"You know, Quasimodo predicted all of this."
That’s what Bobby Baccilieri said to Tony Soprano when things started going badly for the family in Season 4. But Tony, knowing that negative thinking can feed on itself and hurt job performance (and also knowing the family had to be held together for at least two more seasons), quickly corrected Bobby with a resounding "No!"
For those few LGT readers who don’t already know it by heart, their full dialogue was:
Bobby Baccilieri: World really went downhill after the World Trade Center. You know, Quasimodo predicted all of this.
Tony Soprano: Who did what?
Bobby Baccilieri: All these problems, the middle east. The end o' the world.
Tony Soprano: Nostradamus. Quasimodo's the hunchback of Notre Dame.
Bobby Baccilieri: Oh, right. Notredamus.
Tony Soprano: Nostradamus and Notre Dame, that's two different things completely.
Bobby Baccilieri: It's interesting though they'd be so similar, isn't it? And I always thought, "OK, Hunchback of Notre Dame. You also got your quarterback and your halfback of Notre Dame".
Tony Soprano: One's a f***ing cathedral!
Bobby Baccilieri: Obviously, I know. I'm just sayin'. It's interesting, the coincidence. What, you're gonna tell me you never pondered that? The back thing with Notre Dame?
Tony Soprano: No!
I bring this up because I am beginning to detect the same thing Tony detected: negative thinking. Commenters are getting gloomy. The gloom is starting to spread. And I think it needs to be nipped in the bud before it begins to spread from this site to the team itself. I don’t want Grady or Travis stepping into the batter’s box with any negative thoughts picked up from people who are supposed to be supporters of the team. So I’m taking action right now.
As some of you know, in an epic post titled "There’s A Gleam" I openly predicted that the Tribe would win the World Series this season. Since I knew that predictions are a dime a dozen, I went further. I backed up the prediction with a $50 Vegas bet at 80-1 odds on the Tribe’s Series triumph. And the winnings from the bet are legally dedicated to funding The Great Let’s Go Tribe World Series Victory Party, which is scheduled for late October, early November 2011 somewhere in the Capitol Theatre area.
In a show of resolute confidence I’m going on record right now as renewing the prediction and the dedication of the bet. Furthermore, acting solely on my own authority, I’m moving the planning of the party from DEFCON 5 to DEFCON 4. I’m already committed to shrimp cocktail as the appetizer. Now I’m serving notice that the booze—all of which will be free—will be top shelf only. (Let me make clear that by top shelf I mean the vodka will be Stoli or equivalent, the scotch Dewars or equivalent, the beer Great Lakes or equivalent. I’m not buying Grey Goose for anyone. No one can tell the difference between Grey Goose and Stoli anyway.)
Now I know that some readers may have felt that the methodology underlying my prediction in "There’s A Gleam" was, shall we say, lacking in analytical rigor. To them I say, "Go screw yourselves. The Tribe’s in first place!" Besides, all great futurists had their critics. Nostradamus did, Savonarola did, Rasputin did. Heck, even though, as Tony Soprano rightly pointed out, Quasimodo wasn’t in the prediction business the poor guy probably had his critics, too—people who didn’t like his bell-ringing style, people who probably made cruel remarks like: "What’s old Quasimodo playing today, ‘Lady of Spain I Adore You’? I thought he was supposed to play religious music." It’s just so easy to be a critic, isn’t it?
So let’s be clear about where things stand. I know people can get down from time to time. It’s human nature. So up to today everyone gets a free pass on any negative comments about the Tribe’s chances of winning the Series this year. But the negativism has got to stop and stop immediately before it takes on the character of a self-fulfilling prophecy by damaging the Tribe’s performance.
As I said in my original post, I control the invitation list. And as of now I’m going to begin taking the names of the people who lose heart.
See you at the party.