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As if that weren’t enough, the Detroit Tigers eliminated the New York Yankees, the best team money can buy, from post-season play in Major League Baseball. I am such a happy camper, and I’m not even camping! Will wonders never cease? First, the Atlanta Braves’ 14-year playoff streak is broken, then the Yankees become the Braves by making it to the post-season for the ninth time but falling short yet again. Will Manager Joe Torre be able to keep his job year in and year out without a World Series ring, as has Braves Manager Bobby Cox? We’ll have to wait and see what Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner does. Wait, before flaming me, Yankees and Braves fans, consider this–I am a lowly, hapless Seattle Mariners fan. I root for a team languishing in futility and tantalizes fans with letdown season after letdown season. It breaks my heart to see two of the greatest Mariners of all time, Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez, playing on the New York Yankees. Come root for the Mariners for, oh, 29 years, the number of times the Yankees have won the World Series, before casting any sneaky fastballs this way.
Actually, watching A-Rod and Randy on the Yankees may be for the best. I have a theory, and here it is: No team with a former Seattle Mariner who came up through the Mariners farm system will win the World Series while the Mariner is on that team, unless that player is acquired through a trade with the Mariners (and your team is not the Arizona Diamondbacks–OK, so this theory has a lot of stipulations). Call it the "Curse of Yamauchi" (in honor of Hiroshi Yamauchi, majority owner of the Mariners). When Mariner Pitcher Freddy Garcia was traded to the Chicago White Sox, they won the World Series. When Mariner Pitcher Derek Lowe and Catcher Jason Varitek were traded to the Boston Red Sox for Red Sox Pitcher Heathcliff Slocumb in what will surely go down as the dumbest Mariners trade in history, the Red Sox won the World Series. The Curse of Yamauchi extended to the Texas Rangers and now to the New York Yankees, who picked up Alex Rodriguez, the greatest shortstop of all time playing third base, as a free agent. Now that A-Rod is gone, Texas can win a World Series. The Curse extends to the Cincinnati Reds, who got the deal of the century when they hired possibly the greatest player in the 1990s, Ken Griffey, Jr., who proceeded to implode. I can’t think of a single Mariners acquired by another team in free agency who has won the World Series, except Randy Johnson, when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks. During the 2001 World Series, the Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees with Randy Johnson on their roster, in spite of Randy Johnson. (Randy is terrible in post-season player–not the pitcher you want to choose for your fantasy baseball team.) It could be that the Blessing of Gonzo (in honor of Outfielder Luis Gonzalez) trumped the Curse of Yamauchi in that instance.
If the "Curse of Yamauchi" is true, I hope the Yankees go after Ken Griffey, Jr. in the offseason. With Griffey, A-Rod, and Randy on the Yankees roster, it would be like reliving the glorious, magical 1995 Mariners season, when the Mariners lost to the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series! It was pure magic. Until they lost.