October 22, 2007

The Curse Of Kenny Lofton

Kenny Lofton is no stranger to post-season play. He's been on a playoff team in 11 of the last 13 seasons. Yet many of his teams have suffered some of the most epic collapses in baseball history.

1995, Cleveland: Lost WS to Atlanta in 6 games. Only team to lose a WS clincher on a one-hitter. Batted .200.

1996, Cleveland: Lost ALDS to Orioles in 4 games. Blew 3-2 lead in top of ninth -- three outs away from tying the series at 2-2. Orioles won game (and series) with a 12th inning run. Batted .167.

1997, Atlanta: Lost NLCS to wild-card Marlins in 6 games. With series tied 2-2, lost "Eric Gregg/Livan Hernandez" game, then lost at home 7-4. Batted .185.

1998, Cleveland: Blew a 2-1 ALCS lead, losing three straight to the Yankees. Batted .185.

1999, Cleveland: Blew a 2-0 ALDS lead, losing three straight to the Red Sox (9-3, 23-7, 12-8). Team had no hits against Pedro in last 6 innings of Game 5 at home. Batted .167.

2001, Cleveland: Blew a 2-1 ALDS lead, losing two straight to the Mariners. Batted .105.

2002, Giants: Blew a 3-2 World Series lead to the Angels, including a 5-0 lead in the seventh inning of Game 6. Nine outs away from the championship, lost two straight (6-5, 4-1). Batted .290.

2003, Cubs: Blew a 3-1 NLCS lead to Florida, including a 3-0 lead in the 8th inning of Game 6 (5 outs from 1st pennant since 1945). Lost three straight, including the final two at home. Batted .323.

2004, Yankees: Blew a 3-0 ALCS lead to Boston. Three outs away from sweeping the Red Sox, lost four straight. Played in 3 games, batted .300.

2006, Dodgers: Swept by Mets in NLDS. Batted .071.

2007, Cleveland: Blew a 3-1 ALCS lead, losing three straight to the Red Sox. Was stopped at third in 7th inning of Game 7; might have scored game-tying run. Batted .222.

Note to MLB teams hoping to do well in the 2008 post-season: do not sign Kenny Lofton.


Jere said...

"2004, Yankees"

Also the year when he didn't "catch the ball!".

allan said...

JoS, 9/18/04:

"On TV, Paul O'Neill noted that even after that big whiff, "Mariano doesn't show too much emotion on the mound." That was about to change. ... Damon lofted a fly ball to shallow right center. The ball seemed catchable, but CF Kenny Lofton decided early not to try for it and he let it fall. Rivera couldn't believe it. He turned towards the outfield, eyes wide, and seemed to say "Catch the ball! C'mon!" before hanging his head and jogging to back up the plate."

SG has pix.

Also the same night as Manny robbing Cairo of the home run!!!!

Unknown said...

FedEx made a commercial featuring Kenny’s uniforms and equipment being routed all over the country as contending teams sought his services, but they forgot to include a lawyerly disclaimer stating: “FedEx won’t lose your most important package the way the teams who buy Kenny’s services seem to lose their most important series!” It may be that Lofton’s status should be downgraded from “Legend” to “Bad Penny.”

Patrick said...

I was thinking that Lofton had such a bad game 7 because he messed with Josh Beckett, and that's just bad juju man.

It appears he already has decades of bad juju.

Jere said...

Right. I was there. Formerly my most exciting game seen live, probably until last night.

I still remember getting those tix, too. Being at a workplace where Yankee fans outnumbered Red Sox fans 20 to 2, and calling ticketmaster for Yankee Stadium tix the minute they went on sale from the pay phone in the break room in January or whatever, and thinking, "Why the hell am I the only one on the phone?" And then not being able to get the Saturday game, so I got 4 for Friday night, 9/17. Last row, upper deck, for a crazy game. It made a baseball fan out of the non-baseball fan we were with, and a Red Sox fan out of the casual-but- lean-toward- Yanks fan we were also with.

I tried to talk when we got to the car, and realized I'd lost my voice.

Tony said...

That 2002-2004 run is astonishing. One of the worst World Series collapses ever, one of the worst NLCS collapses ever (including possibly the most infamous game in Cubs history), and the worst playoffs collapse ever. He's like Zelig, but only witnessing history's great disasters.

Patriots Film said...

When the heck did you put this up? I totally missed it when I left my comment...gah.

I'm waiting for ESPN to create a 5 minute clip of all of the failures and create a mysterious curse name, then we'll be all set!

GK said...

I couldnt help but notice that Kenny Lofton has batted .071 to .323 in those 11 series.
That should tell the GMs who want to hire him, no matter how much he hits, their team will lose !
Which team is predicted to make a good run next year ? Detroit, Minnesota, Yankees......? Please Please Please hire him.
He played in a NCAA basketball final, so maybe the Knicks can hire him!

allan said...

When the heck did you put this up? I totally missed it when I left my comment...gah.

Your comment was up first, but a lot of this was already in draft form.

allan said...

I couldnt help but notice that Kenny Lofton has batted .071 to .323 in those 11 series.
That should tell the GMs who want to hire him, no matter how much he hits, their team will lose !

It also should tell people: short series = anything can happen. A player can hit worse than a pitcher or he can hit like a league leader. Same guy.

Amy said...

So does this explain why Lofton has played on so many different teams? Does he keep trying to avoid the disappointment of one team, hoping to find better success with the next? Or do the GMs decide he IS the curse and unload him? He must have felt some redemption when he hit that home run earlier in the ALCS, only to have it all come back to bite him in Game 7.

allan said...

A list of Lofton's failures has been making the round this month, though I expanded what I found.

The comments at Deadspin are quite amusing.

laura k said...

He has played on so many different teams because he's really not very good.