Archived Story

Great sports performances occur among all pro teams

Published 12:36am Monday, July 8, 2013

And the media wonders why people hate teams from New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

I was pondering this thought Saturday morning as I used the TV remote to flip back and forth between Wimbledon and the Under-20 World Cup.

(OK, it was really Rawhide and Spongebob, but sometimes I have to pretend that a significant number of Americans care about tennis and soccer.)

Maybe we should just admit it. Those three major cities are the only places that have pro sports teams. At least any teams we care about or who do anything interesting, right?

Here’s an example.

On Tuesday, Homer Bailey pitched his second career no-hitter. Post-game interview aside, it was a great night for Bailey. Pitching a no-hitter is a great accomplishment.

OK, maybe not that great.

According to a conversation on Fox Sports radio, the Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw fashioned the feat of the night.

Flipping stations from the oldies to sports talk for some much deserved accolades that are few and far between for teams like the Cincinnati Reds, it came as no shock that the talk really wasn’t about Bailey.

The show’s host and his “expert” guest discussed how no-hitters were really more about luck and that Kershaw’s four-hitter was probably a more impressive performance.

The host said that pitchers could be more dominating in a four-hitter or something similar than in a no-hitter. I have to admit that there is some truth in that thinking.

But the problem with most radio and TV hosts and analysts is their lack of information. They fly by the seat of their pants. Some of them have never played the game at a higher level than little league, and most analysts have never coached but seem to have all the answers. And many viewers take their word as Gospel.

And even some of the analysts who have coached aren’t as knowledgeable as viewers think. An example might be ESPN pro football analyst Herm Edwards. He’s pretty astute, but remember one thing: He was fired.

Twice.

Bailey’s no-hitter was very impressive. He had a perfect games for six innings. He struck out nine and allowed one baserunner, a walk leading off the seventh inning.

The Giants hit maybe two balls kind of hard the whole game. There wasn’t anything that looked like a hit. The play first baseman Joey Votto made was more of a heads-up play. It wasn’t a tough chance. The only reason he threw to third base was because Bailey didn’t break right away to cover first base. If he had, the play is at first and it’s an out.

The radio host said there were a lot of good defensive plays behind Bailey. Not really. Nothing was hit very hard. And doesn’t the guy realize that there are plenty of good defensive plays in every game? These are major league players. They make major league plays.

If Bailey throws a no-hitter on Monday — which we all know the odds are against him — he would equal Johnny Vander Meer’s unmatched feat of back-to-back no-hitters.

If that happens, the TV and radio announcers would absolutely HAVE to make Bailey the focus of their conversation. He would HAVE to be the headline story of the day, maybe the week.

Well, unless Derek Jeter has his cast signed by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of the TV reality show Jersey Shore. After all, no one has their broken ankle cast signed like the Yankee players except maybe the Dodgers and Red Sox.

 

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.

 

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