The rain has been relentlessly coming down for the better part of the week here in New England. The sole retreat from the misery was Monday’s Dolphins/Patriots tilt, and even then it was a one of those schizophrenic sorts of feelings - the teams seemed like they were in hand-to-hand trench warfare for the first half, then two different teams came out to play the second half. That was 30-minutes of the most fun I’ve had watching football in a very long time. Of course. this comes at a cost. 5AM gym time came very early and I almost fell asleep on the treadmill - very hazardous.
Then, on Tuesday, the day after he was held without a catch for the first time in his Patriots career, the rumors started about Randy Moss. On Wednesday, he was the newest member of the Minnesota Vikings. Some ten years ago, I had a #84 Moss jersey and I’m kind of wishing that I still had it. I think I threw it in the Goodwill bin after he kind of ran down the meter maid...but all that is past history.
There’s no way this is a better Patriots team without him on it - at least on the field. But at the end of the day, the Patriots weren’t going to extend his contract and it was pretty clear to them that somethingwas going to happen, they just didn’t know what. I don’t blame them for making the trade, and maybe it’s just because I’ve been trained so well over the last decade or so by Coach Bill, and I don’t blame him for wanting out. Business is business, but I’m a fan - I want them to win. On that front it stings, but I understand it. The upside is that he gets a second crack at the Jets; the downside is that he returns to Gillette on Halloween.
Meanwhile, his former quarterback Daunte Culpepper is still playing ball as well...for the Sacramento Mountain Lions. He lost his head-to-head match up with Jeff Garcia of the Omaha Nighthawks 20-17...but if you’re into it, Flo-Rida will be playing
at the next Mountain Lions home game on the 15th.
So anyway, Wednesday was a dark and gloomy day - wet, drizzly, cold, and there was no Moss to be found. If you happen to be a Reds AND a Packers fan, Wednesday was a particularly bad one for you. Roy Halladay, in his first playoff game, no-hit the Reds in the Phillies/Reds NLDS game. The only other no-hitter in post-season history was a perfect game in 1956 - imagine this for a second: Since the 1960’s, baseball’s post season has been expanding with the number of teams in the leagues and it took LONGER for the no-hitter feat to be seconded than it took for it to happen the first time.
Now one must realize that Baseball is a funny beast. The Cincinnati Reds are the oldest team in professional baseball. The Rockies are one of the newest. The Reds have had one more player hit for the cycle
than the Rockies have. Descriptive statistics are funny too - you know a certain number of events will happen, just not by whom or on what team or in what order, but you would expect that with an increase in the number of opportunities to pitch a gem, that it might occur more frequently. In the case of the post season no-hitter, it actually seems to have made the likelihood smaller, or maybe it shines the light on just how unlikely a world series perfect game actually is.
First the LCS games created with the East/West divisions, which essentially doubled the number of potential post-season games. Then the creation of the three division leagues and the addition of the Wild Card created another tier of playoff games. So, it took 53 years - from 1903 to 1956 - for there to be a no-hitter/perfect game in the post-season and that includes 1904 where there was no post-season. 53 years in which the post season consisted of 1 series of 7 games - sometimes more as the format evolved, but the majority of time it was 7 games. Fast forward to 2010 - 54 years, including the one cancelled season of 1994, until we had a second no-hitter.
How remarkable was a perfect game being thrown in the World Series? It has been 54-years with an expansion of playoff games and arguably a dilution of talent within the league and within the playoffs, and the feat was matched only inasmuch as a perfect game is by definition a no-hitter. It’s just remarkable that such a feat has taken so long to come close to being accomplished again.
At that time, Larsen’s game 5 perfect game was only the 6th perfect game in Major League history. By my count, there have been some 247-no-hitters
in Major League history (although wikipedia
asserts there have been 269) - Don Larsen’s perfect game was the 115th no-hitter (again, depending on who’s numbers you’re looking at). Since that game, there have been 132 no-hitters - a not surprising increase given the expansion of the length of the baseball season - and 14 more perfect games (and we all know there should be one more game added to that list, but for an umpires’ gaffe). So, perfect games seem to have increased disproportionately to the number of no-hitters, but lets’ face it - a perfect game is still a rarity...even this season. So even with a statistical bulge in the number of perfect games, and an increase in the number of chances to throw a post season game, Don Larsen’s perfect game stands out among the truly exceptional. Doc Halladay’s no-hitter, while not “truly exceptional,” stands out as remarkable for the simple fact that no one else has come close over an extended period of time.
Thanks for stopping by today have a great weekend...the sun is supposed to be out this weekend, and I’m hoping the weather will be way better than the rest of the week.