Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Want to improve your baseball team? Curse your rivals with a magic spell

When a losing baseball team wants to better their record, they face two potential courses of action:

1. Go back to basics. Review gametape. Reevaluate the roster. Train harder. Train longer. Want it more.

2. The Occult.

Cubs announcer -- and former Major League starter -- Jim Deshaies relayed a spooky tale from his time on the Astros to Despite their superior record, Houston had lost 11 straight games to the Padres at San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium. The southpaw was fed up. So, on a warm July night in 1988 ...

Some unknown force led me to a local book store where I happened upon a book on the occult, full of spells,incantations and the like.

With Larry Andersen and Dave Smith at his side, Deshaies burned twigs from three different trees and recited "a spell that would put a curse on one's enemy's house."

Burner be burned,
Turner be turned
Let nothing but good
come from this wood.

That's even catchier than "Hey, batter batter."

Lo and behold, the Astros won that night, thanks in part to the efforts of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan on the mound. And also, you know, because magic.

-- Molly Fitzpatrick /