“Silence is golden, golden, but my eyes still see.” – The Tremeloes
Last night I thought back on Chris Bosio’s no hitter. It was April 22, 1993. I was 11 years old and had been sent to bed long before anyone was aware what Bos would do that night against the Red Sox. Before the start of the 9th inning, my Dad woke me up and told me to come downstairs and watch because “something special was happening.” Even with the dearth of exciting Mariner moments up to that point I knew exactly what he meant.
Last night Doug Fister carried a no hit bid into the 7th inning. Upon returning from commercial break, Dave Sims promptly declared that Fister had retired 15 straight batters (*cringe* please don’t say it, please don’t say it, don’t say…) and that he currently had a no-hitter (%&@#*$%!!!). And just like that Nick Markakis was on base with a leadoff single.
Vin Scully said the words “no hitter” and “perfect game” and didn’t believe in the superstition. But Dave Sims isn’t Vin Scully. Sims has argued that a broadcaster’s job isn’t to pander to superstition; it’s to describe what’s going on, which is a fair point. I, however, think if a viewer is too oblivious to realize what’s going on they won’t understand the significance of it anyway.
I get where the jinx haters are coming from; I know it’s silly and childish and stupid. But it’s baseball and one of the many tiny elements that make being a baseball fan so much fun. No other sport is as superstitious as baseball and no superstition is as powerful as the No Hitter Jinx.
I know Dave Sims didn’t release any special vibes into the atmosphere that caused Fister to give up a hit, I’m not an idiot. But, you will have a tough time convincing me that I haven’t helped the Mariners to some victories. For example, during the 1995 Division Series against the Yankees I didn’t eat, drink, or go to the bathroom during the (long) games. I was forced FORCED by my mother to eat during the ALCS and look what happened! In 1997 I helped the team to a 20-7 June by judiciously eating Carmel Apple Pops at precise moments during the game and pacing an exact number of steps each time the bullpen entered the game. The magic wore off in July, but that’s the thing about superstitions; you gotta know when to switch it up.
Call me silly all you want. I say, bring on the euphemisms. There’s a certain camaraderie among baseball fans speaking the secret language of No Hitter. I feel sorry for fans who don’t understand that. Despite the jinx mongering I’m holding out hope that someday I’ll see someone throw a heck of a game.
But Wait, There’s More:
Lookout Landing: A Primer on Avoiding Jinxes
Hot Stone League: In Defense of Broadcasters Ignoring the Jinx