Is this potted plant going to save the Phillies season?
The Phillies season was going off the rails. Sitting in first in the NL East on June 9, the team was 6 1/2 games back just two weeks later thanks to seven straight losses. Aaron Nola, the team's ace, was expected to be a Cy Young candidate. Bryce Harper had signed on to be a Philadelphian for the rest of his playing days. How could this happen?
Then, when all seemed lost, a savior emerged. Who was it? Ah, you're asking the wrong question. It wasn't a person at all: It was a potted lucky bamboo plant. And it's all thanks to veteran utility infielder Brad Miller.
Brad Miller told me he bought the lucky Bamboo today in Philly. He believed it would end the losing streak tonight— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) June 25, 2019
“This will bring us some wins. I can feel it”
I said, “If you win tonight...?”
He said, “When we do”
Every Phillie will have Bamboo in their locker tomorrow pic.twitter.com/cdqj7eRQOi
Miller had only recently joined the team -- his fourth since Spring Training -- but perhaps his outsider's perspective recognized precisely what the team needed: a little clubhouse greenery. After all, it had worked when he tried it out in the Minor Leagues years before.
Against the Mets on Monday, their first game blessed by bamboo, the Phillies exploded for 13 runs -- the most they had scored since April 16.
But science doesn't rest on a single experiment. So, Miller went back to the store and asked for the largest bamboo plant they had. Because if one small plant works, obviously a bigger one has even more game-changing magic, right?
Clearly, that's the case. Philly was down, 5-2, in the sixth inning on Tuesday, only to explode for five runs to complete the comeback. Naturally, it was Miller who topped it off with a home run.
🎍 BAMBOOM 🎍 pic.twitter.com/t9COhrxMmg— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 26, 2019
The bamboo was doing its jobs, its leafy greens bursting with good favor out on the field. The players agreed:
It’s the great BAMBOO🎋— Rhys Hoskins (@rhyshoskins) June 26, 2019
Even the #brands needed to get in on the action:
The bamboo showed up once again on Wednesday. Down 4-1 in the seventh inning, the Phillies' Twitter account called upon the bamboo for luck. Sure enough, they scored three runs to tie the game:
Narrator: It worked. https://t.co/jjx7CewK5a— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 27, 2019
And then, in the 10th, Jay Bruce won the game with a ball that landed at the warning track. For a guy who has basically only hit homers this year, this was clearly a sign:
Now, some would say this is just a coincidence. That a team as strong as the Phillies couldn't go on losing games forever. However, this Chinese bamboo plant -- actually, it only resembles bamboo and its real name is dracaena -- is known for its luck-giving powers.
There are even charts that break down the luck that it brings, outlining how two stalks represent love, 10 are for perfection and 21 gives you a "powerful blessing."
But the massive plant that Miller bought appears to have at least 40-something stalks (if I'm able to count right; it's possible I shouldn't have graduated from elementary school).
Was it the #Bamboo? The #Phillies seem to think so. And so...Brad Miller went to Chinatown and bought the largest one he could find. It needs a name though....#TrustThePlant@6abc pic.twitter.com/RTSoT5Q1qf— Jamie Apody (@JamieApody) June 25, 2019
What happens then? Does it double the blessing? Do you get each of them? Maybe that's the wrong question, though.
Apparently the reason the plants are so lucky is that they are related to the five elements upon which feng shui is based:
Wood: The bamboo plant symbolizes wood element.
Water: We need to timely fill the vase with water, hence water element is embodied.
Earth: Rock, pebbles, clay stones in the vase represent the Earth element.
Fire: There’s always a red ribbon tied to the vase or plant itself. Red represents fire.
Metal: Usually a metal coin is tied with the red ribbon or there’s a metal coin with in the vase; thus metal element is also covered.
Phillies players swing wood bats and guzzle water in the dugout between innings, the infield is covered in earth, they wear red uniforms and surely they wear enough jewelry to represent metal. So maybe it's less the number of stalks and more the perfect harmony between a baseball team and a lucky bamboo plant.
Whatever the reason, it's working. The Phillies are winning again, the NL East race is back on and there's one very beloved plant in Philadelphia.
Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.