As an ATS diamond guru (55-33) with more MLB experience than Alyssa Milano, I’m guessin’ you’ll be surprised to hear I believe in the mystical powers of 2nd-half “Baseball Magic”. I know it’s absurd for a mathematician, journalistic scholar, and co-founder of “ATS Investment Financial Services”, to believe in a legendary myth with more holes than The Carl Everett Snuff-a-luff-a-gus Dinosaur theory, but I can’t…I’ve witnessed it. You’re going to tell me Reggie Saunders doesn’t have pictures of the Great Diamond-Gods messing around with one of the Pussy Cat Dolls! I mean during the 2nd-half of the last 6 seasons, all of which I thought Reggie was retired, he hits like 20 HRs, bats .320, and sees nuttin’ but Jamie Navarro style fastballs. No way that’s a coincidence. If you don’t believe that, I have a few more stories you’ll see/hear over the final months of the season to make you a believer in “Baseball Magic”.
1. The Jose Mesa/Armando Benitez/Roberto Hernandez Mafia
To start, I’m not bashing the old, rapidly-expanding, closers who were all remarkable at certain points of their career…but are you as shocked as I am when you seem them on SportsCenter blowing a save in late August for a team not even close to the playoff-race. Is the rumor true that they are Hispanic reps for the Beisbol Gods and responsible for collecting a ballpark street-tax. I mean besides havin’ cool-facial hair and video-game style deliveries, why in Kobe Bryant’s World would you have these guys stealing innings from youngsters…what, you think they’ll sneak that 88 mph fastball past Albert Pujols in the 9th?
2. The Matt Stairs Softball Theory
First off, I’m a card-carrying member of the “I swear I say Matt Stairs on the other softball team last night”. It was 2002 at the North Avenue Beach Field 2, when the then Milwaukee Brewer strolled onto the field against our Murray’s Auto Parts squad and proceeded to belt 3 dingers into an e. coli-rich Lake Michigan. Since that day, I’ve heard of three other separate sightings of Mr. Stairs in softball pants, and in each case, Stairs was found in the box-score of his respective major league teams on that day. Is this man real, or should we call in the Olley Girls from Sunset Tan to help us figure-it out?
3. The Myth of Pat Burrell
Outside of the diehard Philly fandom, most casual baseball fans think Pat Burrell is simply slumping. Once a month on a Saturday afternoon, the always disappointing Phillies show-up on a nationally televised game and it always seems that Pat Burrell is sliddin’-up to the dish. And as soon as his average pops-up on the screen, an announcer says: “Tough-luck for Pat lately, he’s been stuck in 2-23 streak.” To be honest, checking-out his career averages (.256, 25 HRs a year, .360 OB%), I’m always shocked to see he’s actually been that productive…well, productive if you don’t count the 12-14 million a year they’ve been paying him. Thru my discussions with Phillie fans and Tom Cruise, I truly believe the Gods have snuck a few hits and HRs into his career totals.
AMERICAN ALL-STARS @ NATIONAL ALL-STARS
My theory on this is simple. Would you bet against a team with Jim Leyland as manager and Ichiro leading-off…I think not…American League by 2-4 runs