10/27/2005: The 'Rain Man' of Baseball...
This week's Sports Illustrated edition has this piece from Rick Reilly about A.J. Pierzynski, A Madness to his Method:
"...He wakes up. His first thought is, Who am I catching tonight? If it's righthander Jose Contreras, he must get out on the right side of the bed. The first foot to touch the ground must be his right. If he forgets, he must get back in bed and start over.
Everything he picks up, all day, must be with his right hand first. Toothbrush, spoon, wallet, doesn't mater. If he messes up, he's certain the Sox will give up a run in the first inning. As he walks from the parking lot to the clubhouse, he looks like a man crossing a river on turtles' backs. Each time he comes to a new surface -- asphalt, curb or grass -- he must lead with his right foot.
"I know, I know," he says. "It's weird."
Oh, it gets weirder.
Once he's at the stadium, he cannot walk anywhere near the trainer's room, even if it means taking the long way around the clubhouse. Always, his bat must stand barrel down, handle against the wall...
...He is Rain Man in a mask. He leaps, hops and loops, navigating oddly around bases and plates and umpires. In his locker he must have three full bottles of water -- not two, not four -- unopened and warm, though he'll drink only one. And his shin guards must face up, left on the bottom, right on top.
He can't touch the bullpen gate on his way to warm up the starter. He must have all his weight on his right foot (for a righty) during the national anthem. He must be the last man out of the dugout when his team takes the field..."
But people have often noted what a *supertitious bunch* baseball players are (and teams - as demonstrated in the Astros desire to have the Astodome roof closed for the World Series games because they have better win average, and felt they'd be jinxed other wise.)
So, if Pierzynski is merely more superstitious than most player...Hey, could be worse.
He could be a *Superstitious Loser*! Sorry, Astros, better luck next time!
Karen on 10.27.05 @ 09:16 AM CST