by West Coast Craig

Mount Davis –– Dallas Braden became the latest in a long line of guys-you-wouldn’t-figure to throw a perfect game, and did. It’s a list with names like Don Larson, Len Barker, Tom Browning, and oh baby Kenny Rogers (though the list of guys you would figure to, and did, is well represented with Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, and Randy Johnson. Notice both lists are missing Nolan Ryan? Seven no-no’s are good, Nolan, but not perfect). Braden is still fairly fresh in baseball fans’ minds as a bulldog who barked at Alex Rodriguez for breaking unwritten (and never heard of) rule of crossing over the pitcher’s mound a few weeks back…but that toughness, and the rather shoddy A’s defense, hadn’t helped him much otherwise, and nobody could legitimately say they saw this coming (hence why he was grabbing fantasy pine on my fantasy bench yesterday, grrrrr).

These things always get the headlines, but Braden’s was perfectly placed on mother’s day…the single mom who raised him passed away when he was a high school senior, the grandma who too over had driven the hour from hometown Stockton, as she always does for his games, and was in attendance. Tampa Bay, with their best record in baseball, invested in some of those pink bats but then went out of their way to keep them clean for later silent auctions at their stadium. Speaking of silence and stadiums, only a handful over twelve thousand were in attendance on a beautiful Sunday with two contending teams…if there was ever a team that needed new digs, it’s the A’s. Round, multi-purpose, 1968…all words you don’t want anywhere near your hometown ballpark, and that’s before taking into account that monstrosity that looms over center field. This is a team with great history in both championships and facial hair; they’ve got great uniforms, the only ones with the guts to rock the green; the AL West is terrible this year and there’s no reason to bail on the season yet…the A’s could use some love.
Would you want to see a game here?

With all the hubbub every time somebody backs into a no-hitter—Ubaldo Jimenez, I’m looking at you and your six walks—it’s always nice to see 27 up and 27 down…though a true perfectionist would ask, couldn’t you have done it with only 27 pitches? 27 isn’t even a perfect number, mathematically speaking. Now 28, that’s perfect…in that it is the sum of each of its proper dividers. A perfect game in bowling is the definition of the word, the minimum twelve rolls are all you get. With the right product, you can do the perfect pushup. Or the perfect pull up. Perfect is…a regrettable 1985 movie that tried to cash in on the nation’s craze over…aerobics? Curt Hennig was Mr. Perfect.

Of course, any no-hitters these days just serve to remind Mets fans that they’ve never experienced the positive side of one (the Devil Rays, on the other hand, have now been on the losing side of two perfect games in less than a year)…but if Dallas Braden is throwing them, in a big ballpark with a wide fairway for foul territory, there may be hope for the Ollie Perez’s in the world too.

Grote’s Gripes, tomorrow.

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About West Coast Craig 226 Articles
West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.