Let’s ease into this slow All-Star break week with three disconnected thoughts on baseball:
No-hitters aren’t the rare gems they used to be
The wheelhouse for our die-hard baseball fandom was 1984-1989, roughly between the ages of 8 and 13. In the two decades-plus since, we have remained loyal to the sport, but nothing quite approaches those early days — a period that included stretches of sitting for hour after hour looking at baseball cards and adding up yearly statistics of the players (by team).
This is what we did, kids, before the Internet.
But the real point of this is that in those six MLB seasons, there were exactly six no-hitters pitched. It’s not a huge sample size for the history of the game — in 1990 alone, for example, there were six no-hitters thrown — so these things do go in cycles.
Still, because that was such a baseball wheelhouse for us, no-hitters felt exceedingly special. And at one per year on average, they were quite rare.
It does not feel that way anymore.
Since the start of the 2010 season, and of course counting Tim Lincecum’s no-no on Saturday, there have been 17 no-hitters tossed in the majors. Homer Bailey, a Reds pitcher with great stuff but also a career stat line that looks like Kevin Slowey’s, has a pair of them.
No-hitters are nice. They can still be celebrated. But they are not what they once were.
gibson over sabathia? we still can’t believe it
This is why you should never claim to have baseball completely figured out, and certainly why you should never bet on the game: Playing the Yankees, particularly in New York, has rarely been kind to Ron Gardenhire’s Twins. So of course, at a time when there has been as much chatter about his job status as we can ever recall, his reeling squad goes into New York and wins its final two games heading into the break.
These are not your recent vintage Yankees, but CC Sabathia vs. Kyle Gibson? Even had we traveled into the future and obtained a sports almanac with the final score printed in ink, we would have hesitated wagering on a 10-4 victory Sunday.
some down-home townball hit the spot
If you have a hankering for baseball off the beaten path, we urge you to check out a townball game. Our experience at the Mini-Met in Jordan couldn’t have been better on Friday — right down to watching the home team prepare the field after its game was done.