Monday, August 3, 2009

Thoughts on a near no-no

A few of us writers spent more than a few minutes Saturday afternoon talking to Rays pitcher James Shields about Mark Buehrle's perfect game and how Shields had never thrown one and what it would be like to even throw a no-hitter.

Next day Shields takes a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Royals at Tropicana Field.

You look for signs during no-hitters and perfect games.

The fact Shields talked about throwing the day before was one, and would have made a heck of a lead had Shields finished the deal.

Rays manager Joe Maddon noticed one in the middle of the game when the answer to the daily trivia question was Dick Bosman, the Rays minor league pitching coordinator, who would have thrown a perfect game once if not for his own fielding error.

Here is another: Jim McKean was the umpire supervisor watching the game from the Trop's press box. McKean worked 10 no-hitters during his major league career, which stretched from 1973 to 2001.

Yet he never worked home plate in any of them.

Maybe that's why Shields didn't get the no-no. McKean was seated behind home plate.

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