From the way-to-open-up-your-big-mouth-and-jinx-him file, I would be remiss if I did not admit that I told David Bell that he had not struck out all year following Wednesday night’s extra-inning win over the Nationals.
Bell claimed he was not aware of the fact – and I believe him – but as soon as the information left my mouth, Phillies.com writer Ken Mandel pointed out my faux pas with a, “way to go, jerk. You jinxed him.”
Bell downplayed my profuse (and, I’m sure, annoying) apologies, saying it was no big deal and, “an out is an out.” But the damage has been done. If Bell strikes out tonight, the code of baseball superstition says I’m to blame.
I certainly don’t root one way or another at a ballgame, so I’m hoping Bell keeps his perfect ledger in tact.
On another note, I am positive that Bell had no idea about the lack of whiffs because of the first time I had a conversation with him in the tiny clubhouse at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater before the 2003 season. During that chat, I brought up some of Bell’s past statistics during his years with the Giants and Mariners and he very earnestly told me that he had no idea what I was talking about.
It wasn’t that he didn’t care about his statistics; it was just that he didn’t care.
Does that make sense?
Let me try again:
Baseball is the Bell Family business, and in any family business – especially one that stretches through three genereations – the bottom line is very important. To Bell, that bottom line isn’t his batting average or the number of hits or home runs. It’s how many wins his team has.Yes, Bell wants to put up good statistics. But never at the price of costing his team a win.