Results tagged ‘ Perfect Game ’

The Filibuster

Matt Cain this week threw what some people are saying was the best “perfect game” ever.  Is it really possible to say that one perfect game is better than another and, if so, which one would you vote for?

Sal
Fresno, CA
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Absolutism is relative.  I think.  No, I am sure it is.  Maybe.  I mean, this is the GREATEST BASEBALL-POLITICO BLOG OF ALL TIME, IS IT NOT!?!?!

I think so, but such a statement comes with the caveat that one would have a hard time quantifying it.  Why is it the best?  Because of Mr. Krause?  Because of Mr. Lung?  Because of the interns?

That’s just the very beginning of a long list of things that makes RSBS the G.O.A.T.

But can we quantify what exactly makes one perfecto better than another?  Not really.  But it’s fun trying.  For example, Matt Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a perfect game (Sandy Koufax, 1965), which clearly demonstrates superior command and dominance over the opposition.  Cain also threw 19 first pitch strikes and never got himself in a 2-0 count.  Meanwhile, his defense did some dazzling.  Both the 6th and 7th innings featured unbelievable catches in the outfield that, had they not been made, would have sunk the perfect game effort.  The last out, a hard ground ball to third base that put Joaquin Arias in a stutter step also provided one final gasping twist to the accomplishment.  All of the above, plus Cain’s eery zen mound presence throughout it all, provide plenty of quantification for it being the “best” perfect game ever.

Still, it’s relative.  And maybe we see it as the “best” right now because it’s fresh in our minds.

I recall Randy Johnson’s 2004 effort against the Braves as being one of the most dominate games I’ve ever seen too.  The Big Unit struck out 13 in that game and was throwin’ nasty stuff all the while.  David Cone didn’t see a 2-0 count in his 1999 perfecto against the late Expos, a game where he also had to sit out for a 33-minute rain delay, on Yogi Berra Day, with Don Larsen in the stands!

But, for me, the best perfect game I’ve ever seen came on a lazy Thursday afternoon in July 2009, when Mark Buehrle pitched himself into the record books, again.  What made that game so special, for me, was that I was watching it at work and by the 8th inning, I was watching it with the UPS man, the FedEx man and yes, even the mail man.  When Dewayne Wise made “the catch” we reveled in our mutual south sidedness and gave each other big, sweaty man-hugs.

That’s the sorta thing that only happens once in a lifetime, so I’ll be hanging my hat on the Buehrle perfecto for the forseeable future.  But that’s just me.

You can hate me for that.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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Brendan Ryan Finds His Ironic Legacy: Keeping His Mouth Shut

We learned many things from Jim Joyce, Armando Galarraga and the infamous Imperfect Game of June 2, 2010.  We learned that throwing beer bottles at the wall may cause significant DAMAGE (to the beer bottle, possibly the wall too).  We learned that styling one’s facial hair after the Pringles man cannot disguise MISTAKES.  And we also learned that the best way to avoid controversy, is to AVOID controversy.

So when Philip Humber threw that wild 3-2 breaking ball two feet off the plate on Saturday and Brendan Ryan checked his swing, I felt all of the fury, all of the tension, all of the RAGE from the Imperfect Game ALL over again.  Except homeplate umpire Brian Runge called it a swing, AJ Pierzynski threw the ball to first and the celebration began.

OH BUT THE CONTROVERSY!!!

In my house, I had a hard time celebrating Humber’s gem because I was already seeing the asterisk-calling headlines, I could already hear Mariners fans (all three of them) flooding the sports talk shows with vitriol.  And as Brendan Ryan argued with Runge about the call, I knew it was time for me to go outside to get some fresh air before my phone started to blow up with imperfect texts.

Except… none of the above actually happened.  Brendan Ryan dropped the subject.  He tipped his cap and moved on.  The networks — as if taken over by an Orwellian machine of greater good (a fantasy in itself) — didn’t even show the replays of Ryan’s checked swing.  The Wizard said “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” and I — WE ALL — gleefully obliged, even though it sorta felt dirty doing so.

We owe that guilt-stained dirty feeling to Brendan Ryan.  In fact, whether it is a good thing or not, Philip Humber’s perfect game will live on unscathed by controversy because Brendan Ryan simply let it go.  He shut his mouth.  He went about his business.  And now we are to forget.

For a guy who was labeled as “a distraction” and a “clubhouse cancer” during his St. Louis Cardinal tenure, it’s nice to see Brendan being recognized for something else.  Admittedly, I never would have bet it’d be for saying… nothing.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 14: Ryne Sandberg’s Phlight… and Other Stuff

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Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

…the fullest, rawest, most awe inspiring podcast yet, RSBS convenes as Jeff, Allen, Johanna and special guest Mark Piebenga from Second City all come together for one rip-roarin’ time!  Among the topics of conversation (sponsored by Lifestyles and encouraged by Miller Lite) are strains to one’s right glute, burning one’s hand on the hot stove, hiding one’s pain with the NBA… and much, much more! 

All to make you smiley face!

Holla!

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For more on Mark’s work on RSBSNinemen’s Morris series, check out this story then click on the Ninemen’s Morris tag at the bottom for more early 20th century hilarity!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  You can check out Keith’s wicked podcast and his subsequent film projects at  Undercard Films.  The dude has mad skillz, so you might wanna pay attention.  Do it!  Now!

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Recorded Wednesday, November 17, 2010

 

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 13: Nolan Ryan’s Taintedness… and Other Stuff

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Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and Johanna welcome a very special guest, Second City funny man Mark “Pie” Piebenga, to the Logan Square Studio for an RSBS Podcast pow-wow of epic proportions (we would like to thank Miller Lite for making it, as the kids say, ‘epic’)!  From Jim Joyce’s ‘stache to Nolan Ryan’s pomposity to Nyjer Morgan’s right hook to Bobby Scales’… existence?… all the gloves come off as the fellas look back at the 2010 season and gear up for the winter with plenty of chuckles and plenty of beer.  All to make you laughy laugh!

Holla!

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For more on Mark’s work on RSBSNinemen’s Morris series, check out this story then click on the Ninemen’s Morris tag at the bottom for more early 20th century hilarity!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is involved in some impressive projects himself.  Check out his work at  Undercard Films.  Seriously.  You should do it.  If you don’t, you might find out about his MMA skills first hand.  Holla!!!

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Recorded Wednesday, November 10, 2010

 

Captain Morgan Calls for Captainism!

Just how Captain Morgan is able to be in both my liquor cabinet and the Oakland Coliseum at the same time is beyond me.  But he is.  Or… was.  In fact, last week he was seen comparing hooks with Mr. Perfect himself, Dallas Braden, while bringing the party with him in the way of one blonde, one redhead and one enviable, swashbuckling goatee.

Dallas Braden Compares Hooks with CM.JPG

That’s right.  Just when you thought captainism in US America was dead, here comes Captain Morgan throwing out the first pitch at a ballpark near you.  While captains may run rampant in the NHL, the NFL and MLS, Major League Baseball suffers from a supreme shortage.

Derek Jeter.  Jason Varitek.  Paul Konerko.

Those are your only true, official captains.

Jeter?  Understood. 

Varitek?  That’s a joke, right?

Paulie?  Deserved, but under appreciated and way under publicized.  In fact, I didn’t even know he was the Sox captain until yesterday… and I live next to the ball park!

CM Throws First Pitch in As Cap.JPG

Look, I’m a purist.  You know this.  Axe the replay, axe the jumbotron, axe the synthetic unis… I’m cool with all of that.  But in lieu of the Nyjer Morgans and Milton Bradleys of the world, I think MLB would do a lot of good to inject more leadership into its ranks, spice it up with a “C” patch, subject the younger players to some authority. 

Evan Longoria, Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer… they already look and act like captains.  Can’t we just make it official?

Either that, or at least make it mandatory for that blonde and that redhead to make an appearance every ballpark in the league. (No need for the goatee. I have one of those already.)

Oh… and I’ll be waiting at Sox Park.

So go ahead and hate me… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Images via Getty Images)

A Pitcher is Worth a Thousand Words

dallas_braden.jpgIn the past few days two pitchers with the same kind of heart but very different skill levels achieved notoriety from very different results.  Since we here at RSBS try not to judge, we won’t say that one did better than the other.  But we will say that both brought a smile to our faces.

Dallas Braden was the main story, of course, with his nine innings of perfection.  He’s no David Wells and that’s probably a good thing.  And he’s still known as the guy who told off A-Rod.  But he’s also the guy who no-hit the hottest team in baseball.

Meanwhile, in another ball park not so far away, minor leaguer Rojo Johnson attempted to come back after a rough life that saw him spend some time in the cooler.  The results, although not unexpected, probably weren’t all that he had hoped for……or maybe they were.  We’ll let you be the judge:

Looks like he might have been channeling Nolan Ryan there for a second.  I think we can all get behind that.

Happy Tuesday!

-A

Ruminations on Perfection

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Very few pursuits allow for perfection. In bowling, there’s the 300 game but how much of that has to do with luck? Football quarterbacks can post a perfect passer rating but that usually still involves incompletions which is far from perfect in my book. And let’s be honest, when you’re forced to define perfection by a mathematical formula, how perfect is it really? (No offense to any of the mathematicians out there, obviously.)

But in baseball, perfection exists. And when Mark Buehrle hit the mound the other day, we got to see it. There were tense moments and some great plays that made it happen. But it was perfection.

The most amazing thing about perfection is how it’s a snapshot in time. No one is going to achieve perfection over the course of a season. No batter is going to get a hit every time he’s at the plate, no pitcher is going to avoid giving up a hit during every outing. The reason that perfection appeals to us is because it happens so rarely.

Some of this sentiment also plays into the betrayal many have felt at the hands of various players who used PEDs. I still remember the summer when Sosa and McGwire were racing for the home run crown and how astounding it was to watch them rack up those totals. They made the extraordinary ordinary. And when Bonds came along and shattered those records, it almost became mundane. We came to expect these kinds of feats and now we’re disappointed by their absence, a problem similar to what swimming is now facing with the ban on many of the new suit technologies. No one wants to ride in coach after they’ve experienced first class.

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But the perfect game stands out because it is one of those things that is still so rare. Clemens may have been juicing and he may have been a dominant pitcher but that never earned him perfection. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters but none of them were perfect. But a guy like David Wells, all 250 plus pounds of him, managed to do it. 

Possibly the best part of Buehrle’s perfect game, though, is the time in which it came. This season has been marked so far by Manny’s suspension, A-Rod’s admission and several mediocre divisional races. It’s only fitting that the thing that takes our minds off of the mediocrity and failure……is perfection.

-A

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