I work between pitches. I pace the room, always returning to my juju spot one micromoment before the pitcher begins his windup. If I'm a nanosecond late, we have squandered the pitch. On defense, I switch gears, usually pitching directly to the screen. Sometimes, I'll lie bonelessly on the couch, eyes nearly closed, to lull the enemy bats to sleep. This can be draining, especially late at night. At times, I've woken to learn our bullpen crapped away my hard-earned lead.
Baseball affords at least 25 seconds between pitches—enough time for the thinking fan to ponder not just this game but also the disappointment we are to this world, and to ask, for once in our miserable, straight-to-home-video lives: How can we help our team? The answer is juju. What if I told you the Yankees' 27 world titles resulted not from great players, wise managers or even the perennial avalanche of owner money—but from collective juju, the rizzuton emissions of 20 million fans? Obviously, I'd be kidding, right? Seriously, it would be insane to believe such nonsense, right? We all know better, right? Because that's what Cubs fans say.
Hart Seely is a reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard. His book The Juju Rules: Or, How to Win Ballgames from Your Couch is being released on April 17 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.