Sunday, May 30, 2010

The meaning of baseball's perfect game

By Jason Jones (posted by Rick Morris)

Not to be a baseball antagonist...but, if it's really a "perfect game," wouldn't the pitcher only throw 81 pitches, all for strikes, with 27 strikeouts? Anything short of striking every batter out with a maximum of three pitches per at-bat seems to be less than perfect. Roy Halladay only had 11 strikeouts and threw only 63% for strikes, based on the definition of the word, that ... doesn't seem "perfect."

There has never actually been a "perfect" game in the history of organized baseball. Seems to me that if there ever was, it would truly be a spectacle to behold. And that is what would make it so magical ... the pursuit of perfection, not the pursuit of the really, really good.

The latest 10 "perfect games" were as follows:

^ Roy Halladay-Future Hall of Famer
^ Dallas Braden-Who the hell knows how good he'll be?
^ Mark Buehrle-Solid starter for his era
^ Randy Johnson-Future Hall of Famer
^ David Cone-Very good, not an all-time great
^ David Wells-Seriously, the drunk, seriously?
^ Kenny Rogers-Had his moments
^ Dennis Martinez-Very good ... if you only consider the 1980s
^ Tom Browning-Footnote, if memory serves
^ Mike Witt-Before my time

The highest strikeout total for any perfect game? Sandy Koufax (who was the sh%@, by the way) only had 14. Thats one K putting him over the 50% mark. Hardly perfect.

Point is, why in sports do we change the definitions of our words in order and drama and effect to the moment? Perfect Game, The Game's Hero, The Unbeatable________, Kobe Bryant is a Killer, Shutdown Corner, Lockdown defender, etc. None of those terms or phrases are anywhere near as absolute as we claim them to be. And for the record, I am just as guilty as anyone in the butchery of these linguistic violations.

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