Yakkin' About Baseball: The Chuck LaMar Perfection Academy

Thoughts on, and off, a night of perfection and near-perfection in baseball.
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A still from THOUGHTMASTER, a horror film starring Matt Cain.

Image via The Pittsburgh Peas.

David Raposa: Headline no one would ever think of using after Matt Cain's perfecto against the Astros: NOBODY BEATS THE BIXLER (EXCEPT MATT CAIN).

David Roth: Ah, Brian Bixler. Ah, humanity.

David Roth: If there were a device called The Bixler, what do you think it would do? I feel like it would be some kind of juicer. That was later revealed to be incredibly dangerous and pulled from the market.

David Raposa: I think the Bixler presses Wonder Bread into the shapes of other foodstuffs. Only Wonder Bread, though; bread made from actual grains and ground-grown things will cause the Bixler to emit toxic fumes and log-flavored pizza rolls.

David Roth: It's not a very good product. Only a really crummy organization would even attempt to use the Bixler. But the Astros got a decent deal on a Bixler at a garage sale, and it looked pretty clean, and that is sort of why they are a team that might get perfect-gamed.


David Roth: The Astros lineup is amazing. It's like one of the ones from the old Nintendo Baseball Stars where all the batters were named, like, "A. Mediocre-Dude." BUT Matt Cain. And perfect games are cool, I can't be mad.

David Raposa: It only seems fitting, the Giants being the Giants, that Joaquin Arias, their defensive replacement at third base for the Panda in Residence, is seeing time at third for the first time ever in his career this year. And said defensive upgrade almost gorked the perfecto.

David Roth: "Gorking The Perfecto: A Collection Of Erotic Short Fiction."

David Raposa: I can hear the resigned tones of David Duchovny on the play-by-play now...

David Roth: The Mets traded a bottomed-out Jeff Francoeur for Arias, and then waived him. He's JUST THAT GOOD.

David Raposa: He's totally got grit in his clutch. Speaking of clutch (or lack thereof): Do you know why Beltran didn't resign with the Giants? Granted, it's not like SF needs a guy with 19 homers through mid-June.

David Raposa: I mean, the Giants already have 39 homers, and that's 29th in the majors. That’s over twice what that slack-ass Beltran has.

David Roth: Brian Sabean had a hunch about Melky "Cereal, Baby" Cabrera?

David Raposa: Dude did strike gold with Melky. Though given it is Melky, it's probably more like he found one of those gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins in a Wienerschnitzel parking lot.

David Roth: He really "struck mayo" with Cabrera.

David Raposa: Sandwich spread bukkake for all!

David Roth: Also the Giants apparently traded the best pitcher in the minors to the Mets for five bummer weeks of Carlos Beltran. Everyone else is playing checkers, Sabean is playing chess.

David Raposa: In Sabean We Trust.

David Roth: Wow, Cabrera actually has been pretty great this year.

David Raposa: No doubt, but he should not be the best hitter on your team if you want your team to be a legitimate contender. That the Giants are only four-and-a-half games back, given how shit-hot the Dodgers were to start the year, is a testament to how fantastic their pitching is. Or how mediocre the NL West is.

David Roth: Yes and yes.

David Raposa: For perspective, the Astros have Bixlered more runs than three NL West teams, including (of course) the Giants.

David Roth: It's probably time to confess I seriously only saw the last out of Cain's perfect game. However, I did watch a lot of RA Dickey doing a number on the Rays.

David Raposa: Zen Koan: The hardest knuckleball to hit is the one that doesn't knuckle. Did you see that Dickey's Game Score for tonight (95) was better than Johan's no-hitter (90)?

David Roth: I did not! But his awesome score was off the chart. Lots of swinging strikes at weirdly straight 78 MPH pitches in that one. Dude is an inspiration to us all. Because he has read Jennifer Egan's "A Visit From The Goon Squad" and MOSTLY liked it but can tell you what parts he thought were weird or less successful (some of the future stuff), AND also can't throw a baseball all that fast.

David Raposa: True—not to take away from Cain's 14 Ks, but Dickey getting 12 with his particular brand of premium slop, and against a scary old American League team, is most impressive.

David Raposa: So, the hit he gave up: legitimate? A one-winged duck? A Penn League queef? A donkey shiv?

David Roth: What most people call a Turtle Shart. No, it was a hit. David Wright tried to barehand a ball and didn't do it quite well enough. Which is why they should obviously TRAID HEEM.

David Raposa: Damn that David Wright. Between unforgivable gaffes like that, and letting his average dip below .400, I'm amazed Alderson hasn't cut his dead ass loose yet.

David Roth: I'm doing my part: I just made a 16-slide slideshow for Bleacher Report of third basemen who are bigger gamers than Wright. Just finished my Ty Wigginton slide.

David Raposa: Scott Cooper deserves two slides. And Friend of Charlie Sheen Todd Zeile better have pole position on that thing.

David Roth: I hope that Dickey can somehow inspire our more interesting flamed-out dudes to at least try the knuckleball. Ryan Rupe is definitely not that great at selling Nissans. Try it out, dude. See what happens.

David Raposa: I hear Andy Sonnanstine splits his free-time between assembling ham radios and perfect his split-finger knuckle-slurve. He calls it The Blumpkin.

David Roth: So many failed Rays pitchers to choose from. I'd like to see Seth McClung rejuvenated as a knuckleballer. A pudgy ginger is the perfect knuckleball prototype.

David Raposa: I think where Rick Peterson went wrong with Victor Zambrano is not trying to teach him the ways of the knuckle.

David Roth: Poor Vic-Zam always looked like someone who just got fired from his job at a deli because he got caught "doing something" to the olive loaf. He would be the worst and most nervous knuckleballer. I can't see him being confident enough to throw a baseball that slowly (on purpose).

David Raposa: On the contrary—I think by trying to teach The Other Zambrano the knuckleball, Zambrano would end up inadvertently learning how to throw the most devastating 12-to-6 curveball imaginable.

David Roth: By the way, the Mets are appealing the official scoring on that hit, which is tacky but which I kind of love. Greedy motherfuckers want a no-hitter every week now.

David Raposa: I fear hubris will come for the Mets, probably in the shape of Daniel Murphy giving Wright an accidental splenectomy during a post-game celebration.

David Raposa: So I'm watching the Giants' post-game coverage, and it's pretty sold—hard to screw up when you're showing the entire Cain press conference—but I wish they'd go into the other team's locker room.

David Roth: You really want to watch Carlos Lee eat ribs that bad?

David Raposa: Beats trying to eat and look at myself in the mirror at the same time. Regardless, I know Jose Altuve or Jed Lowrie have thoughts on Dave Kingman's performance.

David Roth: I'd love to hear Lowrie ranting about all this. I am imagining him with an industrial-strength New Hampshire accent, for personal reasons.

David Raposa: What is this New Hampshire accent which you imagine?

David Roth: It's like a Boston accent with a bunch of cigarettes and Ayn Rand sentences on top of it.

David Raposa: Atlas shrugs! By the way, is it worth mentioning that the other perfect game this year—which, by the way, is a pretty WTF thing to be writing during the first half of March—was spun by a former Mets farmhand? Whose season ERA is currently above 5? 5.92, actually? Question marks?

David Roth: Humber. It will someday be a verb. People will be Humbered. To have something awesome randomly done to them. It will be an honor, of sorts.

David Raposa: In that light, I guess ESPN's Pulsiphering their Cain coverage. If Twitter's to be trusted, the Worldwide Leader is giving the Giants the short end of the coverage stick. Possibly because their production crew is working double-hard to draw pinstripes or red B's on the Giants' unis before showing highlights.

David Roth: They're waiting for Skip Bayless to formulate a take on Matt Cain. And Stephen A. Smith a counter-take.

David Roth: Bayless: "This seals it, Matt Cain is a better man than LeBron will ever be."

David Roth: Smith: "As far as I'm concerned, to that extent, that statement is preposterous, and things of that nature. Alien: Prometheus."

David Raposa: Meanwhile, Dana Jacobsen is at a Buffalo Wild Wings, drinking her 10th Dos Equis of the hour, and checking her Blackberry for e-mails from Root Sports.

David Roth: Business as usual. It is perfect.

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