According to the dictionary, the term curse means, “the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., or a formula or charm intended to cause such misfortune to another.”

I bring that up because in the sports world, another curse has been brought up and being talked about.

On the May 3, 2010 edition of Sports Illustrated, the Yankees “Core Four” of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Petite all graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in a featured story about the teammates being together on the Yankees since 1995 and even going further back to their time in the minor leagues of the Yankees system.

Since the story hit the newsstands, there’s been a couple of injuries to the players.

First, Posada has been out for several games this past week with a right calf strain. Francisco Cervelli has been playing regularly in place of Posada.

Rivera has also been out for a couple games with his side bothering him, but he’s expected to return to the bullpen for the Red Sox series.

The latest victim is Petite, who left his Wednesday start against the Orioles with mild inflammation in his left elbow. Petite said his elbow feels good, but the Yankees aren’t sure if he’ll will make his next start on Tuesday against the Tigers.

As far as Jeter goes, he is fine—for now.

So the question has been posed on TV, the radio and all over, which is, did the Yankees players fall victim to the “Sports Illustrated Cover Curse?”

Now, in case anyone hasn’t heard about this, it is quite similar to the “Madden Curse,” which is something people know more about.

A couple of examples of the supposed curse:

In August of 1978, Pete Rose appeared on the cover during his hitting streak. The streak ended at 44 games that same week he appeared.

In October of 2003, during the ALCS and NLCS, the Cubs and Red Sox both graced the cover during their series. Both teams lost to the Marlins and Yankees in their respective series.

In September of 2008, Tom Brady appeared on the cover for the 2008 NFL Preview. In Week One, Brady went down with a season-ending knee injury which required surgery.

In January of 2010, Brett Favre and Mark Sanchez both appeared on the cover in separate weeks before the AFC and NFC Championship Games. Favre’s Vikings lost to the Saints while Sanchez’s Jets lost to the Colts.

Now, we’re here in May with the Yankees and their possible cover curse.

So I bring up the issue and discuss both sides.

Now on one hand, there have been many cases with this curse or jinx or whatever you want to call it, and the latest injuries of the Yankees do fall into the category.

On the other hand, Posada is 38, Rivera is 40 and Pettitte is 37, they are getting towards the end of their careers and their bodies have so much mileage on them, they could be more prone to injuries now.

You have to remember, these guys not only play 150-160 games a season, but with the exception of 2008, these players also play several extra games a year when the Yankees make the postseason. So while most of the league is home, the Yankees are in the playoffs playing extra baseball, putting more wear and tear on their bodies.

At their ages, the breakdown of the athlete happens. It’s expected.

Now, with that said, it is a major coincidence that it’s the week of and week after that three of them get hurt and miss some time. So who knows really if there is a jinx or a curse with appearing on Sports Illustrated’s cover.

For Yankees fans, you hope this gets put to rest when Rivera returns this weekend in Boston, along with Pettitte back in the rotation and Posada behind the plate because the Yankees need their veteran leaders in 2010, especially given how well they have started out in 2010.

Do I believe in the S.I. curse? I’m not even sure. I believe in more of the “Madden Curse” with NFL players like Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander, Vince Young and Troy Polamalu all falling victims to injuries or experiencing the downhills of their careers.

But the S.I. cover jinx with the Yankees? I am still not sure.

So here is where I leave it to the Bleacher Report community to decide and discuss.

Do you feel that it was a curse or a jinx on Pettitte, Posada and Rivera from appearing on the cover, just like the NFL players getting cursed from appearing on the Madden cover?

Or do you think think the injuries are all a result of older ages?

Or is it just one major coincidence?

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