The Curse of Donnie Baseball
Totally off-topic, I understand, but did you know that no team that's had Don Mattingly as a uniformed employee has ever gone to the World Series? Mattingly has come very, very close – a Dave Roberts stolen base close – but he's never been. And his near-misses have come in rather spectacular style.
Mattingly's playing career with the Yankees was perfectly sandwiched inside New York's 14 years without a trip to the Fall Classic. His career began in 1982, the year after the Yanks lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, and ended in 1995, the year before New York finally got back to the Series and beat the Atlanta Braves.
In Mattingly's 14-year career, he went to the postseason once – in 1995. The Yanks had a 2-0 lead over the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS but lost the final three games.
Following the 2003 season (the Yanks' last trip to the World Series to date), Mattingly was hired as the team's hitting instructor. New York came within an inning of advancing to the World Series in 2004 – twice. Alas, we know how that turned out: biggest choke in baseball history, etc., etc.
The Yanks failed to reach the Series the next three seasons, and Mattingly left for L.A. to serve as Joe Torre's bench coach. The Dodgers have reached the NLCS the past two seasons, but were swept by Philadelphia last year and knocked out in five games this season – despite the fact that they had the best record in the National League.
So, sorry Yankee fans. I know you love the guy, but he ain't exactly a rabbit's foot, is he? Oh well. Back to college hoops in a bit …