NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The old adage says a ballplayer should always respect a streak — no matter how ridiculous the circumstances.
The Yankees are currently red hot and in danger of actually challenging for a postseason spot. This very fact allows for them to continue to believe that a horse head mask bought on the Internet is the reason.
Yeah, it’s crazy, but who are we to say otherwise?
The mask was purchased by reliever Shawn Kelley on Amazon.com. At the time, the Yankees were in the throes of seven losses in nine games, including two straight to the lowly Houston Astros — at home no less. They were quickly falling out of the AL East race and were making their deficit in the wild card race quite unmanageable.
Then the creepy mask entered their lives.
“When I see those things, randomly in a crowd, it makes me laugh,” Kelley told Yahoo. “So I figured I’ll do that, and it’ll make everyone laugh in the clubhouse.
“And then we went on a winning streak.”
Since Kelley debuted the mask he has since named “Seabiscuit,” the Yankees have won five straight to pull within six games of the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the division and 2 1/2 of the second wild card spot. They open a pivotal three-game series in Detroit on Tuesday night. The Tigers are one-half game behind the second spot.
The Yankees had played pretty uninspired baseball prior to Kelley’s revelation, but have since ripped off a complete-game shutout, a sweep of the Chicago White Sox, including two wins in walk-off fashion, and a rout of the AL Central-leading Kansas City Royals on the road.
So now is clearly not the time to worry about how absurd the horse head is.
“At first, I was wondering who it was,” outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury added. “And then I wondered why he had it on. And then we got on a little roll, and I figured it doesn’t matter what the reason is. We’re winning with it.”
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