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If athletes are anything, they’re superstitious. Wade Boggs always ate chicken before a game (well, that and visited his mistress). Brian Urlacher eats two chocolate chip cookies before injuring people every Sunday. During playoff drives guys grow Amish-like beards. And if they play long enough, athletes cling to their uniform numbers and the luck they supposed bring them, even if it costs them.
We’ve heard for years about when a veteran player gets traded from one team to another, how they’ll pay a certain amount of cash to the nobody on their new team that has the good luck of wearing the same jersey number. But John Lackey took it a step further.
The Boston Red Sox collapsed last month, and it will be impossible to ever come up with all the underlying factors why. Unfortunately, “the team just didn’t play good baseball” isn’t a satisfying explanation, and when a team blows a surefire playoff spot in such spectacular fashion, changes will be made. And major change has already hit the Red Sox. Manager Terry Francona, who led the franchise to its greatest success in generations, is gone. This morning, news broke that general manger Theo Epstein, who built the roster that led to that great success, is likely about to follow Francona out the door. So…why did all this happen?
Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey was nearly brought to tears last night after his team won a 7-4, 14-inning nailbiter in New York. But it had nothing to do with his team’s victory over the Yankees: Lackey was visibly upset because of a text message he says he received from a reporter before taking the field.