I accidentally punched holes in the top of my scoresheets last Sunday in addition to the bottom, prior to the game, but figured I’d go ahead and use them anyway so as not to waste them. Well, the San Francisco Giants, behind the first pair of grand slams ever from the starting battery, went on to take both the game and the series from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Madison Bumgarner pitched a gem to boot.
When it came to Friday night’s game against the Miami Marlins, I paused when xeroxing off my fresh scoresheets, before going ahead and hole-punching both the top and the bottom, just to cover all bases. Faith and begorrah! The Orange and Black went out and scored nine runs, as Madison Bumgarner hurled another dominant game and the Giants mauled the Marlins 9-1.
For Saturday night’s game, there was not even a flicker of hesitation, as the scoresheets went from printer to double holes punched in, as quickly as Hunter Pence can go from first to third on a ball hit to medium deep, right-center field.
Will punching the holes prevent the Giants from losing again? Theoretically, no. However, that does not prevent me from following the same [successful] course of action until it proves itself invalid. And it does not prevent me from attempting-at some nebulous point in the future-the same technique to see if I can jumpstart the G-men into action.
Hey, ignore the four pencils-finely sharpened-with which I begin each telecast; ignore the computer at the same jaunty angle; and ignore the white socks, the ones with the orange band running around the inside of each sock, so that only I know whether or not I am conforming to my own superstitious demands. But believe me when I say that I’m not the only person who has a working set of superstitions going on 24/7.
Pablo Sandoval could write a book with all of the rituals he practices when it comes to appearances at the plate. The superstition of his I like the most, because it is so typical of ball players, is the pair of cowboy boots that he brings out in the dugout, either as a result of hits, or to promote hits, whichever applies.
If the boots work, flaunt them. If they fizzle, quietly slip them back into the locker until they are needed again. It’s like the Giants’ current mini-streak of three consecutive victories. I don’t know whether to flaunt it, and risk the ire of the baseball gods, or ignore the streak, and hope that it continues.
I feel that I was careful during the hot spell to not take anything for granted, but the Giants took it on the chin anyway. Whatever. It’s post-All-Star break now, and traditionally the Giants are a second-half team. They certainly were in 2010 and 2012.
So as San Francisco begins to show signs of regaining some of that earlier confidence, and the Los Angeles Dodgers drop a couple against a good St. Louis team, it makes me want to start hoping again. I do not hope that the Giants get as hot as they were during that 31-11 stretch, because that would portend an equally precipitous fall.
No, I would just hope that the Giants could establish a boring routine of winning two out of every three games and leave the streaks to windows and glasses.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep the hole-puncher available as needed, and you do whatever it is that you do to keep the Giants on track, and maybe we’ll compare notes. Just how off-beat are some of those superstitions out there today?