On the perfect game

It was  all over the news just last week.  A pitcher threw the 21st perfect game in the history of baseball.

Striking, though, was the fact that a perfect game is not, apparently, perfect.   You see, if it were, surely there would be no unnecessary pitches, no necessity of a ball being fielded–none of that potentially messy stuff.  I’d say nine innings of strike outs, no foul balls, no balls thrown, etc., etc.

Or so, at least, it seems to me.  But I can see the problem.  So much depends on one’s perspective.  What if we had perfect games for players other than the pitcher?  Or for offense or defense?

A perfect game for offense would be one half inning long if the perfect team was the visitor, and one inning long if the perfect team where the home team.  But how long would that inning be?  Forever, with an infinite score??  Wouldn’t calling the game, or having the defense just walking off, sort of ruin it?

One of the really fascinating things about baseball is that there probably is rule that covers this.

As far as a perfect game for the defense (as opposed to the pitcher): wouldn’t that consist of a game in which every batter was called out after being thrown only one pitch?  Seems like a pretty good effort to me–and a much more interesting game than the “perfect “ one.  Shorter, though, insofar as the defensive team’s contribution is concerned, since they throw only 3×9 = 27 pitches.  Unless, of course, it’s a zip-zip game in the ninth.  No, wait, what if the other team has a perfect game going for its defense as well?

All of this is getting a little complex.  Time to move on, here.

I guess I’ve always been confused by the values lauded in baseball.  In the ideal game,  and in the much more common, but highly praised, no hitter, nothing-or at least almost nothing-happens.

What is it about the American psyche that makes so many people love baseball?  Isn’t this the most boring game (at least to watch) ever created since cricket?  (I think golf predates them both, doesn’t it?)

I mean, even to play, wouldn’t the “perfect game be extraordinarily bad? I remember
when I first started playing baseball in little league, the worst spot on the field was mine, in right field.  Almost nothing ever happened there.  Thank God I didn’t have a pitcher that threw perfect games.

Later I became an infielder and grew to love the game because a lot was going on at second base and shortstop.   That  sure wouldn’t have been the case if my pitcher had thrown perfect games.

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One Response to On the perfect game

  1. Hank says:

    I never thought so much about that, but you bring up some good points.

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