It's Davey Johnson's month, but not Mike Mussina's day.
"This month, Davey's dreams will be realized. But if I were the manager, I'd let Mike sit out this game," says Craig Wright.
Who will win today's important Orioles-Indians playoff game? It's all in the numbers -- not winning percentages, ERAs or RBIs, but birth dates, says Wright, a Baltimore-based numerologist. By tallying up birth dates and today's date, you can calculate the kind of vibes that will emanate from the players and managers of this make-or-break match-up, Wright says.
Hey, it's as valid a way of predicting the outcome as any of the sports-geek gab flooding the airwaves these days.
Others may look to bookies, ESPN or intricate statistical analysis. We turned to another plane, an astral one. Consulting the Yellow Pages, a recently published book, "The Top 100 Psychics in America," and the astrologer sister of a Sun reporter, we came up with some otherworldly forecasts for today's game.
Before you scoff, consider Joyce Jillson's horoscope for Roberto Alomar, an Aquarius, for today: "You can't prove you are right, so drop the matter until you can."
So sometimes astrologers are a day or two behind.
Like any group of prognosticators, this one came up with varying and sometimes conflicting calls. What do you expect, after all, when numbers collide with auras, stars and moons vie for position, and all the varying fortunes of different players, managers and coaches converge on one field?
Orioles by a nose?
"There's an Ed on your team . . ." muses Gerri Leigh, a New York-based parapsychologist.
"He's going to bring them to victory," she predicts. "He knows a lot. He's sort of a leader."
Leigh has an odd specialty within this already odd field: She reads body parts, particularly noses. (Jerry Springer's nostrils told her he loves country music.) She sometimes doesn't even need photographs, just a name.
Say, Jack McDowell, Cleveland's scheduled starting pitcher. "Let's see, what does his nose look like?" she asks herself. "Actually, I'm picking up on his ears. They're small in proportion to his head. I think he listens, but he has his own agenda. Even after he's coached, he calls his own shots."
Mike Mussina, his opponent? "He has a very sweet mouth, almost heart-shaped. I think he's someone who plays with his whole heart," she says. "He's going to get a lot of [the Indians] out. He's a nice family guy, and his family as well as the team is going to be counting on him."
Leigh says she sees a star next to the Orioles, and thinks they're going to win today, perhaps after a little scare or cliffhanger.
Playing the name game
Other psychics similarly are getting good vibes.
"I feel really good about Baltimore," Micki Dahne, a National Enquirer psychic, says from her home in South Florida.
But, she cautions, her personal feelings might be interfering a bit with her psychic ones. "I don't like Cleveland because my ex-husband's from Cleveland," she says.
"Call my daughter," Dahne says. "I bet she'll say the Yankees are going to win [their playoffs]."
"Texas is going to beat the Yankees," demurred Jill Dahne, who has followed in her mother's psychic footsteps. "But Baltimore is going to go all the way. They're going to win the World Series."
Jill Dahne says things come to her via names, so we bounced several off of her.
Cal Ripken? "He will have an excellent game."
Albert Belle? "So-so."
Brady Anderson? "I like that name. I feel very good about that name."
Crunching the numbers
Craig Wright is more comfortable with numbers. He is, after all, a Baltimore Polytechnic Institute grad and former program analyst for the feds who now offers numerological consultations. At The Sun's request, he took the birth dates of the two teams' managers and the scheduled starting pitchers and, through a complicated formula, predicted what today holds in store for them.
"Hmmm, based on this quick forecast, it looks like Cleveland's day, but the Orioles' month," Wright says. "So it looks like the Orioles won't sweep, but they will be victorious in the end."
According to Wright, Mussina's numbers add up to a day that should be used for rest, retreat and -- uh-oh! -- relief. Meanwhile, McDowell will have a day of "balance and cooperation," he says, and will be the calming influence in any tense situations.
Stars, cards come up O's
At game time today, "there's a nasty Saturn" in Cleveland's first house, says astrologer Lopsy Harlow.
Harlow, a Massachusetts-based astrology columnist, used computer software to determine the planetary alignments for Baltimore and Cleveland as well as two individual players, right fielders Bobby Bonilla and Manny Ramirez, whose birth data we provided.
"I see fear, pain, loss and humiliation for this other team," Harlow says of the Indians. "And this Manny person is going to have a special lot of trouble."
The Orioles, though, will be looking to "this Bobby person" for advice and help, says Harlow. (She's not a baseball watcher, she admits.)
She also did some tarot card readings, and they supported what the planets told her.
For Baltimore, the card that turned up was the magician. "What will probably happen is they'll be in a tough situation and by being creative, they'll get out of it," she says.
And what turned up for Cleveland, which if it loses today's game is eliminated from further competition?
"The death card," Harlow says.
Crystal ball of confusion
It will be a close game, predicts Stacey Anne Wolf.
Wolf, who bills herself as among the few Generation X psychics, has done mostly football forecasting -- she says she got the last two Super Bowls right -- but was willing to try her hand at baseball.
"I kept seeing the number three, and then the numbers seven and eight together," says Wolf, who lives in New York. She speculates that the three perhaps only means it's the third game, while seven and eight may be the scores. "Or maybe three will be the difference," she says. "I can't tell. I haven't done enough baseball yet."
Wolf feels the Orioles will win today, but is "iffy" on the next level of competition and senses they might not go all the way and win the World Series.
With the sound of tarot cards being shuffled and flipped in the background, Wolf comes up with this assessment: "I sort of feel their chance goes down 25 percent each time," she says. "I think they're 50-50 next time, and then even less the next time after that."
Curse of the ex-Cubs
Think this is all hocus-pocus? Then consider something just as chilling but totally grounded in true baseball superstition.
Ron Berler, an expatriate Chicagoan, long ago discovered a near sure-fire way of predicting the outcome of any World Series: The team with the most ex-Cubs on it loses.
And you gotta love his accuracy -- the formula has been right in 13 of the past 14 World Series.
O's fans with faint hearts will want to stop reading now.
"You guys are through. You're toast," declares Berler, a sports magazine editor in New York.
Rafael Palmeiro, Randy Myers and Todd Zeile give the Orioles the most one-time Cubs on any team contending for the American League pennant. (Although Berler says the curse doesn't come into play until the World Series, for the record, Cleveland has only two ex-Cubs, Paul Assenmacher and Jose Vizcaino.)
It gets worse. There's nothing that can be done. Even benching an ex-Cub doesn't isolate the virus.
But there's this: If the Orioles make it to the World Series and find the Atlanta Braves there as well, it will be an even match-up. Each team has three players from that woebegotten Chicago team.
"That's never happened before," Berler says with a perceptible shudder. "A real calamity will happen."
Pub Date: 10/04/96