Don’t Tempt the Gods

By Ben Schick, Online-Sports-Editor

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The baseball Gods work in mysterious ways.

Over the years, they have intervened in countless important games that have stood out in baseball history.  They can make you lose—Buckner’s between the legs blasphemy in 1986, Bartman stopping the Cubs from winning the pennant in 2003.  Or, they can propel your team to victory—the shot heard around the world for the New York Giants in 1951, Reggie Jackson’s “Mr. October” homerun glory in 1977.

The baseball Gods also have a taste for curses.  Since the early 1900’s there has been “The curse of the Bambino,” “The Curse of the Billygoat” and “The Curse of The Blacksox.”  The Curse of the Bambino was the Red Sox’s curse of never winning a World Series after they traded Babe Ruth to the rival Yankees in 1919.  The Curse of the Billygoat is the Chicago Cub’s curse of never winning a World Series after they wouldn’t let an old man’s Billygoat into the stadium during the playoffs in 1945.  The Curse of the Blacksox is the Chicago Whitesox’s curse of never winning a World Series after numerous players on their team infamously threw a World Series in 1919 for money.

Over the past decade, two of the dominating baseball curses have been lifted.  The Redsox won a World Series in 2004, followed up with another Championship win in 2007 and the Whitesox lifted the Blacksox curse in 2006 by winning their first world series in 81 years.

After losing two of their most beloved and cherished curses, the Baseball Gods were angry and hungry for more.

Lucky for them, our hometown team provided them with exactly what they wanted.  That’s right; I’m talking about the Curse of Teddy.

Our Washington Nationals had a breakthrough year this season.  After going seven seasons without a winning record, the Nationals finally finished with an impressive 98 wins and 64 losses this season.

Star aces Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez were having amazing years on the pitchers’ mound, first baseman Adam LaRoche was having an MVP year, rookie Bryce Harper put up numbers excellent enough to win rookie of the year and the whole team was hunkered down by captain Ryan Zimmerman.

The Nationals were clicking on all cylinders this season.  People all over the DMV were predicting a World Series appearance, and maybe more.  This year looked like the year.

Every baseball team has its own traditions.  With the Nationals being a relatively new team, the one thing that the Nationals lacked was tradition.  While it looked like there would be nothing to draw Nationals fans to the ballpark except for the baseball, fans got a pleasant surprise: the Geico President’s Race.

At every home game after the fourth inning, men in Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abe Lincoln costumes race from center field to the Nationals dugout and Teddy ALWAYS loses.  Teddy losing was a tradition, and this year it was synonymous with the Nationals winning.

After the Nationals clinched the division, someone made the brilliant decision to let Teddy win.  They. Let. Him. Win.

Shortly after Teddy won, the Nationals found themselves in a decisive fifth game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.  The Nationals were up by two runs in the top of the ninth, with one strike left and a home crowd stadium on their side… and they blew it.  The Nationals let up four runs and lost the game, crushing their World Series dreams.

Disappointment like that doesn’t just happen.  It didn’t just happen to the Cubs, it didn’t just happen to the Red Sox.  It happened for a reason.  It happened because Teddy won.  And thus was born, the Curse of Teddy.