Tonight, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, and won the Pennant.
It was the 24th time the Cardinals became champions of their league -- the
20th if you count only the NL. The Dodgers and Giants have each won 23,
but there are asterisks involved there, too. One of the Dodgers'
Pennants, as with 4 of the Cards', came in the 1882-91 edition of the American
Association, officially considered by Major League Baseball to have been a
"major league." All of the Giants' Pennants have been in the NL, so,
officially, they have been NL Champions the most times.
But 18 of the Giants' Pennants have come in New York, only 5 in San
Francisco. With the Dodgers, 14 Pennants came in Brooklyn, 9 in Los
The Dodgers have not won a Pennant since 1988, when they upset the Giants to
win the NL Western Division, the Mets to win the NLCS, and then the Oakland
Athletics to win the World Series.
From 1941 to 1988, counting all National League Pennants won by teams in
whatever cities in which they've played, the Dodgers won 16 Pennants, the
Cardinals 10, the Cincinnati Reds 5; 3 each were won by the Giants, the New
York Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Boston/Milwaukee
Braves; and 1 each by the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres; while the
Milwaukee Brewers won a Pennant in the American League before being switched to
the National, and the Montreal Expos, forerunners of the Washington Nationals,
didn't win any (and still haven't).
But in the quarter of a century since 1988, the year of Orel Hershiser
and Kirk Gibson, National League Pennants have been won as follows: Atlanta
Braves 5, Giants 4, Phillies 3, Cardinals 3; 2 by the Florida (now Miami)
Marlins, and 1 each by the Reds, Mets, Padres, Astros (now in the AL), Arizona
Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies -- keeping in mind that, in 1988, the
Marlins, Rockies and D-backs didn't even exist yet. Of all teams in the
NL, the only ones that have failed to win a Pennant in that time are the Cubs,
Pirates, Brewers, Expos/Nationals... and Dodgers.
Since 2011, when he
succeeded the retiring Joe Torre, himself a Yankee Legend, the Dodgers' manager
has been "Yankee Legend" Don Mattingly.
I put "Yankee Legend" in quotation marks because, to be a Yankee
Legend, you have to have at least won a Pennant. This allows Bobby Murcer
and Dave Winfield to qualify.
Don Mattingly is not a Yankee Legend. He is a curse.
The following is an update of a piece I've done before.
I have often said that I don't believe in curses, jinxes and ghosts... except
when it comes to sports.
I did not
invent the concept of the Curse of Donnie Baseball. I am merely the prophet who brings its dark
word to the nonbelievers, whether they like it or not.
As far as I know, I am the first person ever to
write about it publicly. I even created a Wikipedia entry for it. I put it up
in 2005, but it's long since been taken down. I guess the Wikimedia guys didn't
think there was enough evidence for it. But a few scraps of it survive, cited
by others who think there might be such a Curse.
There is a Cult of St. Donald Arthur of
Evansville. You can go to Yankee Stadium and spew forth the vilest of
imprecations at Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, even at the imperfect saint that
is Thurman Munson. But say that Don Mattingly is not all that Yankee Fans claim
him to be, and you will be subjected to the kind of abuse that usually only
occurs, in this country without the intensity of club soccer hatreds, between
college football fans during Rivalry Week.
Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay is the high
priest of this cult. On a number of occasions, he has said of Mattingly, “He
might be the most beloved athlete in the history of New York sports.”
Kay is usually smart, but this is the dumbest
thing I’ve ever heard a sportscaster say. Has he never heard of Babe Ruth? Lou
Gehrig? Joe DiMaggio? Mickey Mantle? Yogi Berra? Bobby Murcer (who, unlike
Mattingly, at least won a Pennant in Pinstripes)? Thurman Munson? Reggie
Jackson? Derek Jeter? Bernie Williams? Paul O’Neill? Mariano Rivera?
And that’s just on the Yankees. What about Tom
Seaver? Dwight Gooden? Jackie Robinson? Duke Snider? Gil Hodges? Willie Mays?
Christy Mathewson? Mel Ott? Buck Ewing?
And that’s just from baseball. What about Frank
Gifford? Lawrence Taylor? Joe Namath? Walt Frazier? Patrick Ewing? Frank
Boucher? Eddie Giacomin? Rod Gilbert? Mike Bossy? Denis Potvin? Mark Messier
(though it pains me to admit it)? Brian Leetch? Martin Brodeur?
Fans, inside or outside of the Cult of St. Donald Arthur, don’t know about the
Curse. Those who do know about it tend to refuse to admit it exists, for
it means that Don Mattingly, their idol while growing up in the Eighties and
Nineties, is a gigantic jinx.
Donald Arthur Mattingly, of Evansville, Indiana,
now 52 years of age, was a very talented baseball player. From 1984 to 1989, he
was arguably the best player in the game. Then a back injury struck. He decided
to retire after the 1995 season – well, sort of: He announced he would take
1996 off, and then decide whether to resume playing; ultimately, he decided not
Between the ages of 23 and 28, he was wonderful;
from 29 to 34, he was a hard-working, courageous player still capable of the
occasional moment of greatness. At 35, he was done. That’s not a tragedy, but
it is unfortunate.
He is respected around the game. A contemporary, Kirby Puckett, observed him
taking extra batting practice, and gave him the nickname “Donnie Baseball.” It
seemed to fit. He was Captain of the Yankees. And, by all accounts, he’s a good
understand something here: I do not seek to disparage the man’s character, nor
to deride his performance – when he was physically able to perform, that is.
But the record is clear: Don Mattingly is a
loser, and any team that employs him is doomed to failure.
Facts can be interpreted any way you want, but
their truths cannot be denied:
1981: The Yankees won the American League
Pennant. This was their 4th Pennant, and 5th postseason berth, in the last 6
1982: The Yankees called Mattingly up on
September 6. He played his first game on September 8, a 10-5 win over the
Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mattingly was a defensive replacement in
left field, and did not bat. The Yankees finished 6th, winning only 79 games.
True, they were well out of the race well before this, so the fact of
Mattingly’s September callup, at age 21, near the end of a wasted season, is
hardly enough on which to base an indictment. But the evidence continues.
1983: Mattingly had his first season of being
more than a look-see at the end. The Yankees finished 3rd. No shame in that, as
the Baltimore Orioles ran away with the AL Eastern Division and won the World
1984: Mattingly won the AL batting title with a
.343 average, the highest for a Yankee in 27 years. Teammate Dave Winfield was
right behind him at .340. Mattingly had also become a spectacularly-fielding
first baseman. Just as in the 1950s,
when New York baseball fans debated who was the best center fielder (Mickey
Mantle of the Yankees, Willie Mays of the Giants or Duke Snider of the Dodgers)
or the best shortstop (Phil Rizzuto of the Yankees or Pee Wee Reese of the
Dodgers), by this point, they were debating who was the best first baseman,
Mattingly or Keith Hernandez of the Mets.
The Yankees finished 3rd, as the Detroit Tigers ran away with the
Division and won the World Series. So far, no reason to suspect Mattingly of
anything; after all, this was only his first full season with the team.
1985: Mattingly put together a season that
earned him the AL Most Valuable Player award. The Yankees had their best season
between 1981 and 1996, and their 97 wins was the most they would get between
1980 and 1998. But it wasn't enough, as the Toronto Blue Jays clinched against
them on the next-to-last day of the regular season. Still no big deal: Plenty
of players fall short in their first attempt at a real Pennant race.
1986: Mattingly set a Yankee record (which still
has not been broken) with 238 hits in a season. But the Yankees finished 2nd
again, 5½ games behind the hated Boston Red Sox. Finishing 2nd to the Red Sox
is never a good thing. But the Yanks had a lot of pitching problems the
last 2 seasons. One more good starter in either would have made a world of
difference, and this would have been a very different blog entry. (The Curse of
Dennis Eckersley? The Eck punishing the Dodgers for the Kirk Gibson walkoff,
and that’s why they haven’t won a Pennant since 1988?)
1987: Mattingly had a streak of hitting home
runs in 8 consecutive games, tying a major league record. He also hit 6 grand
slams in the season, setting a new record. (Each of those records has since
been tied, but not broken.) But the Yankees finished 4th, 9 games behind the
Tigers. Can’t blame Mattingly for that: The Yankees had injuries, and
particularly damaging were those to Willie Randolph and, to a lesser extent,
1988: Another terrific year for Mattingly, but
the Yankees finished 5th. Fifth! And it was the Red Sox winning the Division
again! True, the Yankees were only 3½ games behind in a wild race that saw the
first 4 teams (Boston, Detroit, Toronto and the Milwaukee Brewers) all within 2
games. But this was the 4th straight season in which the Yanks were close late,
and didn’t win. That had never happened before: Usually, the Yankees would
either win the Pennant (or, from 1976 onward, the Division), or finish well
behind the leaders. Of the 31 seasons in which the Yankees did not win
the Pennant between their first Pennant in 1921 and 1984, they were still in
the race in mid-September in only 7 of them. Now they’d had 4 straight close
calls, and nothing to show for them. As Darth Vader would have said if he’d
been a baseball fan, “I find your lack of postseason play disturbing.”
1989: Another very good year for Mattingly, but
the Yankees collapsed. Hardly any pitching. Winfield missed the entire season
with a back injury. Another injury forced Ron Guidry to retire without
appearing once this season.
The most frustrating decade in team history is over. Can Mattingly be blamed?
Surely not. All the evidence seen so far is merely circumstantial. Right?
Right? Well, read on:
1990, 1991, 1992: The beginning of Mattingly’s
Captaincy, and all awful years for the Yankees, including what remains their
only last-place finish in the last 47 years. They can’t see contention with
binoculars. And Mattingly’s injuries rendered him pretty much useless. A great
career appears to have been going down in flames.
1993: As ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso
would say, “Not so fast, my friend!” The rebuilt Yankees put together a fine
season, and were tied with the Blue Jays on September 8. But it all fell apart
again, and they finished 7 games back. Not Mattingly’s fault? Sure doesn't look
like it: He had his best season in 5 years, in terms of both personal
statistics and team finish. Yet again, it seemed like the Yankees were one
starting pitcher away from a championship season. The bullpen needed some help,
too. Mattingly was not the problem. Or, at least, he appeared not to be.
1994: This was the season it was all going to
come together. At bat, Mattingly was partying like it’s 1985. Paul O’Neill was
on his way to becoming the first Yankee since Mattingly that year to win the
batting title. Bernie Williams was coming into his own. Even the pitching had
improved. On August 11, not only were they in first place by 6½ games over the
Orioles, but they had the best record in the AL. On August 12, the Major League
Baseball Players Association went on strike. On September 15, with the strike
still unresolved, Commissioner Bud Selig canceled the remainder of the regular
season, and the postseason.
The Yankees were not the only team hurt by this: The Chicago White Sox had
probably their best team in 75 years, the Cleveland Indians were in their first
Pennant race in 35 years, the Texas Rangers were in first place that late in
the season for the first time in their 23-year history, the Montreal Expos had
the best record in baseball and a shot at their first full-season postseason
berth in their 36-year history, and the Colorado Rockies, in only their second
season of play, were just a game and a half behind the Dodgers for the National
League West and a game behind the Houston Astros for the Wild Card. A lot of
teams got screwed.
But there was a growing sense among Yankee Fans that this was Mattingly’s best
chance, and that he might not get another one this good. Ever.
1995: A hard season for the Yankees. The Red Sox
won the Division solidly. Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s Iron Man streak record.
Mickey Mantle’s final illness and death hung over the team like a dark cloud.
Being asked to broadcast a game rather than go to Mickey’s funeral led Phil
Rizzuto to retire – as it turned out, an agreement was reached and he did one
more season in ’96. And the Yankees had more injuries, including Mattingly’s
bad back flaring up again. But they managed to win the Wild Card, and, in the
Division Series against the Seattle Mariners, Mattingly’s first-ever postseason
series in 14 years of trying, he batted .417 and hit 2 home runs, including one
in Game 2 that sent the crowd at the original Yankee Stadium into an absolute
frenzy. But when the Series went out to Seattle, the Mariners rode their own big
crowds to come from 2 games to 0 back and win 3 straight and the series.
Mariner fans still like to brag about this
series, partly because it inspired people to go to the polls next month and
vote for the bond issue that funded the building of the hideous Kingdome’s
replacement, the much-more baseball-friendly Safeco Field; but partly because
they beat the Yankees. They cling to 1995 the way rednecks cling to their guns
and their religion (in that order). Mariner fans do not like to be reminded
that the Yankees have since beaten them, not once, but twice, in 2000 and 2001,
and in the League Championship Series, not just the Division Series.
“I have a hard time feeling bad about it,”
Mattingly said after the epic October 8, 1995 contest, the last in which he
would ever play. A lot of Yankee Fans, however, still take this loss hard. It
ensured that Don Mattingly would never play in a World Series.
retrospect, it is hard to miss the parallel between Mattingly's "hard time
feeling bad about it" resembles what Tom Glavine said after he bollixed up
the Mets' chances in their 2007 regular season finale: "I'm not
their first season without Mattingly since 1981, which was then the last season in which they
won the Pennant, the Yankees win the Pennant again, and the World Series. If it
wasn’t for the ’95 ALDS, in which Mariner first baseman Tino Martinez hit well
and reliever Jeff Nelson pitched well, the Yankees wouldn’t have sent third
baseman Russ Davis and pitcher Sterling Hitchcock to the Mariners for Tino and
Nellie. And if the Yankees had won that series, they probably still would have
lost to the powerful Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. And it’s likely that
manager Buck Showalter, who has never won a Pennant anywhere he’s managed (except
in the minors), would have been kept. Joe Torre would never have managed the
Put all that together, and do you think the
Yankees would have won the World Series in 1996, ’98, ’99 and 2000? Isn’t 4
World Series wins and 6 Pennants without Donnie Baseball better than one World
Series appearance with him?
As Brian Kenny used to say on the ESPN Classic
show The Top 5 Reasons You
Can't Blame... , Have I begun to change your mind yet? Are you
now beginning to believe that larger forces are at work? Do you now see that
Mattingly’s presence did not help the Yankees win, and in fact hurt them?
No? You still ain't buyin' it? Okay, fine. Read
1997: On Opening Day, the Yankees invited
Mattingly to raise the 1996 World Championship flag. On August 31, they retired his uniform
Number 23, and dedicated a Plaque in his honor to rest in Yankee Stadium’s Monument
Park. After the dedication ceremony, the Yankees lost an Interleague game to
the Montreal Expos, the team many of us suspected they would have played in the
1994 World Series if that Series had happened. The Yanks went on to finish 2nd
to the Orioles, and it remained the last season in which the Yankees did not
win at least the Division title until 2007.
1998: The Yankees begin a run of 5 Pennants in 6
seasons, ending with the Aaron Boone homer in the 2003 ALCS and the subsequent
World Series defeat to the Florida Marlins. Through all of this, Mattingly was
back home at his farm outside his home town of Evansville, and had no active
role with any baseball team, and appeared at Yankee Stadium just once a season,
on Old-Timers’ Day. Mattingly in uniform, no; October glory, yes.
2004: Mattingly decides to get back into
baseball, and is hired as the Yankees’ hitting instructor. The Yankees get
within 3 outs of completing an ALCS sweep of the Red Sox for the Pennant. You
know how this part of the story ends: The Sox “reverse the curse,” the one
involving Babe Ruth, and complete the greatest comeback in the history of
Can we blame Mattingly for this? Maybe, because
the Yankee lineup seemed to lose a lot of steam after the 19-8 blowout in Game
3; after that, they barely hit at all. Five runs would have won Game 4, Game 5,
or Game 6; instead, they got 4, 4 and 2, respectively. Game 7 was a blowout,
more a pitching issue than a hitting one. But if Mattingly was such a good
choice to be a hitting instructor, then he should have been able to give
somebody the advice they needed to get that 5th run home in Game 4, 5 or 6.
Can we blame steroids? We know David Ortiz,
Manny Ramirez and Bronson Arroyo were steroid users: The first two got caught
(though it wasn’t revealed until July 30, 2009), and the last confessed. Many
of us also suspect Curt Schilling, Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Mark Bellhorn,
Bill Mueller and Kevin Millar of using them. This would seem to invalidate my
Curse of Donnie Baseball theory, since it suggests that the Yankees would have
won the Pennant without it, even with Mattingly in uniform.
But the fact
remains that the Yankees had Mattingly in uniform, and did not win the
Pennant. So, even knowing what we know now, we have to accept the fact that
the Yankees did not win.
2005: The Yankees win the Division, but lose the
Division Series to the Anaheim Angels. And while the pitching wasn’t very good,
they also didn’t hit much.
2006: The Yankees win the Division in a
landslide, but lose the Division Series to the Detroit Tigers. And while the
pitching wasn’t very good, the hitting was practically nonexistent.
Yankees don’t win the Division, the Red Sox do. The Yanks do manage to gain the
Wild Card, but, again, their hitting in the Division Series against the Indians
is pathetic. And, remember, their hitting instructor is Don Mattingly.
Afterward, Joe Torre was offered a new
contract to manage, with a pay cut, and he resigned. He was hired to manage the
Dodgers, and offered to take Mattingly with him, and Mattingly accepted.
I was afraid that Mattingly would get the Yankee job, and continue the Curse. And he would never, ever be fired, no matter how badly he did. After all, George Steinbrenner nearly went down in history as the man who
fired Yogi Berra. Hank and Hal Steinbrenner would not have wanted to go
down in history as the men who fired Don Mattingly. There are some
popularity contests that you just can't win. Instead, Joe Girardi was
hired; and, while he's driven me crazy sometimes, he has done much better as a
manager than Mattingly.
There you have it. Between 1921 (their first
Pennant) and 1981, and again from 1996 to 2003, a total of 69 seasons, the
Yankees won 39 American League Pennants, or 56 percent of the available
Pennants. In the 16 seasons in which Mattingly has been in a Yankee uniform
(1982 to 1995 and 2004 to 2007), the Yankees have won exactly none.
Even after the ’96 World Series, the pattern did
not escape my notice. And when in 2004, their first season with Mattingly in
uniform since 1995, they blew the Pennant so spectacularly, I began to start
telling people that Mattingly was a jinx, that there is a Curse of Donnie
Baseball. In the ensuing 3 seasons, it only got worse.
That's what happened when Mattingly was in a
Yankee uniform. And what has happened to the Dodgers with Mattingly in uniform?
In 2008, they won the NL West, and swept the Chicago Cubs in 3 straight to win
the NLDS, but got embarrassed by the Phillies in the NLCS. The Dodgers blew a 6th-inning
lead in Game 1 and an 8th-inning lead in Game 4. Rafael Furcal, with a 1.012
OPS in the regular season, dropped to .687 in the NLCS. Andre Ethier dropped
from .885 to .534, future Yankee Russell Martin from .781 to .436, Blake DeWitt
from .728 to .364 (a hopeless 1-for-13), and the veteran, near-Hall-of-Famer
Jeff Kent from .745 to .000 – he went 0-for-8. Former Red Sox teammates Manny
Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra stepped their OPSs up, as did Matt Kemp and Juan
Pierre. But the Dodgers had too many key guys stop hitting.
Should we credit the Phillies’ pitching for
stopping the Dodgers? Their WHIP for the series was 1.545, but with a WHIP that
high, they should have had a much higher ERA than 3.89. The Dodgers had their
chances, and they blew it. This was almost as bad as the 1977 and ’78 NLCS were
for the Phils, losing to the Dodgers in shocking, disgraceful moments. Now,
just as they had done by benefiting from a September choke instead of
perpetrating one, the Phils had turned the tables on the L.A. Bums. So
now, Mattingly had put a cloud over a second franchise.
In 2009, the Dodgers won the NL West and the NLDS again, setting up another
NLCS against the Phillies. The Phils trailed the Dodgers 4-3 in the
bottom of the 9th in Game 4 at Citizens Bank Park. But a walk, a hit batsman,
and Jimmy Rollins’ double up the gap won the game for the Fightin’ Phils, 5-4.
The next night, the Phils won their 7th Pennant, and their first-ever
back-to-back Pennants. And, oh yeah, just 2 years after allowing Mattingly to leave, the Yankees won the World Series again.
How could the Dodgers have blown this? They were one out away from evening the
series at 2 apiece and going back to L.A. for Game 5. How? How? How?!?
Silly Dodger fans, did they not know of the
Curse of Donnie Baseball?
Dodgers missed the postseason, and Torre retired as a manager. Mattingly
was named manager.
2011: The Dodgers won only 82 games, barely a winning season. This can't
all be put on Mattingly, as the team's ownership situation was a mess: Owner
Frank McCourt was going through a divorce, and stripped the Dodgers' assets to
fund his legal defense. This is the only season, out of a possible 53, in
which the Dodgers had a lower attendance than the Angels. But Earvin "Magic" Johnson, already
an L.A. sports legend for what he did with the Lakers, and a man who may
actually have achieved more in business since leaving the court, bought the
team, and did what every sports team owner should do, but most don't: He decided
to spend whatever it takes to win. Whether Magic will ultimately succeed,
I don't know; but at least he's trying, whereas other team owners with his
resources don't increase the payroll, don't go after the best players, and
don't try to hang onto the good ones they already have.
2012: The Dodgers won 86 games, and were in the race for one of the NL's Wild
Card spots the whole way. Should they have done better? Yes. Would
they have done better with a manager other than Mattingly? Maybe. But it
was just the first full year of Magicball. Maybe they still needed
2013: In spite of missing their best player, Matt Kemp, for most of the season,
the Dodgers rode the bat of Yasiel Puig and the arm of Clayton Kershaw to 92
wins and the NL West title. They beat
the Braves in the NLCS, and faced the Cardinals in the NLCS. The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the
3rd in Game 1, but the Cards tied it in the bottom half, and won 3-2
it in the 13th inning. The
Dodgers got only 5 hits in Game 2, and lost 1-0. The Dodgers won Game 3, 3-0, but lost Game 4,
4-2. They buckled down and won Game 5,
6-4, to ensure that the Cards would not clinch at Dodger Stadium – although the
Cards did score 2 in the top of the 9th to make it interesting – and
then, tonight, in Game 6, the Cards just plain blew the Dodgers out. So it will be the Cardinals facing either the
Red Sox or the Detroit Tigers in the 2013 World Series.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages, read ye now the indictment:
There is a Curse of Donnie Baseball. No Major
League Baseball team that has had Don Mattingly in uniform, in any capacity,
has ever won a Pennant, and none ever will.
One season can be written off as, “Hey, that’s
baseball, these things happen.” Maybe even several seasons, as factors like
injuries, bad trades, and problems between players and management cause teams
that could win to not do so.
We now have 24 seasons of evidence for this
Curse. Nearly a quarter of a century.
Am I wrong? Am I
exaggerating? Do you need further testimony? Okay, here goes: On October 26, 2007, while Mattingly was being considered for the
managerial vacancy after Torre left, Robert A. George wrote this in the New
Don Mattingly would be the absolute worst
choice to be Yankees manager. I'm glad that Brian Cashman appears to be wavering on this. Do I base my views on any sort of great baseball knowledge? Not
really -- though the fact that he has NO experience as a manager should be a
No, my objection goes to a point I made once
before: Mattingly IS the "curse" of the Yankees. He is the best
player the Yankees have ever had WHO NEVER WON ANYTHING. I made this point in
one of my earliest RT posts. Time has proven my point even more: The Yankees
haven't gotten out of the first round of the playoffs since Mattingly returned
to the team as a coach.
And, circumstantial evidence suggests that
this is not just a coincidence. Aside from starting pitching problems, what
differentiates the Yankees of the last four seasons ('04-'07) from their
dynastic brethren of '96-'03? The answer is patient clutch pitching. Failure to
get that clutch two-strike, two-out hit has doomed the Yankees in recent years.
Who was the hitting coach in three of those four years. Yep, Mr. Donnie
Baseball -- the man who came up to the major leagues just when the Yankees
concluded a four World Series/two championships-in-six-year-run. The team
wouldn't make it back to the Fall Classic until the year after Mattingly's last
He returned in '04. The rest is history.
In a game where superstition accounts for
quite a lot, Don Mattingly is the black cat, the broken mirror and the crack in
the sidewalk all rolled into one.
Okay, it's the Post. But it is one of the New York Tri-State Area's major papers, behind the Times
and the Daily News, but with a readership well ahead of Newsday,
the Star-Ledger and the other Jersey papers, the Journal News and
any other Hudson Valley paper, and the New Haven Register and any other
So someone from a major paper also takes it seriously.
Someone else noticed it in the fall of 2007. Baseball blogger Len Vlahos picked up on it as early as the start of the 2004 season, 6 months before the most powerful argument in favor of this curse happened. Even a Met fan blogger noticed it in 2009.
You've heard my case. The prosecution rests. The defense may call whichever witnesses it chooses. I reserve the right to cross-examine these fools.
Do you now believe? If not, how much more proof do you need?
Call it a Curse. Call him "Donnie Regular Season Baseball." But Don Mattingly will never win a Pennant. Ever.
Not in the American League, not in the National League. Not for the Yankees, not for any other team.
Don Mattingly will never win a Pennant. Ever.
As the late, great Phillies center fielder and
broadcaster Richie Ashburn would say (to his broadcast partner, Harry Kalas), "Bet your house on it, Harry."