Athletics

Athletics

When it comes to a player's superstitions, the sky is the limit. I originally thought I knew that -- but realized I didn't know as to what extent these rituals could go. 

Sure, you would assume a guy would put his socks on in a different order if he were struggling a bit in his last few outings. But what about changing up facial hair in hopes that would do the trick?

Well, that's exactly what A's starter Mike Fiers did in hopes of some extra luck as he prepared to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday:

Depending on who you are, this might or might not be a huge change, but how often pitchers participate in such things?

And who else to ask but former A's pitcher turned NBC Sports California baseball analyst Dallas Braden.

"You do anything from sleeping in a different direction on your bed, to sleeping in a different location in the house altogether, maybe you're sleeping outside," Braden told NBC Sports California. "You change things you eat, your route to the ballpark -- I mean, the list is really endless, but for me, I think the furthest I've gotten is burning a uniform."

 

Now I figured it was a scenario like I have been through, where you write the name of the boy who took you off of his Myspace Top 8 on a piece of paper, tear it up, and place it daintily in a trash can and light it with a match.

NOPE.

At the end of his rookie year, Braden took his jersey home, placed it on the ground, doused it in lighter fluid and lit that baby up. 

We don't have to go over the numbers -- Dallas knows how he ended his 2007 season.

"If you're a reliever, you can kind of get back to it the next day, but if you're a starting pitcher, it's a little different -- because you have four days to kind of chew on that butt-kicking you just too," Braden added.

As far as Fiers' new mustache-y look, Braden is still a bit unsure how to feel about it, but he did bring Hulk Hogan into it. Naturally. 

"Hogan is going to send him a cease and desist -- the NWO version of Hulk Hogan -- and also, where did he ride his chopper? Did he ride it all the way to Rogers Centre?"

[RELATED: Braden: KD, A's extension speaks volumes]

But let's not forget what Braden looked like with very little facial hair:

At the end of the day though ... whatever helps is worth it, right?