Maybe I Helped, Maybe I Didn't - But The World Series Is Coming to DC Tonight


If you follow me either here or on Twitter, then you know I like to take my morning coffee out to the front stoop and watch the neighborhood wake up.

But for the past month (maybe more) I've been in a funk - too feckless to roll out of bed to give myself extra time before the hustle of the day takes over. This week, however, I seem to have turned over a new leaf. You could even say my vigor has been renewed, at least for the moment.

When I got up Thursday morning I was still running on a high from the night before. My team, the Washington Nationals, are coming back to D.C., with a real shot - an unbelievable shot - of standing alone at the top of the baseball world.

Coffee on the stoop that morning was satisfying. The weather was cool and crisp, and the rising sun revealed blue skies. A perfect start to the morning after the Nationals took a two games to nothing lead over the Houston Astros in baseball's World Series. I'm not going to actually spell out what every Nats fan is thinking right now. One simply does not tempt the baseball gods by saying out loud what COULD happen as soon as this weekend.

I've previously claimed in this space to be mostly free of superstition, but baseball has a way of making you throw salt over your shoulder or see luck in inanimate objects. The Nationals have their baby shark this year thanks to outfielder Gerardo Parra. He and pitcher Anibal Sanchez also have their lucky sunglasses they apparently picked up at a promotional giveaway back at the end of June. And as dugout dance parties after home runs have become a player ritual, I wonder how many male Nats fans have stopped shaving for fear that the simple act of scrapping away stubble would somehow cause the Nats to falter.

Way more than one, I bet. And why not? The Nationals have never penetrated this deep into October.

I already have a beard, so not shaving for what remains of the baseball season isn't really an option. I suppose I could simply stop trimming it - and I have - but that doesn't seem like a real karma increasing move. I've had to come up with other strategies to gin up the luck factor and keep fate from turning against the Nats.

For one thing, I've been wearing my Curly W hat every day since the National League Division Series. And on Tuesday night, when the best of seven World Series got underway, I added the Nationals suspenders my wife gave me as a Christmas present several years ago.

Up until now, I've never had a real reason to wear them. They've hung in a dark corner of my closet, sad and lonely, for what must have seemed like an eternity. But at the last minute, I decided to wear them to work for the World Series opener.

The Nationals won.

Then came Wednesday night. I must have taken my Curly W hat off sometime during the game. It remained tied at two runs apiece for much of the evening. But shortly after I put it back on my head, Nats catcher Kurt Suzuki blasted a seventh inning home run, sparking a 12-to-3 Game Two victory.

I'm not necessarily taking credit, but I will say the oddball things that players and fans do to keep providence on their side is part of what attracts me to the game, even if they are little ridiculous.

So go ahead and judge me for a superstitious fool if you want. At least I'm not wearing the same pair of stinky underwear for every game.

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