Friday, January 06, 2006
Ironic too, since we are on a day where namesakes can get confused all over the place it seems; it is the birthday of King Richard... no, not THAT Richard! Not the Lionheart... who died in 1199 - and was King Richard The First. But really the second; born in 1367 and with little in common with the original! King Richard II was of England too - that's pretty much all that these two Richards have in common! Richard II was likely murdered or even starved to death in the end - NOT the kind of treatment fit for a king...! To think that he was born on this day, to a fair maiden named Joan too! She had no idea what ignominious end her son would meet ultimately. An interesting "factoid" about English kings (titled "God Save 'im" fittingly enough) says it like it is: "King of England is an awful job: Harold II copped an arrow through the eye, George III went mad and Edward V was murdered by his uncle. Nowadays there are no murders, only telephone recordings."
Before we get on Rocky's case, I would be remiss if I did not mention that, also on this date, in 1412, the Joan we all know was born too, across the English Channel onto *la terre des Francs* - Joan of Arc (Jeanne D'Arc), the French heroine and martyr who fascinates to this day.
She was not royalty - but we know how she wound up as well...!
Those are other stories, of course - onwards to Rocky! Rocky COLAVITO that is; who? If you asked yourself that, you are not from Cleveland... Rocky C here was not "sold" like Babe Ruth was - but he was traded when his demands became too much for management. And since that 1960 trade (which sent Colavito "on penance" to Detroit - where the chances for a pennant were sort of... nil!) the Cleveland Indians have never won anything of true significance... or so they say! The true curse here began not when they dumped Rocky here; but rather when they made the even bigger mistake of reacquiring him five years later! He cost too much to reacquire - and trading away two good future aces for an aging one, trying to make amends, proved to be disastrous.
The chain of events that followed seems a tad contrived - no two tragic events that befell the team since Rocky's return appear to be truly related. It all just happened to the same team over the course of thirty years... Were it to be happening to the same FAMILY, maybe then I would concur there's something to it (say, like the Kennedys. But they sort of do it to themselves too; multiplying their chances that something bad will happen by having the Kennedy women giving birth like rabbits...!). However, this is a baseball team - with, over the course of 30 years of operations, HUNDREDS of player personnel that came and went... Things are just bound to happen with so many people coming and going... and over multiple decades!
Seems to me Terry Pluto, sports columnist and writer, wanted to do his own version of the Curse of the Bambino (and Colavito rhymes with Bambino! Ahh... those hot-blooded Italian guys and their cussing...! Where are their mamas when they're needed? *lol*) - and he finally wrote the book that he wanted to write about it in 1994. One of the tragedies collected as "evidence" was the mental illness of Tony Horton, "a power hitter who couldn't handle the stress of playing in the major leagues"... Well, neither could Jim Piersall of the Red Sox - and Piersall (unlike Horton) returned to baseball after receiving treatment... this despite the fact that Piersall was on the team that took 85 years to lift its own curse! The Indians are huge crybabies with their little alleged curse not even 45 years-old yet... (About Piersall - I always resented the fact that the movie about his life was titled "Fear Strikes Out" and starred Anthony Perkins - better known and remembered as the homicidal loon Norman Bates from Psycho! Whereas Lou Gehrig - who was so ill they named a disease after him - got the flamboyant title "Pride of the Yankees" and none other than Gary Cooper to play his part! At least, in basketball, Boston has the Celtic Pride while New York has... Knickerbockers! *LOL*)
Thus, the alleged curse of Rocky Colavito is not very convincing - the most fascinating bit attached to it is actually evidence to reinforce the belief in ANOTHER CURSE ENTIRELY - tied into SPORTS ILLUSTRATED magazine! "Following a surprising 86-win season for the Indians in 1986, the cover (of Sports Illustrated) showed Indians sluggers Joe Carter and Cory Snyder, and carried the words "INDIAN UPRISING" and the sub-headline, "Believe it! Cleveland is the best team in the American League!" The Indians lost 101 games that year, though some believe that the "curse" that led to this collapse was "The Dreaded SI Cover Jinx.""
As fascinating as these numbers are (86 in 86 - and then a collapse) this cover jinx is not very credible either - shades of the Madden Curse, and that one did not make the cut here (although I will mention it again! Eventually...)
The Madden Curse (gee - that was fast) is about video game jackets - and that makes me think of video clips; music videos that is!
Check out this link ASAP and vote for one - it will highlight the NEXT playlist here (which better not act up as much as the current one has been acting up... lately!) NEXT FRIDAY - on our new, sometimes technically-deficient (blame it on the video code suppliers!) tradition here on TLB Prime... Luminous Friday Night Videos!
Blessings - enough cursings already in this world!