Are superstitions just a routine or actual magic or voodoo? In this great game of baseball there are many idiosyncrasies that players go through to play the game. Wade Boggs used to eat the same chicken meal before every game. That's 162 chicken breasts at least in a season. Turk Wendall would brush his teeth between innings and eat black licorice. Nomar Garciaparra has his whole batting routine down pat messing with his batting gloves and clicking his feet.
Sitting around the locker room and during the game you noticed many quirky things players do to get ready. Some guys may just listen to their ipods or read a book. I've noticed some guys this season don't talk to anyone on the day of their starts. Everyone knows not to go near them or bother them. This past week Ruddy Lugo caught me talking to myself during my start in the dugout. He asked if I was ok and whom I was having a conversation with. We just laughed for a couple minutes after that and I finished up reminding myself of the things I need to do out on the field.
Casey Fien's routine caught my attention the first time I saw him go into a game. Only knowing of his superb numbers last season I wondered if he had any quirks for mound preparation. Before he enters a game he comes down to the front of the dugout, touches his toes then does a full out sprint to the mound. Of course all of this happens without him touching the white chalk lines by jumping over them (which every baseball player knows is in the unwritten rules of baseball).
Hitters always want to feel comfortable in the batters box. Each one of them has their ways of going about preparing to hit. Some lead off hitters wash away the fresh chalked lines to make their own batters box. Others draw a symbol or a marking with their bat in the dirt. Pitchers also know to never touch position player's bats or put their hands in infielders gloves. This can upset some of them very quickly. Likewise, no one should take the starting pitchers game ball.
From my standpoint, I believe it is all a routine. I put on my left socks always first and left cleats when I'm putting on my uniform. If I don't do it in that order I don't take them off and redo it. Some players will only use a certain bat or glove when they are doing well. The key is stick to a good routine when you are doing well. But a lot of these so called superstitions change quickly if a player hits a bump in the road.
Congratulations to Lucas French and Wilkin Ramierez who got called up to the big leagues and made their MLB debuts.
When Scot isn't striking out International Leauge batters for the 'Hens, he is the Director of Sales and Marketing at SuperKix.com.