Since Michael Clair unleashed images of Nationals’ pitching coach Steve McCatty‘s 1980s Playgirl shoot upon the world, the Nationals have gone 31-38. In contrast, the Braves have gone 13-0 since opening a Waffle House at Turner Field, and now hold a 15.5 game lead over the Nationals in the NL East.
In other words, finding out your pitching coach was in Playgirl causes you to go under .500, while getting a Waffle House in your stadium ensures roughly two weeks and counting of undefeated play. It’s science.
On May 21, our friend Michael Clair over at Old Time Family Baseball wrote an article over at Baseball Prospectus in which he did tongue-in-cheek scouting reports of ballplayers who did Playgirl shoots in the 1980s. While he didn’t provide a scouting report on him, among the players who Clair exposed (pun intended) was Steve McCatty, who is now the pitching coach for the Washington Nationals.
Upon seeing the image, the Nationals did what any team would do when such a photo is brought back to light: use it as a team-wide gag/inspirational t-shirt.
However, since that fateful day, the Nationals fortunes have fallen. They are a mere .500 since Michael Clair’s article went up*, have fallen another game back in the NL East standings, and would have fallen back even more if not for the fact that the Braves were almost as averagely mediocre as the Nationals were.
Oh, and Stephen Strasburg left last night’s game with an injury. And Bryce Harper may be headed to the DL.
So, did the Steve McCatty Playgirl shoot curse the Nationals? I don’t know. But, then again, it’s no less ridiculous than Colonel Sanders cursing a Japanese team…
*Yes, I do know that the Nationals were on a 4-game losing streak before the article went up. Now be quiet and let me tell the story.