Which unlucky baseball team will make the Sports Illustrated cover on Wednesday? Last week the infamous SI Cover Jinx claimed the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals in cruel and excruciating fashion after an October cover hailed their newfound resurgence. Only the cover-less Tigers, Yankees, Cardinals, and Giants still remain in the playoffs this season. While many Baltimore-Washington observers noted, and tweeted about the SI Cover Jinx, this has been happening all year long.
Beginning on March 5th with its “Marlinsanity” cover, SI has left a 2012 trail of dead baseball bodies, and the SI Cover Jinx can be the only logical explanation! Here’s a 2012 recap:
Remember those “new” Miami Marlins back on March 5? This picture might possibly be the last time anyone saw Ozzie Guillen smiling. It was over in Spring Training as Miami finished last in the NL East with a 69-93 record.
In their 2012 Baseball Preview Issue, Albert Pujols left the Cards for the Angels and SI called it: “Power Shift: A New Road to The World Series”. Pujols then lost his power and did not hit his first home run for over an entire month! By the time Albert regained form, it was too late to make the playoffs and his old Cardinals team squeaked in again without his power.
The May SI Headline read “May Magic: the Dodgers Are Back” as Magic Johnson is part of an ownership group that buys The Dodgers. Kemp celebrated by coming off the disabled list to reinjure his hamstring after only two games. Kemp would miss all of June, the Dodgers would go 11-17, and never recover to make the playoffs.
Ten years after Ken Caminiti disclosed his use of steroids to Sports Illustrated, he returned in a steroids retrospective. Caminiti died of a drug overdose in 2004 (RIP).
After the first two months of the season Josh Hamilton was on fire. Up until June, he was batting .368 with 21 and 67 RBIs , and was an early shoe-in for the American League MVP. However, SI would help Hamilton bat .245 for the rest of the year. The AL West favorite Rangers would lose eight of their final ten games to miss winning the division by a single game and lose their one-game playoff. After Hamilton went hitless in that playoff game, he would get booed by his hometown Ranger fans.
By late August, super-duper-phenom Mike Trout was now “the favorite to become the youngest MVP” according to SI. Trout would then go on a September swoon while batting .257 with only six runs batted in. Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera would tear up September pitching, go on to win the Triple Crown, and power his team into the playoffs. Now Cabrera is the new AL MVP favorite in the latest Moneyball battle between new stats and old scouts.
The Birds and Nats are back! SI called Washington-Baltimore the unlikely sports capital and the rest is baseball history. Raul Ibanez, known from here on out as Mr. October 10th, hit dramatic game-tying home runs in the 9th and 12th innings to turn the series. In Washington, The Nationals were withing one strike of advancing in the playoffs, but failed to protect a 6-run deciding game lead.
Related: Beyond Bikinis: Sports Illustrated’s Nine New Rules to Land a Cover
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