SI's Joe Lemire makes my list

When I corresponded with Jimmy D about posting here at The Fowl Balls, I never intended to have my posts revolve around the national sports media and how bad they suck. So far, it's just working out that way.
Joe Lemire's SI.com article, Who will throw the next perfect game? I must take issue with. As a rule, I recommend baseball fans not waste their time prognosticating who has the potential to throw a perfect game during their career because the idea is totally idiotic. This was Lemire's Memorial Day offering, so I'd love to know what ragging bash he went to the previous weekend that inspired such nonsense, what kind of alcohol was served, and finally, where I can acquire said alcohol that will make me so delusional that I'll come up with a list of potential perfect game candidates.
Here is a list of criteria he came up with, which I can't argue with, but again, that's not the point.

first-pitch strikes, swing-and-miss stuff, multi-pitch repertoire and good team defense

OK, fine. That sounds good. But honestly, did anyone ever think Mark Buehrle was going to throw a perfect game? If someone made this list before Buehrle had done it, I guarantee you he would not be there. Here is the list of all MLB perfect games. Did any member of the press ever have the cohonas to predict someone would throw a perfect game before they did it? Now I realize Lemire isn't offering any predictions, but this is still a bold declaration.
And now, here is what drove me over the edge, the very inspiration for this post:

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals: No, he hasn't thrown in any major-league games yet, much less come close to completing a perfect one, but what limits would you place on him? This is an exercise in potential and few, if any, have the upside of Strasburg, whose minor-league record is sparkling (6-2, 1.43 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 10.7 K/9) and who'd need only one dazzling start to make it happen.

He went there. I know Strasburg looks like he's going to set the National League on fire, but let's let the kid pitch first, huh? Maybe we could find a way to put more pressure and attention on the kid... let's just paint a bulls-eye on his back and get it over with.
I love that closing line: "need only one dazzling start to make it happen." That's all ANYONE would need to throw a perfect game, damn it! Oh, and just for giggles, Tim Lincecum hasn't completed 6 IP in his last 3 starts - he's #3 on the list. I'm sure Lincecum will recover, as he has good stuff, but the point I'm trying to say is anyone can struggle - and anyone can be great.
Or perfect.


Eric Mollo said...

I completely agree that it is impossible to predict a perfect game pitcher. I was mentioning to Larry over at Yankeeist that there have been 3 perfect games relatively close together and only 20 since 1880. You would think that as the modern game has progressed, they would become less frequent, no? Would you be willing to make a prediction as to whether they will become more frequent because more pitchers have such good "stuff?" Or were these 3 just total coincidences that they all happened within 1 year of actual time? Perhaps we won't see another for twenty years? Just food for thought...

Jamie from BomberBanter.com said...

Ha, I wouldn't be willing to make any predictions on perfect game frequencies in either direction! But, if I had the stones to write a knuckle-headed article on the topic, I would probably say that the decreasing size in most new ballparks (excluding Citi and Target) and increasing power of hitters would make the frequency go down, but then, Mark Buehrle, Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay shoot that theory to hell! So I don't think there is any way to make predictions in either direction for perfect games, hitting for the cycle or whatever other nonsense folks want to write about when they can't be bothered to focus on a story. (the alternative to the knuckle-headed article would have to be the bandwagon article - you know, the one every NY paper is writing about Oliver Perez and will continue to write about until the situation resolves itself one way or the other)

Craig K said...

It was about damn time Doc Halladay pitched to the minimum...what's unreal is that the sole run scored on the Philly side of the board was on an error. Talk about pitchers having their ups and downs, same shit for an offense.