Let me set the scene: I’m playing XBox tonight, trying to lead my Cleveland State Vikings to a third straight title in 2K8. I turned off the XBox as the Indians are in the fifth inning against the Yankees, leading 2-0, and ESPN flashes the graphic that says Aaron Laffey is throwing a no-hitter.
I immediately went into panic mode. See, I have this thing where if one of my teams is playing well and I wasn’t watching, then I’ll try to avoid watching the rest of the game to avoid jinxing them. I honestly believe that if they were playing well without me, I would change their luck by turning it on.
(I know, I know, that’s absolutely ridiculous, but that’s just how I operate. Don’t judge me.)
So anyway, I’m debating this in my mind, if I should turn the XBox back on and ignore the rest of the game or have a chance to watch history. Selfishly, I decide to stick with the Indians game.
Disaster struck immediately.
At the start of the sixth inning, ESPN announcer Dan Shulman said that Laffey “has yet to allow a hit in this game.” I knew it was over at that point. I don’t know if Shulman was trying to be creative in saying that Laffey had a no-hitter going or what – but everyone knows its taboo in baseball to say anything about a no-hitter.
(In high school summer ball, I once had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning of a tournament. I won’t be ashamed to admit that we were playing a team a year younger than us and they were nothing short of atrocious. Sadly, I lost my one and only no-no bid with two outs on a bloop hit to left and ended up throwing a two-hitter. Yes, I am still bitter about that game five years later.)
Not more than 35 seconds later, Melky Cabrera hit a high bouncer over the head of Casey Blake for an infield single. Moments later, Derek Jeter hit a twelve-hopping, sideways spinning ball to third that Blake had no chance of making a play on, and the end was near.
Desperate, I switched over to SportsTime Ohio – the Indians’ version of YES - in an attempt to change the luck. I shifted positions on my chair and changed my breathing patterns. Nothing. Bobby Abreu followed with a single to left, Laffey plunked A-Rod on a 1-2 count, and the flood was on. Laffey couldn't get out of the inning.
So the Indians suffered a 5-2 loss to the Yankees tonight. Tribe fans, I’ll accept responsibility – as should Shulman, at least partially – as the team’s early season inconsistencies continue.