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Mancini, O's turned to burning sage to end losing streak originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Orioles pulled out all the stops to end their 19-game losing streak, and one, in particular, seemed to do the trick Wednesday night.
Before Baltimore's streak snapping win against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, a few players decided to burn sage in and around the ballpark.
"Trey brought it in," Cedric Mullins said after the game. "He's walking around. I saw him wafting it around the batting cage while I was hitting. I looked at him and I was like, 'smart man.'
Burning sage is a spiritual ritual used to cleanse a person or space and to promote healing and wisdom. Native Americans have used it for centuries, and Trey Mancini and catcher Austin Wynns decided it could be just the thing to turn things around.
"After the game a couple of days ago, we were saying that we needed to do something just to switch up the mojo," Mancini said. "A couple of different ideas were brought up but then it was Austin Wynns who really had the idea. He bought the sage online, overnighted it, and he and I just walked around the ballpark and just saged everything we possibly could. Just took it around, took a good 15 minutes to just walk around, make sure that we took our time and did it right, and it worked."
Worked it did. The Orioles launched three home runs off of Ohtani, including one by Mullins on the first pitch of his start. The bullpen was lights out after Chris Ellis and Marcos Diplan struggled early and a five-run eighth inning sealed a 10-6, streak-snapping victory.
The result of the game certainly helped manager Brandon Hyde's impression of the sage, but it turns out he liked the aroma as well.
"I kind of did [like it], kind of did. It was surprising, I'm sitting in my office and I walk outside and there was an aroma coming into the hallway and I saw Mancini and his mustache and asked them, 'Are we smoking some different type of cigarettes or what's happening in our clubhouse?'"
"He explained to me and I think [we'll do] sage tomorrow, who knows? Maybe no mustache tomorrow, I think the mustache is already gone."
The mustache is most certainly gone. Mancini isn't a big fan of facial hair, especially on his upper lip so fans should not expect to see him with the stache moving forward.
"I'm glad I could shave my mustache. I hate having a mustache and as kind of a form of self-punishment, but also trying to keep things a little lighter, I told all the guys that I was going to shave it off whenever we won. So I'm really glad I got to do that too."
The Orioles can now put the losing streak and the month of August behind them altogether. They became a national storyline for all the wrong reasons and have a chance to finish the season strong. Maybe with the help of some more sage.
"It's tough, but at the same time, it's up to us to go out there and win a game," Mancini said. "Obviously, when there's a streak of that many games, it's going to be talked about and you can't get mad about that because that's just the way it is. I wish it didn't take us this long for it to happen, but I'm glad it's over."