For mere moments, we were stolen away from the madness as everyone’s attention turned to the encroaching arrival of Opening Day. And then, suddenly, Sports Illustrated grabbed us by the back of the heads and crammed our faces back into the toilet, where the swirling overexposure of the Phillies’ starting rotation drowns us in a fecal sea of media.
“How the Phillies legion of arms will dominate,” the sub-headline promises. A lot of people are going to be disappointed they paid $5.99 for the magazine when they open to the cover story and see just the words “BY NOT LETTING THE OTHER TEAMS HIT AS MUCH AS THEIR OWN TEAM” in size 72 font.
I know you think there’s some sort of curse involved in this thing, but dry your eyes.
- For one, Jason Heyward and Freddie Mitchell were already on their own cover this spring. So if it happens to us, it happens to them, if curses cast a wide net of effectiveness, which the professor of curse-science I’m speaking to on the phone right now says they do. He’s also hysterically asking me to clap two specific types of rocks together so his hair will stop falling out. I’m hanging up now.
- Last year, Sports Illustrated stuck Doc up there by himself. When the curse came knocking, he opened the door, grabbed it, rolled it into a baseball, and threw a perfect game with it. Then he won 21 games, got the NL Cy Young, and chucked a no-hitter in his first playoff appearance because he was bored.
- They just couldn’t write a baseball preview without letting the Yankee slither on there, could they. Even after an offseason when they spent more time being surprised than pro-active. Just couldn’t let this go to print without somebody saying, “Hey, you know, we’ve got this great shot of Robinson Cano trailing to hail a cab; let’s just photo shop a uniform on him and call it a day.”
- Do you ever wonder if all these guys want to do is smile, and the photographer let’s them do a “goofy one,” before the SI PR guy looks at him and shakes his head, and he has to say, “Okay guys, now let’s all look like we’re reading a ransom note.” Meanwhile, the friends and families of the Phillies rotation wonder why Roy/Cole/Joe/Cliff doesn’t smile anymore, because he used to be such a happy guy, but these days he only ever looks thoughtfully furious.
- Do you think they gave Joe a glove.