Sunday, May 23, 2010

Goose Used Mind Control?

While reading books about strange phenomena and weird occurrences in baseball, I ran across a story of the 1975 White Sox using mind control to better their players during Spring Training.

Using Silva Mind Control was the brainchild of general manager Roland Hemond. The experiment was cut short due to clashes over the program with Bill Veeck.

Twenty-three rookies enrolled in the 1975 class. Pitcher Ken Kravec took off one full run off his ERA between 1975 and 1976.

The two most notable students were Rich Gossage and Bucky Dent. Gossage parlayed the technique into a Hall of Fame career which lasted 22 seasons. After taking the class, he dropped his ERA to an astonishing 1.84. After 1975, his career took off as a journeyman and an elite closer.

Bucky Dent wasn't as successful as Goose, but he did enjoy a twelve year career. Could mind control be responsible for one of the most lamented games in Boston Red Sox history?

Dent hit the home run in the 1978 tie-breaker game against the Red Sox that gave the Yankees the lead. Gossage almost blew the game by giving up a double and two singles. With the tying run ninety feet away, Goose took a deep breath, exhaled and envisioned the Rocky Mountains back home in Colorado.

His head leveled, Gossage got the next two batters out to end the danger. In the ninth inning, Rich had one out, when he walked Burleson, stepped into trouble with Remy. By fortune, Burleson was fooled into staying at second despite Pinella's adventure to Remy's ball. Jim Rice hit a fly ball that would have scored Burleson, had he been on third.

Returning to the thoughts of the mountains, Goose made Yastrzemski pop up and the rest is history. The Yankees went on to win the World Series and Bucky "F***ing" Dent was named World Series MVP. It all may have begun with the Chicago White Sox three years earlier. Or it could have all been coincidence. That's up to you to decide.

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