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Nostradamus Calls the Series


While the famous prognosticator Nostradamus is traditionally read as predicting such events as 9/11 and the death of Princess Diana, advanced textual analysis suggests that he had a higher purpose: that of forecasting the 2013 World Series. Join history’s greatest seer below as he reveals a game-by-game summary of the upcoming Fall Classic. SPOILER ALERTS! Ha ha!

Game One

Volcanic fire from the center of the earth
will cause trembling around the new city:
Two great rocks will make war for a long time.
Then Arethusa will redden a new river.

“Volcanic fire” is a clear reference to Shane Victorino, who hails from Hawai’i, “Land of Volcanoes,” and is known for his passion on the field. Victorino’s first-inning home run will strike fear into the hearts of Cardinals fans, who live in the “new city” of St. Louis (founded in 1764, it is “new” compared to Boston). But a pitcher’s duel will then take over, with the “two rocks” of Wainwright and Lester battling into the late innings. “Arethusa” rearranged spells “St. Uehara,” referring to the near-divine presence of the Red Sox closer. Koji will strike out the side in the ninth, “reddening the river” with Cardinal-red blood, to seal the 1-0 win for Boston.

Game Two

In the place very near not far from Venus,
The two greatest ones of Asia and of Africa,
From the Rhine and Hister they will be said to have come,
Cries, tears at Malta and the Ligurian side.

“The place…not far from Venus” is Fenway Park, which is only 2.1 miles from Cambridge’s Venus Cosmetics by car, if you take Mass Ave. “The…greatest ones of Asia and of Africa” are clearly Koji Uehara (again) and David Ortiz, who will be the heroes of Game Two. The line about the Rhine and Hister (Danube) Rivers is more difficult to interpret, but some historical knowledge helps. The Dutch equivalent of “from the Rhine” is “van Rijn,” and this of course was the toponymic surname of Rembrandt. The implication is that Uehara will “paint another masterpiece.” The mention of the Danube may be an oblique reference to Mozart and/or Beethoven, who lived along the Danube in Vienna. Ortiz will likely “compose a quartet,” i.e., hit a home run. Finally, the last line is rather obvious: Daniel Descalso, whose heritage is Italian, will be inserted as a late-innings defensive replacement, and ironically will commit a key error to hand Boston the final margin of victory. 4-2 Sox is your final.

Game Three

The young lion will overcome the old one
on the field of battle in single combat:
He will put out his eyes in a cage of gold:
Two fleets one, then to die a cruel death.

“The young lion” is 25-year-old Joe Kelly, who will triumph over 34-year-old John Lackey as the series shifts to Busch Stadium for Game Three. The third and fourth lines of the prophecy are rather cryptic. Probably the best interpretation is that this game will feature the Series’ first controversy, as the fiery Kelly beans the irascible Lackey with a fastball as he stands in the batter’s box (the “cage of gold”). “Two fleets,” or two teams, will become one for a few tense moments as both benches clear. Order will be restored, however, Lackey will go down swinging, and his “cruel death” will be consummated in the next half-inning as the Cards mount a five-run rally. Final score 8-2, St. Louis.

Game Four

Very much before such intrigues
those of the East by virtue of the Moon:
the year 1700 they will cause great ones to be carried off,
almost subjugating the Aquilon corner.

Game Four will be overshadowed by the lingering “intrigues” from Game Three, which the Cardinals will feed by continually referring to the “Mickey Mouse” antics of Lackey and his teammates. However, “those of the East” (the Sox) will maintain their focus thanks to the steadying influence of skipper John Farrell (the “moon” to their “tides”). The game will be a classic, stretching well into extra frames, with tragedy striking St. Louis in the 17th (“the year 1700”) when “great one” Carlos Beltran injures himself trying to make a catch at the outfield wall. The ball will pop out of his glove and fall for a triple, and a sac fly will drive in the go-ahead run for the Sox. The lead will hold, and with a commanding 3-1 series lead, Boston will have “almost subjugated” the Cardinals (“Aquilon” means “eagle,” a bird reference clearly implicating St. Louis). 6-5 Sox.

Game Five

Near the gates and within the cities
there will be two scourges the like of which was never seen,
famine within plague, people put out by steel,
crying to the great immortal God for relief.

“Near the gates” refers, obviously, to the Gateway Arch that towers over Busch Stadium. With the Cardinals facing elimination, they will respond with another blowout win. The “two scourges” will be Matt Holliday and David Freese, who will homer thrice and twice respectively to set a new joint record for a postseason game. Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright will cause “famine” for the Boston offense, while no fewer than four Red Sox baserunners will be “put out by ste[a]l” — i.e., thrown out by Yadier Molina. Sox fans, “crying…for relief,” will grumble about Farrell’s slow hook on starter Lester. Final score 11-0, Cardinals.

Game Six

Lost, found, hidden for so long a time,
the pastor will be honored as a demigod:
Before the Moon finishes its full period
he will be dishonored by other winds.

As the Series shifts back to Boston, the main Game Six storyline will be the heroic return of Carlos Beltran — called “the pastor” because of his well-documented religious devotion. “Hidden for so long” refers to Beltran’s inability to reach the Fall Classic through his illustrious 16-year career, while “lost, found” refers to his sidelining after his Game Four injury and his improbably fast recovery. Beltran will come through with a big hit in his first plate appearance in Game Six, raising his October legend to “demigod” heights. Remember that “the Moon” is John Farrell; he’ll be ejected (“dishonored”) in the eighth (“before [he] finishes [his] full period”), with umpire Hunter Wendelstedt (“other winds,” other, that is, than his dad Harry) doing the honors. Farrell’s passion will fire up the Sox for a furious ninth-inning rally, but it’ll fall just short as the Cardinals force a deciding Game 7. Your final is 5-4, St. Louis.

Game Seven

The single part afflicted will be mitred,
Return conflict to pass over the tile:
For five hundred one to betray will be titled
Narbonne and Salces we have oil for knives.

I have no idea what this means, but I guess we wouldn’t want the whole thing to be spoiled, would we?