Way to go Jim, you just made the single worse call in the history of regular season baseball! Stealing Galarraga’s perfect game on the third out in the 9th no less, on the most routine of calls. I’m pissed and I could care less about Detroit or the AL.
Hopefully I see you this weekend at my little cousins pony league game, because thats where you should umping for the rest of your days.
Tough break for Armando Galarraga tonight. The Tigers pitcher had a Perfect Game through 8 2/3 innings, only to see it snatched right out from under him by a blown call at first. Who deserves the blame? The obvious culprit here is first base umpire, Jim Joyce, who will probably receive some much-deserved hate mail over the next week or two. But in reality, there are two other individuals who indirectly affected the outcome of this game. See, the Perfect Game is widely considered the rarest feat in sports. From 1880-2009, there were only 18 ever thrown. 1880 was also the only season in which two Perfect Games were thrown – until this year. First Dallas Braden threw the 19th in history, followed a couple weeks later by Roy Halladay. Suddenly, the Perfect Game was becoming more common. Enter Galarraga, who was putting in a solid bid to throw the 21st Perfect Game in 130 years, but also the 3rd in the last month. Somewhere the powers that be were cringing at the thought. I’m not crying foul here, but someone’s emotions got the best of them here. Usually you’ll see the umpire give a pitcher a little more leeway behind the plate down the stretch of a No Hit bid, but if not for Braden and Halladay already notching Perfect Games this year, that umpire calls it an out. You can’t argue that. I’m not sure why all of a sudden pitchers are throwing no hitters three times more often that Ian Kinsler and Grady Sizemore are homering, but maybe pitchers are just getting better. It’s like they say in basketball, great offense always beats great defense (who is that, Mark Jackson?). Perhaps in baseball, great pitching always beats great hitting. So, they may have stopped Armando Galarraga this time, but there’ll be another guy, and another guy after that, who can’t be stopped by a close call. The bottom line is it’s going to happen, and maybe lose its luster a bit, but the game hasn’t changed that much. Before you know it, there’ll be a five or six year span where no one does it. You can’t change history – it’ll all even out over time. So here’s a big BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for Jim Joyce.
- The 209 hasn’t gotten this much love since Celly Cel’s 1998 heater, “The Bay”
Last week, Dallas Braden was only known outside of Northern California as the guy who called A-Roid out. The guy who has accomplished nothing in his major league career, but was blasting one of the game’s highest profile stars in the media. Many outside of the Bay Area simply shook their heads saying, “who is this guy to call out A-Rod?” But then, to the surprise of everyone, Braden comes out and throws just the 19th perfect game in the history of baseball, and the ultimate “what now” to Rodriguez. A-Rod’s last comments were that he didn’t want to extend Braden’s 15 minutes of fame. Well, Braden’s going to have more than 15 minutes now. He accomplished the rarest feat in all of sports, something A-Rod will never do. Sure, Rodriguez tied Frank Robinson on the all-time Home Run list, but you can win $2 on a lottery ticket 500 times and it doesn’t stack up to winning the jackpot. Here’s a rundown of all the publicity Dallas Braden is garnering now….
It is (Un)Writ: Dallas Braden Has Spoken – Jeff Mac Gregor, Espn.com
Dallas Braden’s Perfect Approach – Jerry Crasnick, Espn.com
Remembering When Braden Was a (non)Prospect – Rob Neyer, Espn.com (Rob Neyer is one of the few writers who knows anything about the A’s)
Before Braden Got the Win, Grandma Got the Save – Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle
USA Today: Daily Pitch
True Rival For Yankees in Words and Deeds – New York Times (This one’s good. Apparently the Yankees are too good for the Red Sox now, so at least maybe Braden and the A’s can provide a challenge for them!)
Braden’s Perfect Game Drags A-Rod Into Spotlight Again – Mike Vaccaro, New York Post (This one’s even better. This clown makes Braden’s perfect game all about A-Rod)
Nothing Perfect About Rays Against Lefties – Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune (It’s more about the Rays, and rightfully so. But c’mon Joe. A perfect game is all about the pitcher, not the hitters)
Braden’s Mother’s Day Gift Is Perfect- Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports (I don’t know that I’d kick it with Passan in real life, but I like him on paper. He does his homework and always comes correct)
Braden’s Perfecto Could’ve Ended On An Unwritten Rule Violation – Duk, Yahoo Sports (Let’s not play dumb. Everyone knows you don’t bunt to break up a no hitter. But, in fairness to the Rays, “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME”, so I don’t blame Longoria. I’m just glad he didn’t succeed)
Normally I wouldn’t piggyback on Chappy’s post on the same subject, but today’s gem by Dallas Braden is just too significant on too many levels for me to pass up. The obvious part is that he dons the green and gold. I’ve been a lifelong A’s fan and this is the first perfect game by an Athletic in my lifetime. The only other one was Catfish Hunter’s in 1968. It also helps that Braden has been making a lot of noise in the media as a result of his encounter with Alex Rodriguez. While most baseball traditionalists agreed with Braden’s sentiments, many others were asking, “Who is Dallas Braden?” Even A-Rod dusted off Braden’s objections because he “only has a handful of wins.” I get that, but it doesn’t matter who you are at that point. I was hoping that Braden would have a good season to back up his comments a little bit, but I never could have begun to hope for this. I’m pretty sure everyone in baseball knows who he is now.
What many people don’t know – or at least didn’t before today – is Braden lost his mother to cancer in high school. So, to accomplish this feat on Mother’s Day is an amazing tribute. Though, while she wasn’t at the stadium to witness it today, his grandmother was, and he shared an emotional hug with her in front of the dugout after the game. He also had the support of his usual Stockton contingent, or section 209, which is also the area code of Stockton.
Dallas Braden was never supposed to be a factor in the big leagues. He was a 24th round draft pick of the A’s in 2004. I remember seeing his major league debut in 2007. I thought, who is this guy with the flat bill on his cap? He won his first decision, but finished the season with a 1-8 record. When I moved from the Bay Area to Sacramento in the middle of the season, Braden also was sent down to AAA-Sacramento. He wasn’t exactly dominant, but he did show signs of brilliance, in particular when he struck out 17 batters in a game late that season. Over the next season, he looked like he was going to be mired in the minor leagues for life, but he kept working, and there’s one thing you can say about Braden, he’s all business on the field. As a result, Braden has proved over the course of the last season and a half that he belongs. Today though, he proved more than that.
Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics isn’t an overpowering pitcher, but as I said in my preview a month ago, he’s a gamer, and will give you everything he has when you put the ball in his hand. Whenever he’s on the mound he doesn’t back down. He’s already proved that twice this year. He proved that by telling A-Rod to get off his mound. He followed that up today by throwing a perfect game against one of the best teams in the leagues, Tampa Bay. I caught innings six through nine, and he never really looked nervous, just fired up the way he always is. After Kaplar fouled off what felt like 20 pitches in the 6th, Dallas cruised the rest of the way and only fell behind one hitter 3-1 after that. I was strangely confident that he was going to come through while I watched, maybe a little too confident for comfort. The main reason was because he threw a ton of strikes mixing up speeds and locations. He was hitting the target nearly every pitch. Since he’s not overpowering it was truly a masterful performance. Braden is a guy that didn’t seem like he was ever overwhelmed by it on the mound, he just kept dealing with one pitch at a time. He had a ton of friends and family including grandma on hand, as he bought out a lot of section 209 to watch the game. It was the first perfect game in Oakland since Catfish Hunter decades ago. Dave Stewart threw a no hitter in 1990, but there has been nothing since! I’m not sure if the difference was NOT having their normal catcher Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. Instead he had Landon Powell, his catcher he worked with routinely in AAA, and from what I saw he rarely shook off a pitch, so you have to give Powell a little of the credit. The one bad thing about this perfect game is if/when he does bean A-Rod, it will be more obvious because now everyone knows he has great control!