As many sports fans know, athletes, and simply sports itself, are superstitious. Don't step on the base line while going back to the dugout. Always keep your same number, even when traded, hold a candle while your team is in the playoffs (trust me it worked for the '04 Red Sox and the Patriots Super Bowl titles).
Fans already know about the big one, the Madden Cover Jinx, but another curse is older and just as big as the Madden Curse. The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx.
The legend states that if an athlete or team appears on a cover of Sports Illustrated then they will have a bad outing or be cursed. The first instance of the Cover Jinx was in 1954 when the Braves Eddie Mathews became the first person to ever appear on an SI cover. Shortly after, the Braves snapped their nine game win streak and Mathews breaks his hand.
A common explanation for this curse is that whenever athletes or teams appear on a cover it is after a great achievement or performance. Future performances are likely to display the regression towards the mean and make the performance seem less than it really was.
Many athletes have appeared on the cover and didn't affect them one bit. Michael Jordan, for example, was on the cover a record 49 times and he still went on to win six NBA Finals. Emmitt Smith appeared on the cover, although he initially refused, before Super Bowl XXVIII. Dallas still won the Super Bowl.
However, the curse has reared its ugly head many times. In 1955, skiier Jill Kinmont almost died in a crash the same week she appeared on the cover. She became paralyzed from the waist down.
Indianapolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert dies three weeks after appearing on the cover in a sprint car crash in 1955. Driver Pat O'Connor dies four days after appearing on the cover in the Indianapolis 500. Figure skater Laurence Owen appeared on the cover after SI named her "America's Most Exciting Girl Skater". Two days later, she was on the plane that crashed and killed the United States Figure Skating team as they were en route to Prague.
Streaks have been broken too by SI's curse. An Oklahoma Sooner appeared on the cover with the headline "Why Oklahoma Is Unbeatable", the next game Oklahoma loses for the first time in 47 games to Notre Dame.
Texas high school pitcher Jon Peters was on the cover after he set the national high school record for wins. He was 51-0. Next game, he loses for the first and only time in his high school career.
The Texas Longhorns' Earl Campbell appeared on the cover after his Longhorns started the season 11-0. They would lose their next game, the Cotton Bowl, to Notre Dame.
The Kansas City Chiefs started of 9-0 in 2003 and was "rewarded" with a magazine cover. However, the Chiefs would go 4-3 to finish the season, lose home field to the Patriots, and lose the divisional playoff game to the Colts.
The Cover Jinx struck just over a week ago, oddly enough on Halloween, when Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba appeared on the cover after the Rangers win Game 5 of the World Series. We all know how this story ends, the Rangers lose the Series in heartbreaking fashion.
Does the jinx exist? Only if you believe it does. It's easy to think that there's a curse, but look at all the other covers and nothing happened to all these people. It however there have been a lot of people and teams affected by this. So basically the curse is just what you make of it. That being said I still don't want my favorite player or team on the cover.
You can add another team to the list that want Cuban superstar Yoenis Cespedes. The Boston Red Sox.
According to sources, the Red Sox are "sending everyone" to the Dominican Republic to evaluate Cespedes. Other teams are also interested like the Rangers, Blue Jays, Pirates, A's, Indians, and Marlins.
The five tool center fielder is regarded as the best Cuban import in a generation. The Red Sox already have a center fielder in Jacoby Ellsbury, but could easily move him around to possibly right field, a need for the Red Sox, so Cespedes could play center field.
The Red Sox have the money to sign him to a contract he is demanding, he wants a deal similar to Aroldis Chapman's five year, $30 million.
Boston should take a chance on him. It would be a huge splash for Ben Cherington and a coming out party for him. The Sox already signed Lackey and Crawford to bloated deals (Crawford turned it around later in the year), so Cespedes demand is very reasonable for the Red Sox.
However, the Yankees are also in on Cespedes. The Yankees have an edge over the Red Sox simply because of the history of Cuban players. Also, the Yanks have deep pockets and can afford to give Cespedes MORE than he wants.
Cespedes looks like he is going to be a star, according to most scouts, and whoever gets him will be set up nicely for the future.
The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox have both been granted permission by the Texas Rangers to speak to pitching coach Mike Maddux regarding their managerial vacancies.
Maddux, a former Major Leaguer and brother of Greg Maddux, has served as the Rangers pitching coach for three seasons. Before Texas, he served in the same role in Milwaukee for six seasons. During Maddux's first season with the Rangers, the teams ERA dropped by a full run and have won back to back American League pennants.
The Cubs may have an edge over the Red Sox however. Greg Maddux served as an special assistant under former GM Jim Hendry and the Cubs are hoping to retain Greg Maddux in another capacity. The Red Sox were just one of many teams Mike Maddux played for in his career, so that could give the Red Sox a little push.
The Cubs also plan on interviewing Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, both of whom already interviewed with the Red Sox. Both Cubs and the Red Sox appear to have the same list of candidates with Maddux, Mackanin, Sveum, and Dave Martinez. Both teams also said that Ryne Sandberg would not be considered.