Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SI Cover Jinx?

There is good news, bad news and could-go-either-way news. Your Cleveland Indians (more specifically Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner) are going to be featured on the upcoming cover of Sports Illustrated. That, for all you why-does-New-York-and-Boston-get-all-the-coverage complainers, would be the good news.

Now for the bad news; it is quite simple, are you a believer of the SI Cover Jinx (SICJ)? Do you remember the April 6th, 1987 cover of SI, titled “Indian Uprising”? If you don’t, perhaps you'll remember how the cover preceded a 1987 campaign in which the Tribe finished 61-101 and 37 (yes a three, followed by a seven) games out for first place. So, if you aren’t a believer of the SICJ you have a difficult time explaining that outcome.

To explain the could-go-either-way part, it needs to be pointed out that usually the SICJ recipients are on their way up or are experiencing an exceptional season. So, if you can follow the logic, a negative cover story should have the reverse effect on Martinez, Hafner and the entire Indians team, thus propelling them into an extended winning streak that will place them firmly atop the Central Division. Well, at least we can hope and with the way this season has gone, we'll take any hope we can get.

The SI issue goes deeper than just the cover story. There is any interesting story on the controversial maple bats that more and more players have been switching to, consequently leading to an increase in shattering bats. It also features a piece on the Wedge-Blake connection and Wedge’s sometimes ill placed loyalty to certain players. There is an article about how Joel Skinner's over cautious approach to base running cost the Indians the 2007 ALCS. Finally there is a fascinating commentary about C.C.’s future and a revisiting of him being spotted in a Yankee cap a few years back.

Overall, the issue is a great read and is highly recommended for all Tribe fans regardless of your position on the SICJ.

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