"The stars favor the Mets over the Orioles in the remainder of the World Series," and after digesting the configurations in the sky at the time of Gary Gentry's birth (Oct. 6, 1946, in Phoenix, Ariz.) Astroflash made this pronouncement: "At this precise moment in life, luck will smile on you. You can assert yourself, conquer and win out." Then it was Jim Palmer's turn, born like Gentry under the sign of Libra, Oct. 15, 1945, in New York City. Palmer's record at the time of the Series was 16-4, and he had a no-hitter to his credit. The computer blinked, whirred and then warned ominously: "Don't let overconfidence lead you astray. Avoid rash generosity and wasteful extravagance, and don't be like those gamblers who, after a sudden windfall, end up losing their pile because they trusted too blindly to their luck."
In predicting the outcome of any sports event the manager must also be taken into consideration, since it is he who directs the progress of the team. Oriole boss Earl Weaver, implied the stars tersely, should have stood in bed. "Your rights will be contested. Power is not on your side at the moment.... Criticism, rivalry and an inability to finish things will exaggerate your aggressive tendencies, and you will be apt to throw yourself into struggles which oftener than not are futile." So much for Weaver, the Lion, born Aug. 14, 1930. The computer was much kinder to Gil Hodges (April 4, 1924), though it called him "morose and serious." It allowed that "Mercury and Venus are in your eighth house, that which governs crisis and change.... If you have been having a rough time lately, this time may bring some relief," which, considering what happened at Shea Stadium, was something of an understatement.
In general, sport and recreation are given short shrift by most popular astrologers, possibly because the fifth house of the zodiac—a crowded one—also rules romance and children. Astrology magazines bulge with advice on those subjects, but rarely suggest what you are to do with your time now that the labor laws have taken you from your loom and given you at least two days a week for fun and games.
Are you a puny Pisces, a jinxed Gemini, a calcified Capricorn? Perhaps you should be watching instead of playing. Your athletic career may be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but a fracture or two if Mars (the planet that rules warfare, athletics and physical activity) does not form a good aspect with your sun, moon, Jupiter, Ascendant or midheaven. How does one determine what Mars is up to in regard, say, to your chances of having a good day in the stock market or hitting the daily double? Playing the stock market is not, strictly speaking, a sport, though at times it seems to be. Still, it is good to know that your decision to buy that worthless stock in a Nevada silver mine may have been caused by sunspots, not your own bad judgment. The best thing to do if you don't want to get involved with something called the Planetary Barometer is to ask your broker to study the zodiac before he does your buying for you. Writes Donald Bradley in Stock Market Prediction: planetary "conjunctions and trines are bullish influences, while oppositions and squares have decided bearish effects."
What that means, if you've been losing on the market, is that you would probably be better off at Hialeah. All you need to know, according to some astrologers, is the birth date of the horse. Or you can try Rigel Spica's system and deal with the birth date of the jockey,. the place and time zone he is racing in, post time and whether or not the horse is fit. (The latter is frequently difficult to determine, and a cynic might suggest it is the nub of the matter.) Once you have had some practice, assures Mr. Spica, author of Astrology and Horse Racing, you should be able to choose the most likely winner and still make it to the window. Of course, if post time is then delayed for 10 minutes it can ruin everything. Some planets travel faster than horses over the finish line.
Astrology tends to take away the suspense of a game, once you're an expert at sky reading, and if you don't particularly want to know who is going to win until the event is over don't go ferreting about in your favorite team's astrological data.
One look at Alex Webster's horoscope this season, for instance, and the whole plight of the New York Giants becomes clear. Webster happens to be an Aries, with Scorpio rising. The computer at Grand Central transmitted some pretty bad news about Webster and was asked to reconsider. Clickety, clickety, click, began Astroflash again, without the slightest hint of sympathy.
"You were born under a sign of double violence," it tapped out, "which can range from simple touchiness to positive hostility and aggression."
Surely no one could blame Webster for being a bit touchy about seven straight Giant defeats. You would have to be born under a double sign of inertia not to rise to that kind of bait. Right up to December the planets ganged up on Webster. Until mid-October, Mercury, which governs the coordinator of daily events, trivia, etc., was discordantly placed in his 12th house (which symbolizes self-undoing). "Beware of anonymous letters and slanderous denunciations."
From mid-October to mid-November a dissonant Mars rejoined Saturn in the sky of his birth, a meeting that is generally unlucky: "In this period you will plot underhanded maneuvers—or they may be plotted against you—so don't fly off the handle."