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AJPettersen

Black Cat/White Dog: Superstition in the Bullpen

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The Rules:

A black cat can be anything someone says that is good about your own team or bad about the visiting team. The opposite will inevitably happen.

Example 1: “Our starting pitcher is dicing up the other team today. He’s going to throw a shutout. Black cat. He will give up a run and come out of the game.”

Example 2: “This team hasn’t hit a home run in a while, they look awful at the plate. Black cat. They will hit a home run and start squaring balls up.”

A white dog is anything bad about our team or good about the other team.

Example 1: “We never score first. White dog. We score three runs in the first inning.”

Example 2: “These guys crush fastballs. White dog. Don’t hit a fastball hard all day.”

If you intentionally black cat someone it turns into a white dog and vice versa.

If you black cat someone it is customary to take them out to lunch.

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I was getting ready for the game, when one of the bullpen pitchers asked who was starting for the other team. I explained that he was a top prospect, but recently had a slew of bad outings and reportedly lost some velocity. As I was talking some other bullpen guys joined in on the conversation. One of them had a look in his eye like I just said something catastrophic. “Black cat!” He yelled. I had no idea what he was talking about, which he figured out from the confused look on my face. After he explained the rules to me, I understood that as far as the bullpen was concerned, I had sealed our fate that day.

Superstition has been a part of baseball for a very long time. Some guys wear the same socks or shirts without washing them for days at a time, while others will go to crazy lengths to keep everything the same from past successful games. The black cat/white dog has become an interesting superstition in the Rock Cats bullpen this year. Whether these rules ring true or not, you will have to decide for yourself.

A special thanks to Matt Hauser and the rest of the bullpen for their help with this article. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MHauser_17.


You can also follow me on Twitter @APettersen1 or email me at [email protected].
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