Last Saturday, I was convinced our guys would blow their late five-run lead in Anaheim. Why? Because of what I call “The Saturday Jinx.” You might not realize this, but if you check the schedule for this year and game results, you will find that the Sox have played 10 games on Saturdays and have lost every one of them. How can we explain that very odd stat? -- Carl P.
You might have been the only one who predicted that game would go south with Chris Sale holding a five-run lead. It’s a very odd stat indeed, and the Sox are the only team in baseball to have such a problem with Saturdays. Interestingly, in the 10 games, nine different pitchers have received the losses – Scott Downs, Ronald Belisario, Jose Quintana (twice), John Danks, Scott Carroll, Hector Noesi, Zach Putnam, Andre Rienzo and Jake Petricka. The last six Saturday losses have been by two runs or less.
Maybe it has to do with Saturday usually being the second or third game of a series, with a sort of letdown in the middle game. I think it’s a mystery I won’t be able to solve, but I wonder if this Saturday might be the day to break your so-called jinx. A game against the Royals at home seems like a good opportunity.
I'm curious, Ms. Kane: As a sportswriter, are you as tired of hearing baseball players -- all of them, not just the Sox -- say the same thing over and over and over again, as we are of reading it? "We just have to keep grinding." That's nonsensical. "It is what it is." Again, nonsensical and conveys nothing. "Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other guy." Maybe sometimes you have to admit you mailed it in this game. Every single postgame player or manager quote is almost sure to contain at least one if not all three of these wastes of time. I'm ready to review a game's box score and leave it at that. No offense to you -- these guys are giving you next to nothing to write about. – Kevin M., Bettendorf, Iowa.
It’s funny you should write about this now because we were just having a conversation about Chris Sale’s quote after Mike Trout’s grand slam to tie the game Saturday: “I don’t really remember much from it (the eighth inning). I just remember that ball going over the fence and wanting to rip my own head off.”
That one was good for a smile despite the team’s bad night, and he and some of the other Sox players such as Adam Eaton usually can be counted on for a colorful quote here and there. Hector Noesi had what I thought was an honest answer last night about developing trust and feeling support from the Sox, his third team this season. “Sometimes it's about trust, you know,” Noesi said. “Like, I come here, and this team gives me the opportunity really fast. So I try to appreciate everything and do my work. Sometime it's about, they believe in me that I have something good, so I try to show them that I can do this.”
As for the mundane answers, it’s true you’d be hard-pressed to get someone to admit they mailed it in for a game. I like to keep in mind that the players often are answering many of the same questions for seven straight months – and probably sometimes during moments they would rather not be speaking to anyone. They can’t make all of them interesting. I know it’s our job to ask the right questions to find the more interesting answers and fight off the boring quote.