Posted on: May 10, 2010 12:37 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2010 1:00 pm
Maybe it's just coincidence. Or maybe not.
Not only have the Rays been the victim in the last two perfect games thrown in the major leagues -- last year by Mark Buehrle, Sunday by Dallas Braden -- but both came in afternoon games on getaway day.
In fact, St. Petersburg Times beat writer Marc Topkin suggested something less than coincidence when he speculated in his game story that Sunday's performance might have had something to do with "having Saturday night off in San Francisco."
So you wonder, is that why five of the last nine perfect games thrown in the major leagues were on Sundays (in Oakland, New York (twice), Los Angeles and Texas) -- and that six of the last nine were in day games?
And you wonder, what is it about lefties? Five of the last six perfect games have been thrown by left-handers: Braden, Buehrle, Randy Johnson, David Wells and Kenny Rogers (with David Cone the lone righty in the group).
Maybe it's just coincidence. Or maybe not.
Two more thoughts on the perfect game:
Not surprisingly, the Rays had the best record (22-8) of any team to have a perfect game thrown against them. Only two teams that were victims of perfect games have gone made it to the postseason in the same year (excluding the 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers, who had a perfect game thrown against them in the World Series). The two? The 2004 Braves (Randy Johnson), who lost in the first round of the playoffs, and the 1988 Dodgers (Tom Browning), who won the World Series.
And to echo what colleague Scott Miller wrote Sunday, what a great job by Comcast Sports Net California, and especially by announcers Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse. Instead of adhering to the silly notion that they might jinx history by doing their job and mentioning it, Kuiper and Fosse set the scene perfectly -- and in doing so, proved once again that announcers don't jinx no-hitters (or perfect games).
(And, on A's radio, Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo also told listeners that Braden was working on a perfect game.)
In fact, in the most famous perfect game call of all, Vin Scully began the ninth inning by saying right away that Sandy Koufax was pitching a perfect game. When Koufax got it by striking out Harvey Kuenn, Scully let the crowd reaction play for 38 seconds, then said, "On the scoreboard in right field it is 9:46 p.m. in the City of the Angels, Los Angeles, California."
Yes, it was a night game.
Posted on: June 13, 2008 9:21 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2008 9:23 pm
Everyone in baseball talks about the game's catching shortage. Teams are always looking for players who might be converted to catcher. So why would the Dodgers think about moving Russell Martin to another spot?
The answer is they're not -- not yet. But Dodger people will tell you that it's entirely possible that Martin could become their second baseman or third baseman in two or three years, particularly if catching prospect Lucas May (now at Double-A Jacksonville) develops into a big-league player.
Martin is so good behind the plate that he won the National League's gold glove in 2007 (and the silver slugger, too). But he was a third baseman in junior college, and when he was growing up in Montreal, he was a shortstop.
"You've got to realize, I idolized Ozzie Smith," Martin said. "If I saw something he did, I'd go out the next day and try to do it myself. I had to learn to love to catch. I enjoy everything about it now, but I still miss the infield."
Martin has started four games at third base this year, as Joe Torre has tried to get his bat in the lineup on days when he doesn't catch. Torre said he thinks Martin is quick enough (and hits enough) to play in the middle of the infield.
Martin says he'll do whatever the organization asks. But when I asked him what he'd say if they suggested a permanent move to the infield, his eyes lit up.
"I'd change in a heartbeat," he said. "I'd jump at it, for sure."
The Indians have known for a while that Victor Martinez was playing with a bad elbow, which is why they weren't alarmed by his complete loss of power (no home runs in 198 at-bats). But when Martinez joined Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona on Cleveland's disabled list this week, it almost ensured that C.C. Sabathia will be traded next month.
Rogers has a 1.24 ERA in his last four starts, and he would be one of the most marketable Tigers. He's also on record as saying he wants to end his career as a Tiger, a sentiment he repeated today.
"I don't want to pitch anywhere but here," Rogers said.
Rogers has partial no-trade protection in his contract, but as a 43-year-old who strongly considered retirement last fall, he has the ultimate no-trade clause: he could tell teams he would retire rather than accept a deal.
"I don't envision it being a possibility, because I expect we're going to be in this (race) for the long haul," Rogers said.