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The Art of Being Perfect

24 Responses to The Art of Being Perfect

  1. Cuban X Senators says:

    I was at the Cain Perfect Game.

    After that first out in the 7th, I must have looked out at Blanco’s skid mark out on the warning track in amazement that he’d gotten there from RF (even with the adjustment RFs make to cut off the gap at AT&T).

    I’ve never been back and not located that spot and been amazed again.

    It was mid-June & (though I was by no means at most games) I’d already seen Cain go through the line up without allowing a base runner on two previous occasions that season — and he’d also had a 2-hitter at home where he’d given up a 3rd inning hit — so it seemed already that if you kept coming back, you’d see some history at some point.

  2. Bryan says:

    “The pitcher won-loss record is a big part of baseball history. It’s a big part of the game. To kill it, or to change it drastically, would be breaking from the past. That doesn’t seem like the right answer.”
    Since Sale became a starter (2012), Bartolo Colon has 73 wins. Chris Sale and Felix Hernandez have each won 71 games. How is this a big part of the game? What demographic is supposed to be thinking this indicates that Colon, Sale and Felix have been similar pitchers for the last 5 years and 1 month?

    • Patrick says:

      “What demographic is supposed to be thinking this indicates that Colon, Sale and Felix have been similar pitchers for the last 5 years and 1 month?”

      Why do so many people ignore that the purpose of statistics can go beyond informing us about value? Why can’t stats just be fun things we keep track of? I don’t know, I grew up following D-III sports, and they don’t have advanced stats, no one is correcting for parks affects, or era, or style of play. The numbers just are what they are. We follow them, we talk about them, we clap when someone hits a milestone or a record, and we discuss who we think the best players are based on whatever we choose, sometimes stats, sometimes not.

      I just think it’s sort of strange that this “Kill the win” movement seems to view stats as strictly an informer of value.

      • Patrick says:

        That should read “Why can’t stats *also* be fun things to keep track of?”

      • Marc Schneider says:


        I agree with you 100% and it’s why I find people like Keith Law so annoying. I have no problem with using the advanced analytics to learn new things about baseball, but why do we have to throw out the entire history of baseball? It’s supposed to be entertainment. The triple crown stats may not be intrinsically valuable in and of themselves, but it was fun to see Miguel Cabrera win the Triple Crown. It’s just a game.

        • Patrick says:

          Well, in fairness to Law, the issue with Cabrera and the TC was that it pretty much was the reason he won the MVP. I agree that Triple Crowns are fun, but I also would not have given Cabrera the MVP that season. I think advanced stats are a better way to determine awards and the HOF.

          The issue I think Law has is that teams are all using advanced analytics, so if you’re not, it’s not that you’re *wrong*, you’re just not in step with the industry. For the average fan, I don’t think this is an issue. But, if you’re a writer voting on an award, for example, and using RBI and wins, you’re really missing something.

          • Zeke Bob says:

            This idea that the MVP award to Cabrera in his Triple Crown season was some kind of robbery of Trout has to stop. Unfortunately, Joe has perpetuated it.
            Cabrera was the better hitter, Trout the better fielder and runner.

            But Cabrera played 22 more games, %14 of the season! That’s a pretty big gap that should matter, but it seems to get overlooked a lot.

          • Patrick says:


            The thing is, Cabrera *wasn’t* that much of a better hitter. Trout and Cabrera had similar averages, (.326 to .330) OBPs (.399 to 393) and OPS+ (168 to 164). But Trout was a Much better baserunner and fielder.

            As far as the games played go, Cabrera played 9 fewer games than Trout the next year and 12 fewer than the 3rd place finisher.

  3. Vidor says:

    I wish Joe would stop denigrating the 19th century perfect games of Richmond and Ward. It is, contrary to what Joe writes, clear why baseball counts the games of Richmond and Ward: because they recorded 27 outs without allowing a baserunner, that’s why. Some of the differences of 19th century baseball made perfect games easier–pitching from 45 feet away, eight balls for a walk, HBP not becoming a baserunner–and some made them harder–pitchers throwing from flat ground, pitchers unable to throw overhand, hitters asking for high or low balls, foul balls not counting as strike 1 or strike 2.

    The proof in the pudding is that perfect games were just as rare then as they are now. If there had been ten perfect games a month in 19th century baseball Joe would have a case for not counting them. But there were only two in the history of MLB from start of play in 1876 until the rules were essentially modernized in the 1890s. Those games count because they should.

  4. Brett Alan says:

    “No other sport has a perfect game.”

    Bowling says hi.

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