Over Memorial Day weekend, the Los Angeles Dodgers made history. Josh Beckett pitched a no-hitter on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Then Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 7 perfect innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday before a leadoff double in the 8th inning broke up the perfecto. No team had ever thrown back-to-back no-hitters and the 17 consecutive hitless innings set a club record.
Whenever a pitcher throws a no-hitter or is close to it, the tired debate always arises about the broadcaster jinx. Should an announcer plainly mention a no-hitter or because of some kind of strange curse placed on announcers everywhere, should they dance around the history being made in some kind of bizarre mime act.
Believing in any kind of broadcasters jinx is just plain silly. As if the words that someone speaks from a broadcast booth has any kind of tangible effect on the game being played. (Believing in a Twitter no-hitter jinx is even worse and akin to believing in Bigfoot or being convinced that Barack Obama is the antichrist.)
And now we finally have proof that the broadcasters jinx is nothing more than a myth.
On Sunday, Dodgers radio announcer and former SportsCenter anchor Charley Steiner did the sensible thing and told his audience that history was in the making, because, I don’t know, maybe Dodgers fans would want to know a no-hitter is being thrown in case they were tempted to turn the dial. We know this because there was at least one person taking issue with Steiner for jinxing Beckett’s no-hit bid.
Of course, Beckett went on to throw his no-hitter, somehow finding the supernatural powers within him to defeat the dreaded non-existent jinx. On Monday night, Steiner did the same exact thing. Except this time, since Ryu’s perfect game bid was broken up, it was obviously his fault.
This leads to a very reasonable question posed by ESPN’s Jayson Stark:
Once again, let’s allow the final word on this business to be said by the greatest baseball broadcaster who has ever lived – Vin Scully. This is what Scully said… in 1960!
“It’s insulting the listeners to make them think they’re silly and superstitious enough to believe my telling them that a no-hitter is going will affect the game.”