A week and a half ago, when everything was right with the world and Mark Lowe had a clue what "pitching" was, a certain idiot writer decided to pen a post about the Tigers' bullpen. I'll spare you the details of the piece, since it is sadly ironic to read, and at least three-quarters of the fanbase would break their computer at the sight of it.
Uh, my bad.
For those of you who don't believe in jinxes or curses, I'm here to tell you they are very real. Of course, if you don't believe that there are jinxes or curses then you aren't a Tigers fan, since you haven't watched every attempt to fix the bullpen over the last five years go up in smoke. This post is designed to try and erase the jinx, curse, hex, or whatever has been placed on those poor fellows before it single-handedly destroys the lives (and livers) of fans everywhere.
The first approach I would generally take to erase a baseball jinx is the famous "anti-jinx." Basically: if writing something positive about the Tigers results in a negative jinx, writing something negative would equal a positive jinx.
That's not going to work here, based on the empirical evidence we have. I wrote something negative about Brad Ausmus' bullpen management last week and somehow things have gotten worse. It's fair to say that whatever baseball gods are angry at the Tigers don't want to let us off the hook with a simple anti-jinx.
Minor league sacrifices
The next strategy to take in the face of a curse is a sacrifice. It's all in the spirit of appeasing the baseball gods, or Jobu, or whatever higher power that the Kansas City Royals have made a deal with the last few years. The Tigers have spared us from trying to take this approach, since they have already decided to sacrifice Blaine Hardy to a fate worse than death in Toledo (he has a lower ERA than any member of the bullpen that's thrown multiple innings, but whatever).
The sacrifice didn't work: in his absence, the Tigers' relievers managed to struggle even more. I would venture a guess that the sacrifice of Hardy's glorious facial hair and breathtaking curveball upset the baseball gods beyond what they already had been.
The Tigers upped the ante by calling up Daniel Norris just so that they could sacrifice him right back to Toledo a day later. This was an incredibly bold decision that also did not work, if Lowe's meltdown on Saturday night was any indication. If the van-living former top prospect himself does not make a worthy sacrifice, nobody in Detroit's organization will.
And don't tell me that this isn't what the orgnazation has done the last few days, since it's the only logical solution for the call-ups and demotions on the team.
This is pretty much Detroit's last hope. It's a little-known fact that Australians are experts at the fine art of deep counter-jinxes and home run prevention. Al Avila and Brad Ausmus have probably been scrambling to find an Aussie to come and fix the aura in the Motor City.
It just so happens that they had an option available in Toledo: Warwick Saupold. He's obviously been assigned the task of performing some complicated sorcery on Justin Wilson and Drew VerHagen. The counterjinx probably doesn't take effect until he has toed the rubber in a Tigers uniform, which is why last night's relief appearance may have been the single most important event of the whole season.
Warwick Saupold is our last hope. May he be as lucky as the last great counterjinx expert in baseball.