Monday, October 31, 2011

Did Derek Holland Accidentally Call Down Cub Curse on Rangers?

The freak occurrence of the Texas Rangers blowing five leads in game six of the 2011 World Series and failing to beat the St. Louis Cardinals on two occasions in which they were one pitch away, has people quite rationally searching for supernatural causes, i.e. curses of various sorts. With the Santa Anna Curse having been buried last year with Texas's lone win of a World Series game against the Giants, suspicion turns naturally to one of the most virulent curses in baseball, the Cubs curse.

The Rangers, of all teams, should be unaffected by the Cubs curse.  They did not even exist as a franchise until 1961, 16 years after the Curse of the Billy Goat began.   Dallas is 800 miles away from the Windy City, and the Rangers prudently did not have even a single ex-Cub on their roster.

But this Cub curse was not present in any of the factors relating to the two teams squaring off in the world series of 2011, but was called down upon the Rangers by a Ranger player in the middle of game five shortly before the fateful game six.

In the middle of game five, quite out of the blue, Rangers pitcher Derek Holland, with the game in progress, appeared on national TV, performing a controversial live recitation of a "what if" scenario in which Harry Caray was cheering on the Rangers as a Rangers announcer, complete with a note-perfect Harry Caray voice.

As it turned out, Holland’s impersonation was so good, it even fooled the gods, who were stirred into action against the Rangers, assuming the announcer who spent the last 16-years of his life informing a national TV audience of Cubs disasters, was back in action.

Holland himself was part of the game six debacle, surrendering a home run to Allen Craig with the Rangers up by three runs with five outs to go.
A YouTube video of Holland's Caray impersonation during Game 5 is here.


Monday, October 10, 2011

A short history of St. Louis’ domination of Milwaukee

1764 St. Louis founded as fur-trading post.

1795 Milwaukee founded as fur-trading post.  But by 1830 over-hunting had exterminated fur-bearing mammals in Wisconsin.

1901 The eighth-place Milwaukee Brewers pack up and leave for St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns.  The Browns vault into second place in the American League in 1902 and improve the team winning percentage from .350 to .574, after 110 years still the largest year-to-year percentage gain in AL history.

1955 The last-place Milwaukee Hawks pack up and leave for St. Louis.  Although while in Milwaukee the Hawks had never once made the playoffs, in St. Louis they make the playoffs six out of the next seven years  and 12 out of the next 13 (winning the NBA championship for the 1957-58 season.)

1982 The St. Louis Cardinals deny the Milwaukee Brewers their only World Series title in franchise history.

1996 Milwaukee loses its position as the Beer Capitol of America after 156 years to St. Louis

2011 Milwaukee, still lacking in fur-bearing mammals, attempts to battle the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs sans rally squirrel.