"It's a hard thing to plan for," admitted manager Terry Francona, citing Kevin Youklis' bouts with bursitis, David Ortiz's back spasms and the curse incanted over a duck's liver and the blood of three dead chickens.Some, like Boston Globe columnist Peter Abraham, have questioned whether the team's injuries could be the result of poor conditioning practices, while noting that the curse likely wouldn't be an issue if certain players were more careful about their behavior around people steeped in the dark arts of voodoo sorcery.
"I can tell you this from being around the team: There are certain guys who bust their asses every day, and there are certain guys who don't," wrote Abraham in his blog on Boston.com. "And there are certain guys who don't think it through before they piss off priestesses."
Abraham was oblique in his references, but it's widely assumed he's referring to veteran players like Youklis and Ortiz, who aren't known for engaging in rigorous conditioning routines, and pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, who tried to make a Haitian voodoo priestess Irish step dance with him to Shipping Up To Boston while on an off-season team excursion to Ortiz's childhood home in the Dominican Republic.
Ortiz, for his part, says that he does in fact engage in daily workouts with Red Sox strength and conditioning coach David Page, that he's in as good a shape as he's ever been, and that the curse is likely hoodoo in origin, rather than voodoo.
"A lot of people make that mistake," he noted, adding that he expected to remain in the lineup as long as his regular strength training keeps his back in good shape, and no one is poking needles into a crude doll fashioned in his likeness.