Time after time in the ALDS, the Yankees snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Down two runs in the bottom of the ninth in game 2, A-Rod hit a two-run home run to tie the score. Then David Robertson escaped a bases loaded, no-out situation in the 11th inning, and the Yankees went ahead to win the game. Tonight, in game 3, the Yankees struggled all night against Carl Pavano, only to tag him for two home runs in the 7th.
How do the Yankees do it? How do they consistently come back from the brink to win it all? Is it their lineup full of All-Star talent? Is it their team salary, which rivals the GDP of several small nations? Are they just better human beings than us? No - none of these things are why the Yankees win. They win for one reason and one reason only - they are immune to the jinx.
I first became aware of the Yankees anti-jinxing powers during the ALDS when a certain cartoonish troll came by to visit several of our game threads. This troll repeated, over and over, that the Twins suck and that the Yankees would sweep. Naturally, this should have meant that the Twins would destroy the Yankees, in at least one game.
We all know that if fischean had said that the Twins would sweep, the Yankees would have swept us. And if natetheskate pulled out his broom, the Metrodome would probably collapse. But this troll was immune to all of that jinxing. Instead, his jinxing power was deflected onto Delmon Young, who took a foul ball in the nuts.
You see, not only do the Yankees have the highest salary in baseball, they also spend the most money on anti-jinxing rituals. While other teams have to content themselves with lame "fingers crossed" or "knock on wood" manuevers, the Yankees hire only the best in jinx protection services. Yankees loremasters study the history of the jinx, careful to avoid it whenever possible and deflect it when they cannot avoid it. Other teams simply do not have the money to support the complex Yankees anti-jinxing ceremonies.
Above: Yankees fans perform a ritual anti-jinx dance.
After the game, I visited the home and away dugouts to test my theory. What I found was astounding. In the Yankee dugout, Joe Girardi's wizards had inscribed a complex anti-jinxing symbol of protection:
The Yankees' ward against jinxing.
But in the Twins dugout, Nick Punto scribbled away with a crayon, producing only this:
Nick Punto's crude attempt to protect the Twins.
Clearly, the Twins were overmatched here. Bill Smith does not have the resources to hire free agent wizards, so Gardy was forced to use hedge magician Nick Punto to try to keep the jinx away. Michael Cuddyer offered to help, but his magic is limited to card tricks - a flaw in the Twins farm system's approach to jinx protection.
Sadly, we all know the results. Clearly, one team was better protected against the jinx, and that made all the difference.