Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Curse of the Portugee

Gold Glove infielders career nosedives after messing with me

This is a cautionary tale to all athletes who over-step their bounds with me.

Readers of this blog know by now of my problems with my upstairs neighbor and Oakland Raider, Doug Gabriel. Many don't know that this is not the first time an athlete has deliberately crossed me. Come with me to another time.

Picture it. Oakland Coliseum. 1998. I'm working part-time as an usher for the Oakland Athletics. On this night, the powerhouse New York Yankees were visiting for a three-game series. I was working near the pressbox which, incidentally, linked up with both clubhouses. The Yankees beat the A's that night and about 30 minutes after the game some Yankee players started trickling out to the team bus. One of the last players were Derek Jeter and Chuck Knoblauch.

I noticed Jeter and cooly greeted him with a nodding of the head and he reciprocated. Jeter and Knoblauch then stroll to the elevator and just as the doors begin to close I hear Knoblauch, the short and stocky middle infielder, turn to Jeter and say, "don't you hate when they kiss your ass?"

I was livid and still am to this day. What a bastard! I never liked Chuck Knoblauch as a player anyway. In the late eighties, his Minnesota Twins seemed to always be neck and neck with my A's. He was the pesky kind of player that you hate to have play against your team.

My head nod to Jeter was barely friendly and Knoblauch's reading of it so incorrect and so brutally off the mark that something needed to be done.

I put a curse on Chuck Knoblauch.

A curse that effectively turned a Gold Glove second basemen and perennial .300 hitter into a bumbling, error-prone .250 hitter.

Take a look at the stats:

In 1998, Knoblauch hit, a then career low, .265. It was the beginning of a career slide that would render him a designated hitter. Why? Because my curse obliterated his defensive skills so badly that neither the Yankees or the Kansas City Royals had no idea where to put this head-case on the field.

In 1997, with Minnesota, Knoblauch won the Gold Glove for best defensive second basemen in the American League, by 1999 he committed 26 errors. It was widely known that, like Steve Sax in the 80s, that something strange had happened to Chuck Knoblauch.

Like Sax, Chuck Knoblauch seemingly forgot how to make the throw from second to first. Sometimes he would bobble the ball and throw it wildly into the dirt, sometimes he would just calmly fire it into the stands. The Yankees gave up on him at second and stuck him in left field and DH.

He retired in 2002 not knowing that some guy in California smacked a whammy on his head. Now, to Doug Gabriel. Just last night I placed a curse on the Raiders wide receiver.

We'll track how he does this next season, granted, how far can a dude with one career catch in the NFL fall? Oh, you'll be surprised.


pryncess711 said...

after telling your story about a "run in" with a big shot neighbor .. i knew this story was coming about that "bastard" that snubbed the lil' measley worker at the coliseum..:)

MrYosemite said...

I think you should focus a little more on your own baseball career. The highlight of your life has been a catch that you claim to have made while practicing with some friends in high school. You're the only one that remembers, "The Catch". You're like the Al Bundy of your time, "When I was in high school, I snagged 4 home run balls right off the fence!"

Since then, what have you done? Your team is 0-2 this season, you pulled both your hammies, you're headed the way of the dodo bird and the Knoblauch.

It's sad, so very, very sad.

Pops said...

I thought the highlight of your career was the back to backs we had against the radio station?