On one hand, it’s devastating to look on, helpless, as your favourite players futilely attempt to make good contact against a pitcher who’s able to throw a 100 mph fastball on both the first and last pitch of the game, a pitcher who will make you fend off eleven pitches before merely giving up a walk, a pitcher named Justin Verlander who positively crushed the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.
On the other hand, you’re watching baseball history. There’s a sense that you should feel privileged for being able to watch one man dominate not only an entire lineup of batters, but also luck, fate and his own destiny. Watching a no-hitter is to see the very finest example of man’s free will in action. By every rule, every probability, no-hitters should not happen, and yet, one man, depending on eight others for help, is able to take what’s supposed to happen and alter it, so that for a few hours, everything that matters falls completely under his control. As a human being, it’s a beautiful thing to witness.
Over the last eight months, I’ve been lucky enough to get paid to write about all of baseball. As such, I’ve felt as though my taste for the game has been extended from merely appreciating a single team into a deeper love of the game as a whole.
Sure, I know my audience. I know that the majority of people reading this blog are living in Canada and are likely Toronto Blue Jays fans. I know I’m a Toronto Blue Jays fan and I know that I know more about that organization than any other, but I’m beginning to find other things to cheer for: Brian Wilson and Daniel Bard’s two seam fastball, every Troy Tulowitzki at bat, Jose Reyes hitting a triple, Josh Johnson starts and of course Curtis Granderson.
But old habits die hard, and God help me if I wasn’t cheering for anyone in the Blue Jays lineup to drag bunt a hit out of Verlander in the last few innings of Saturday’s game. So, as much as I’d like to pretend to exist on a higher plane of baseball fandom, the truth is that I’m a homer like most.
I couldn’t even recognize Verlander’s class as he gave an understated fist pump after completing the game. I was bitter. Primarily because of my team getting no hit, but also secondarily because the no-hitter broke my illusion of a superior fandom.
And The Rest:
Norman Chad really has his fingers on the hearbeat of America. Sorry, more vomit-inducing stuff.
Brandon Guyer’s dream MLB debut was just missed by his wife.
Jack Morris talks about his place in history. I assume that’s baseball history.
B.J. Upton fought the law, and the law, or in this case, Joe West’s crew of umpires, won.
Bill Hall is eager to earn himself a suspension and/or fine.
Andre Ethier’s hit streak may have ended at 30 games, but he started a new one last night.
Red Sox fans rejoice, the glove of Julio Iglesias has been promoted.
Derek Jeter is obviously back to being the greatest shortstop of all time after hitting two home runs yesterday.
The Mets are once again considering moving their fences in, and hopefully then acquiring the three largest men in the world to patrol their outfield.
If the Mets go through with it, The Dickster may finally be able to use his Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver to send one over.
Is it time for the Seattle Mariners to let Milton Bradley be Milton Bradley somewhere else? Anywhere else?
Shocking and appalling: newspapers in Rhode Island are excited about Jed Lowrie.
When is the right time for the Padres bullpen fire sale?