Earlier in the year, we brought you the news that the Indians had built a clubhouse shrine to Jobu, from the movie Major League. However absurd that sounds, the Indians took the logical next step on Saturday, offering Jobu a chicken sacrifice in exchange for ending catcher Yan Gomes' slump.
To help Yan Gomes break out of slump, Indians evoked Jobu and sacrificed a Boston Market chicken before Saturday's game. Gomes loved it.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) July 16, 2016
In case you still don't believe it, here's video from the ceremony, with apparent high priest Mike Napoli delivering the goods:
The Indians are attempting to exorcise Yan Gomes' .163-hitting demons with Jobu. This team is so much fun. pic.twitter.com/7NZetRQsL4— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) July 16, 2016
Well, why not? Gomes has had a miserable season. He entered Saturday hitting .163/.198/.310 with 60 more strikeouts than walks. Those marks are some of the worst in the league -- his 28 OPS+ is actually the worst among players with more than 250 plate appearances -- and a far cry from his usual.
If you believe that the mental component is what keeps players ensconced in hot streaks or slumps, then gathering around as a team and laughing about the whole thing seems like a good idea. If not, then you probably wouldn't like this anyway.
The Indians are 53-36 with a 6 1/2-game lead in the American League Central, so they seem to have a pretty good grasp on what they're doing -- both on and off the field.