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The Dodgers’ woes are a form of “cosmic comeuppance?”

Apr 29, 2011, 2:59 PM EDT

Walter O'Malley

Call me crazy, but I think the Dodgers’ current woes are the result of Major League Baseball allowing an overly-leveraged dilettante into the ownership club and then watching as that dilettante did even worse things to the franchise’s business than anyone could have imagined.

George Vecsey of the New York Times has another theory, however: he says the Dodgers are being impacted by “a communal curse” visited upon the organization because, over 50 years ago, Walter O’Malley decided to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Vecsey calls it “The Flatbush Curse.”

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows how I feel about curses. At best they’re little psychological tools people use to cope with perceived injustices. At worst they’re cynical fabrications used to sell books and t-shirts and stuff.  The common denominator is that, for any given “curse” there are a dozen better reasons why a given misfortune has taken place.

But let’s say there was a Flastbush Curse. Let’s say some little old woman from Brooklyn called it into being on New Year’s Day 1958 with great drama, gesticulation and the spilling of lamb’s blood.  Even if that happened, isn’t this the worst curse ever?  Before it was invoked, the Dodgers won nine pennants and one World Series.  After it was invoked they won nine pennants and five World Series, in a far shorter period of time.

It’s almost enough to make you think that the current problems of the team have some other explanation than the move to Los Angeles. A move that, by far, was the smartest thing the Dodgers ever did.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    What about signing Jackie? That was a pretty smart move as well. Still good for the Dodgers to this day. I’m quibbling with the “by far the smartest thing the Dodgers ever did” statement, because the rest of the post is spot on.

  2. tomemos - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Oh, for heaven’s sake. There’s nothing baseball writers like more than to blame something bad on a wholly unrelated event from sixty or more years ago (see: Dan Shaughnessy and the Curse of the freaking Bambino). The reason they love it is they can write a whole column that basically goes, “Look how knowledgeable I am!” So many baseball writers are just that awkward kid you knew in junior high who loved trivia a little too much.

  3. Old Gator - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    If you lived in a house that used to be owned by a Santera like I did, you’d be whistling a different tune, bubba. The spirits don’t fool around. Don’t believe me? Sit down for a quiet game of Ouija Scrabble some time and make direct inquiries. It may well be that they don’t have it in for the Bums because when irate Brooklyn fans petitioned them to wreak revenge on the O’Malleys, the spirits couldn’t understand Brooklynese. Of course, that was a long time ago. Now, to understand what Brooklyn wants, they’d only need to be able to speak Russian.

  4. SmackSaw - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    When all this started in 2009, I stated “Somewhere in Brooklyn, an old gypsy is smiling.” I should’ve wrote a book. If I did it now, Vecsey would claim I stole it.


  5. mkd - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    That whole article was utterly nonsensical. The gist of it seems to be that Brooklyn fans wanted to curse the O’Malleys, but while the LA Dodgers were owned by them they won nine pennats and five World Series. It wasn’t until after the hated O’Malleys were gone that the curse kicked in? How does this make sense? And at the end he says that the curse has been transferred to the new owners? Dude, what curse?!! At least with old hexes (White Sox-Black Sox, Red-Sox-Bambino, Cubs-Goat) you had literally generations of futility to point to, but this…this is just flat out stupid. I mean jebus what’s next, the Curse of the Yankees?

  6. clydeserra - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    The little old woman’s ire is misplaced. She should have been paying more attention to the epic stadium battle in the 50’s between the welfare O’malley’s and the Robert “where is the check from GM” Moses.

  7. heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Now, while I believe in Feng Shui, Voodoo, Hoodoo, and crazy old Italian Grandmother curses, I believe this is simply the case of letting some clown who specialized in “designing” and “building” parking lots of all things play at running a legitimate once proud sports franchise…….

    Either that or the Phanatic has been taking Wicca classes……

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 29, 2011 at 4:34 PM

      If that’s the case, maybe the Phanatic should look closer to home—the Bank—and use his powers for good. Or if he needs to channel the evil, the Feesh and Bravos need to be put in their place. (And eff-ing with JDub would be okay, too. 😛 )

  8. jimbo1949 - Apr 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    My reaction when I read the column last night: wonder if George sprained his tongue sticking it that far into his cheek.
    However, he did grow up a Brooklyn fan. Perhaps he knows from whence he speaks

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 29, 2011 at 6:00 PM

      Well that’s correct. Vecsey’s kinda cool.

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