Ouija board: Nationals manager Davey Johnson resorts to dark forces to make lineup

David Brown

Desperate for his team to escape the gravity of .500 and finally contend for real in the National League pennant race, manager Davey Johnson is trying anything to get the Washington Nationals hitting.

Even sorcery.

''I am going crazy,'' Johnson concluded.

Whatever it takes, the Associated Press reports:

''I don't have the answers. I mean, I still love this ballclub. I still like the talent. I like the makeup. My Ouija board is just, I'm having a problem with it. It seems like when we hit, we all hit, and when we don't, we don't hit. ... We've been in that cycle for a long time.''

Ouija?! Is this a Washington Mystics game? Johnson dabbling in dark forces worked out Thursday, as the Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 with the help of a big day from Wilson Ramos. He homered and drove in five runs after missing 44 games because of a strained left hamstring. Hey, nothing that some good, old-fashioned witchcraft couldn't cure.

Ian Desmond also contributed three hits, two stolen bases and two runs scored after being moved from the sixth spot in the batting order to second. Johnson said he had an "epiphany" Wednesday night and decided to make a change.

An epiphany, or a seance?

Black magic lineup, they got a black magic lineup. They got a black magic lineup, scoring runs so the Nats can win.

Unless it was jewelry.

Johnson was sporting the red, white and blue necklace given to all Nationals players and staff for the Independence Day matinee.

''It's my hit machine,'' he said.

Johnson was also clearly happy to have Ramos back in the lineup. [...]

''Hopefully he won't have any more problems,'' said Johnson, who then superstitiously knocked on the table four times.

Happy 43-42 record!

Big BLS H/N: Chicago Tribune

Psst! You there, on the internet. You like baseball? Follow @bigleaguestew, @Townie813, @AnswerDave and @MikeOz on Twitter. Also check out the BLS Facebook Page.

  • Video: Infant Twins Might Be the Chicago Cubs' Littlest Fans

    And Chicago Cubs fans are kind of licking their wounds this morning after last night's big defeat to the Indians but still. Just getting to the World Series has been a lifetime wait for many cubs fans. But for true of those fans it's only been four months Jacqueline Driscoll of our station in Springfield Illinois has a story. It's the curse of the Billy goat that many cubs fans blame for their set any one year long drought but maybe they just needed a good luck charm. Or to. As a superstitious cubs fan. Moon I'll put some correlation there. Clark and Addison McFarland recognize the names any good cubs fan will it at C intersection where Wrigley Field stands he. Scott Clark Addison's dad says

    ABC News
  • Giants finally release Josh Brown, John Mara cites team's 'misguided' actions

    Brown was left home from the Giants’ game against the Los Angeles Rams in London in Week 7 and was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list by the NFL, granting the team a roster spot to replace him. Giants co-owner John Mara explained (via ESPN) why the team released Brown now and not when the allegations of abuse first surfaced, or after the shocking documents in which Brown admitted he abused his wife were released by the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office.

    Shutdown Corner
  • NASCAR America: Brian Scott pleased with second-place finish at Talladega

    Richard Petty Motorsports announced it has partnered with the American Red Cross as the primary sponsor on the No. 44 of Brian Scott this weekend at Martinsville Speedway in an effort to help Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. Scott’s car will feature text message code fans can use in order to donate to the Red Cross’ efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Matthew earlier this month. Fans can help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting http://www.redcross.org/rpm-pub, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999, which will be featured on the No. 44 Ford Fusion this weekend, to make a $10 donation. “With the significance that Hurricane Matthew had on the Carolinas, Virginia and really all of the Southeast coast, we knew it was extremely important to give back to our community in a partnership with the American Red Cross,” Richard Petty said in a press release.

    NASCAR Talk
  • BBC survey finds 8% of fans would stop watching their team if it had a gay player

    A survey of more than 4,000 people, conducted by BBC Radio 5 Live, has found that 82% of soccer fans in England, Scotland and Wales would have no problem with having a gay player on their team. A lack of acceptance of gay players has made headlines in the NFL in recent years, and it remains a taboo subject in the European game. The first player to come out in England was Justin Fashanu in 1990.

    FC Yahoo
  • Tigers not likely to deal Kinsler

    While Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila recently told local reporters he will be looking to cut payroll and shake up his roster before next season, Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech believes the Tigers have no interest in trading 2B Ian Kinsler and RHP Justin Verlander. "We want to get younger," Avila said two weeks ago. "We want to get leaner. We want to run the organization without having to go over our means." Kinsler, 34, who hit .288 with 28 home runs and 83 RBIs this season, will earn just $21 million over the next two years and be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season. Matthew Cerrone | Snapchat | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me The Mets technically need a second baseman.

  • Chicago Blackhawks own the worst thing in NHL right now

    The Calgary Flames scored two goals in regulation against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night. Both were on the power play. Neither should have surprised you, despite Calgary previously having gone 1-for-25 on the power play, because Chicago’s penalty kill is demonstrably the worst thing in hockey right now.

    Puck Daddy
  • Jabrill Peppers makes inroads, but Lamar Jackson still Bovada’s overwhelming Heisman favorite

    Most observers have already handed the 2016 Heisman Trophy to Lamar Jackson, but there are still a couple of players who could make the race at least mildly interesting. The Louisville quarterback is, once again, Bovada.lv‘s overwhelming favorite to win this year’s Heisman, coming in at 1/3 (bet three dollars to win one). Those are slightly shorter odds than the 1/2 Jackson was getting a week ago. Tied at 15/2 are Michigan’s jack-of-all-trades Jabrill Peppers and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Peppers was at 33/1 just three weeks ago, while Watson, the preseason wagering favorite, will have a high-profile matchup with Florida State in which to bolster his Heisman pedigree and chip into Jackson’s

    NBC Sports: CollegeFootballTalk
  • World Series Can't Outrun Objections to Indians' Red-Skinned Logo

    Everywhere the Cleveland Indians go, so go team mascot Chief Wahoo and the logo that critics slam as derogatory. The Indians are in the 2016 World Series and, as expected, some Native American groups immediately planned protests against the team's use of the Chief Wahoo logo. The Cleveland American Indian Movement, for instance, has posted a call to rally against the mascot on its website. "The World Series begins in Cleveland this Tuesday, October 25,” it reads. “Join Cleveland American Indian Movement and the Native community as we gather at the stadium in protest of Cleveland Baseball's use of the ‘Indians’ team name and the despicable ‘Wahoo’ logo. Newspapers and broadcasters from around

    ABC News
  • Experienced Cup drivers limited to 17 Xfinity and Truck Series races a year starting in 2017

    Kyle Busch will only be able to make 10 Xfinity Series starts in 2017. A rule limiting Sprint Cup drivers in NASCAR’s No. 2 and No. 3 series is official. NASCAR said Wednesday that Cup drivers with five years full-time experience in the series will be limited to 10 Xfinity races and seven Camping World Truck Series races a season starting in 2017.

    From The Marbles
  • Report: Jose Mourinho willing to let Wayne Rooney leave

    Wayne Rooney‘s future at Manchester United seems increasingly uncertain. A report in the Sun newspaper states that United’s captain and talisman, 31, has been told by manager Jose Mourinho that he can leave if it’s regular game time he wants. Rooney hasn’t started any of United’s last four Premier League games and was left out of their squad for the 4-0 thumping at Chelsea last weekend with a small injury. Per the report, Mourinho has spoken to Rooney’s advisers and has told them he can not guarantee the England national team captain a starting role. There’s no doubting Rooney’s huge impact at United over the past 12 years since he arrived at Old Trafford. He’s won five Premier League titles,

  • HSBC Champions: Tee Times, TV Schedule, Prize Money

    (c) 2016 Time Inc. Star-Studded Field for First WGC Event of the Season Russell Knox looks to defend his 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions title against a star-studded field that includes Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler.Russell Knox

  • Is Jake Browning the nation's best quarterback?

    Dr. Saturday's Graham Watson takes a look at the Washington Huskies quarterback in this week's Heisman Watch.

    Yahoo Sports Videos
  • Olympic boxing gold medalist Claressa Shields turning pro

    Claressa Shields celebrates after winning her second Olympic gold medal. There will be no third gold medal for Claressa Shields. The only American to win a boxing gold medal since Andre Ward in 2004 is turning professional and will make her pro debut on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Ward-Sergey Kovalev pay-per-view show.

    Yahoo Sports
  • Welcome to the Tim Tebow baseball and PR Experience

    In the last seven days, I've talked to a handful of Mets insiders, none of whom believe Tim Tebow will be with the team next spring in Port St. Lucie. I've heard several different reasons behind their thinking. But, in the end, everyone agreed that -- if he's still with the organization -- he's more likely to show up in St. Lucie when minor-league camp starts, as opposed to when big leaguers arrive in February. This is good news ... if you ask me. It's nothing against Tebow, who has every right to pursue a career in baseball. It's just, the Mets have real goals, and real business at hand, as they try to right their ship and get back to the World Series. I expect Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah

  • Jonathan Bernier exits Ducks game at Sharks with upper-body injury

    Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonathan Bernier exited his team’s Tuesday game against the San Jose Sharks with an upper body injury. It’s unclear when exactly Bernier was hurt. It was just the second game for Bernier with his new team this season.

    Puck Daddy
  • Unhappy 49ers fan edits Trent Baalke's Wikipedia page

    The San Francisco 49ers might be the worst team in the NFL. Yes, the Cleveland Browns are winless, but taking a glance at the 49ers roster, there’s not a lot there. As The Mercury-News discovered on Monday, someone did some … creative editing to Baalke’s Wikipedia page.

    Shutdown Corner
  • Kyle Schwarber added to Cubs' World Series roster

    For a team that’s supposed to be cursed, everything seems to be coming up in the Chicago Cubs’ favor right now. The Cubs will not only enter their first World Series in 71 years as the overwhelming favorite, but they’ll also do so with a player who was expected to miss the entire season. Joe Maddon then said Kyle Schwarber would be the team’s DH in Game 1. Relief pitcher Rob Zastryzny who hadn’t appeared thus far for the Cubs this postseason.

    Big League Stew
  • Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly disappointed in AD's vote of confidence

    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday he was disappointed that athletic director Jack Swarbrick had to give him a vote of confidence last Friday. Notre Dame started the season ranked in the top 10, but are now 2-5 coming off a bye week and the groans about the coaching situation have been persistent. “Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year,” Swarbrick said.

    Dr. Saturday
  • Kudos to Fox for not going crazy with the curses

    I turned on last night’s Fox broadcast fully expecting them to spend too much time on history and curses and billy goats and black cats and Steve Bartman and 1908 and 1948 and all of that jive while spending too little time on the game and the players at hand. I will admit now that I was pleasantly surprised that that was not, in fact, the case. To be clear, the pregame show was a friggin’ train wreck in this department. There the narrative framing was basically wall-to-wall. In the first segment, Fox studio host Kevin Burkhardt used the phrase “reverse the curse” within his first thirty seconds of speaking. Then, before much if any actual game stuff was referred to, Burkhardt mentioned all of

  • LeBron's Ring Ceremony Speech

    LeBron James addresses the crowd during Tuesday's ring ceremony.

  • Best foot forward: 76ers’ Embiid set for long-awaited debut

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) With a dunk contest, half court shots and “Juju on that Beat ” dancing contest finished, Joel Embiid turned back toward Philadelphia 76ers fans at an open practice. Instead of scurrying off to the locker room, Embiid stuck around for selfies with fans sitting on all sides of the court, stretching mobiles high over his 7-foot-2 frame to squeeze as many fans as he could into each snapshot . Embiid even entertained in 1-on-1 games – against little kids. Embiid has the joyous personality of a kid himself. Social media posts include him crushing on Rihanna or teasing an Australian-born teammate that he’ll get deported if Donald Trump is elected president of the United States. The

  • Why Ty Montgomery isn’t RB eligible on Yahoo (for now)

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery pushes Chicago Bears free safety Adrian Amos away as he carries the ball. There have been numerous tweets and questions about whether Ty Montgomery would become eligible at running back in Yahoo Fantasy after getting a chance to line up in the backfield after a rash of injuries for the Green Bay Packers. After much consideration, Yahoo Fantasy Sports has decided to leave Montgomery as receiver only at this time.

    Roto Arcade
  • Tim Tebow answered Stephen A. Smith's dumb question with a riveting inspirational speech

    Hate on Tim Tebow all you want, but there’s no denying he’s not one of the most motivational guys in sports — period. On Tuesday he appeared with Stephen A. Smith on First Take and dropped the best speech you’ll hear all week. When he was criticized for taking a long shot at making an MLB roster, Tebow dropped the hammer.

    SB Nation
  • Sidney Crosby scores first goal of season after concussion return (Video)

    When it became obvious Sidney Crosby would return to the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night after missing their first six games with a concussion, his teammates were rather happy. “He’s the best player in the world,” said winger Carl Hagelin. Crosby didn’t waste any time to get rolling.

    Puck Daddy
  • Column: Should NHRA get with the times to grow sport? (Also, vote in poll)

    While the changes Peter Clifford has brought about since becoming NHRA president nearly a year and a half ago have been very positive, I’m troubled by something – and some of those in the sport as well as a number of fans feel the same way. For background, the NHRA was founded in 1951 in Southern California by the late Wally Parks. When NHRA began holding large national events in the 1960s, it became almost a standard element that race weekends lasted three or four days.

    NBC Sports