booth as well. There are some who believe that if a commentator mentions a streak or a slump during a broadcast, that would place a jinx on the result and force the opposite to happen.
The New York Yankees experienced this in the 11th inning of Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, as John Flaherty mentioned Alan Trejo had yet to go deep this season.
You can guess what happened next.
Ace Gerrit Cole struck out 11 in six innings to pass legend Ron Guidry in 10+ strikeout games as a Yankee, and the offense delivered in clutch moments. But what has been baseball’s best bullpen imploded multiple times, allowing three home runs, including a grand slam to CJ Cron in the bottom of the eighth (you can decide if this graphic counts as another jinx).
“Every GM is going to respond with pitching, pitching, pitching,” he said. “But we’ll continue to focus on maybe a bat that could be more of an established everyday offensive contributor in left field.”
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand also reported the New York is “seeking to upgrade catching.”
For Yankee fans, Christmas come early would be deadline acquisitions of Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto from the Padres or Cody Bellinger from the Cubs.
Ohtani would provide not only another ace-level starting pitcher to pair with Gerrit Cole but also an incredibly productive bat to supplement a lineup still missing Aaron Judge.
Soto or Bellinger, meanwhile, would both be instant upgrades to what has been a carousel in left field, especially at the plate. No Yankee playing primarily left field this season has hit anywhere near Bellinger’s average this season (. 301), nor for the pop Soto provides (16 HR, 51 RBI for Soto, nine HR, 33 RBI for Yankee LF).
Bellinger would also come with former-MVP and World Series champion pedigree from his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, bringing experience of successfully navigating the distractions that come with playing in a major market.
Despite their disappointing spot in the standings, this Yankees club still considers itself a playoff and championship contender. They still have many of the same weaknesses that have cost the club in the postseason in recent years, something Cashman will have to address before the trade deadline on August 1.
His job just might depend on it.
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