Two teenagers were kicked off their Texas high school baseball team after apparently sacrificing chickens in a bid to boost performance, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Thursday.
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The duo, who remained unnamed, were suspended from playing for the rest of the year and disciplined by the Western Hills school officials amid claims they slaughtered the baby birds on a baseball field during spring break.
The pair could face greater recriminations after police in Benbrook, Texas, began investigating the reports of animal cruelty.
Western Hills baseball coach Bobby McIntire said he did not know why the students would behave in such a way, but guessed they were influenced by similar scenes of sporting sacrifice in baseball films "Major League" and "Bull Durham," in which the bloody ritual was referenced as a way of beating a slump in form.
"Baseball is very superstitious, and I assume [the movies] are where they got it from," McIntire said.