Animal sacrifice is frowned upon in this country but not in the area of Puerto Rico where Angel Pagan calls home.
Pagan sacrificed a live chicken Wednesday prior to the game against the Marlins.
“Really, the only reason I did it was to end the injury curse that haunts this team,” Pagan told the St. Lucie News and Express. “I just couldn’t believe it when I learned that (Daniel) Murphy was going to open the season on the disabled list. Luckily I met someone from Rio Piedras here in Florida and they got me the chicken.”
Front office personnel for the Mets denied the incident took place.
“Obviously the reporter for the local paper who wrote this story was bored and having a little fun at the end of Spring Training,” Vice President of Security Robert Kasdon said.
On the other hand, no players from the Mets were willing to speak, either on or off the record, about Pagan’s actions before the game. Live animal sacrifices are not something that superstitious baseball players are ordinarily willing to discuss.
So it was surprising how forthcoming Pagan was in the interview with the St. Lucie paper.
“Later I wished I remembered to include Omar (Minaya) and Jeff (Wilpon) in the ceremony,” Pagan said. “Expecting anything from half the guys on this roster is just crazy and that’s the type of behavior that killing chickens can help cure.”
There is a lot of logic in Pagan’s thoughts, even if his methods are something that we neither approve of nor fully understand here in the United States.
Some want to place Pagan’s actions on a par with Michael Vick and dog fighting, in that they both involve cruelty to animals. Groups ranging from PETA to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church have already denounced Pagan’s action and are threatening a boycott of Opening Day if he does not publicly apologize.
Outsiders are mixed on how either Pagan or the Mets should handle the alleged incident.
“Maybe this is exactly what the franchise needs,” longtime baseball analyst Peter Gammons said. “Everyone thinks the Mets are cursed and what better way to end a curse than with a voodoo ritual?”
“The level of insensitivity displayed here is astounding and besides what a waste of a good chicken,” said former star Wade Boggs.
Stay tuned for how the Mets handle this story as they get ready for Opening Day.