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This baseball offseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks front office will take time to carefully analyze this historically bad year to determine exactly where things went wrong for this team. Injuries, managerial decisions, and player performance will all be obvious factors taken into consideration when determining how we arrived at 2021 being arguably the worst season in franchise history.
But after all that data is combed through and analyzed, will the team possibly consider a less conventional factor as the driving force behind their failures this season?
That factor being this team is cursed.
Baseball curses are nothing new to the sport. They’re almost as much of a part of the tradition as Cracker Jacks and throwing back the opposing team’s home runs.
There are well known curses in America’s pasttime that have been notably broken, such as the Curse of the Bambino or the Curse of the Billy Goat.
Curses like these can start in many ways. They can be brought on by trading away a beloved player like in Babe Ruth’s case. The Curse of Rocky Colavito, a star player on the Cleveland Indians in the 50s, still haunts the team to this day. Colavito was the AL home run champion in 1959 and was traded to the Detroit Tigers the following season to diminish his popularity and squash his salary demands.
Curses can also be brought on by an egregious act by the team, like the Curse of the Black Sox that suggests the Chicago White Sox franchise was cursed for the Black Sox Scandal involving members of the team throwing the 1919 World Series.
While the D-backs may have done nothing close to throwing a championship series, players on this team still may have unknowingly opened a Pandora’s Box and unleashed an actual curse with a simple act on May 15, 2021.
The D-backs by no means were doing well way back then, but things were better. They were 18-22 and in fourth place in the NL West after a big 11-4 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Spirits were high, and the team had a brand-new tradition after they won that was started by David Peralta where they would post videos on Tik Tok of players dancing a routine in the clubhouse set to “El Juidero” by Chimbala and Bulin 47.
The videos started on February 26 during spring training with an innocently wholesome dance by Eduardo Escobar and Ketel Marte that was filmed and posted to Peralta’s Tik Tok.
The tradition slowly snowballed, growing in both player involvement as well as complexity. On April 4, they started solely performing the routine post game after wins.
Things were fun and the videos on Tik Tok started gaining traction, with fans and media delighting in seeing this side of the players.
Another one let’s Goooo @dbacks great Win 🚂🚂🚂🚂 #thisishowweroll @mlb @cut4 @eduardoescobar948 @mlbnetwork
The videos were a big hit on the social media platform, with at least one reaching over 300,000 views. They started not only celebrating wins but also milestones, even getting skipper Torey Lovullo in on the fun when he notched his 300th career victory as a manager.
But as the choreography and the costumes became more and more elaborate, you could feel in the air that this entire endeavor was careening towards disaster.
And then it happened. Things, as they always seem to do, went too far.
On May 15, Peralta posted their Tik Tok celebration after the win as he normally would, with one very prominent addition: Eduardo Escobar was wearing D. Baxter’s decapitated head.
Now, I need to address a few quick but painful truths about the Arizona Diamondbacks’ mascot D. Baxter. As much as we all love him, he is one of the most confusing mascots in all of sports.
You cannot introduce a new person to our beloved mascot without a long-winded explanation on stadium naming rights and how Chase used to be Bank One that doesn’t end without you hating yourself and this franchise for everything you just had to say.
Another absolute truth about bobcats is that they have a life expectancy of just seven years. And that’s a long life as far as bobcat standards go. In a harsh environment filled with predators, wild bobcats face enough dangers to shorten than life expectancy considerably.
Meanwhile, even domesticated bobcats like Baxter still face their own dangers, such as cars on Jefferson, those dangerously quiet light rails, and high cholesterol from all the ballpark food.
With that being said, the Arizona Diamondbacks, having been around for 23 years, have to have been on at least their fourth Baxter when this season started. If you need to take a moment for yourself to mourn the other three Baxters I am not going to address in this article, please do.
I’m not sure what happened to Baxter the Fourth or how he met his untimely demise. What I do know is that up to this point, the D-backs have strictly followed the unwritten rules of owning animals and having children.
Much like baseball’s unwritten rules, everyone knows these guidelines and usually follow them. They involve the death of a family pet and your options on how to handle it with children. They are as follows:
1.) Lie about what happened to the animal. This usually involves a farm.
2.) Replace that animal with a look alike and keep it moving
There is no option 3.
When the D-backs players took it upon themselves to wear Baxter’s head in celebration of victory like they were the kids from Lord of the Flies and post it on social media, they may have crossed a line that couldn’t be uncrossed.
What followed that was an unprecedented wave of catastrophic events that engulfed this team in failure. They would go on to set the franchise record for most consecutive losses at 17 and they would make MLB history with the most consecutive road losses in the modern era at 24.
Injuries to Marte, Zac Gallen, Carson Kelly, Christian Walker, and a long list of others also occurred after that as well. The D-backs have used 63 players this season and 27 rookies so far, both marks being franchise records.
Prior to the video being posted, the D-backs had a winning percentage of .450 and were on pace to win 73 games. Since May 15, Arizona has only won 30 games and are now on pace to eclipse the 2004 squad for worst season record in club history.
The only player we can confirm donned Baxter’s head was Escobar, who was later traded to the Milwaukee Brewers after being the team’s only representative in this year’s All-Star Game. You can definitely consider that to be more bad luck for Arizona than for the perpetrator Escobar, who went to a team that is currently in first place in their division.
Peralta would only post two more celebratory Tik Tok videos before seemingly ending the tradition for good on June 1, which obviously did nothing to end the curse.
Other attempts at thwarting the bad juju may have been made, like when Marte changed his plate music to the song from the Tik Tok videos “El Juidero” which only seemed to make things worse.
And now we live in the darkest possible timeline. The D-backs are currently tied for the worst record in baseball with the Baltimore Orioles and could end up with the number one pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, but they will probably find a way to even mess that up with how this season has gone.
So, is the curse of Baxter the Fourth a real thing? I’ll let you be the judge. But whether or not anyone thinks there is validity to these insane ramblings, I would strongly advise against any team parading their mascot’s head around on social media for clout ever again.
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