BY Art Thiel 07:29PM 04/21/2012

Thiel: Mariners perfect mismatch for Humber

Mariners helpless against White Sox’s 29-year-old nearly forgotten man; Philip Humber was the next to last player on an Opening Day roster to get into a game.

Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in major league history Saturday, victimizing the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. / Wiki Commons

Imagine if he’d had his best stuff.

As he moved inning by inning toward baseball immortality Saturday, humble Philip Humber couldn’t quite see it.

“I didn’t have great stuff until the sixth or seventh inning,” he said. “Then the ball started coming out of my hand better.”

The 29-year-old journeyman from Nacogdoches, TX., playing for his fifth organization in seven years and possessed of an 11-10 career record (4.06 ERA), was the epitome of baseball greatness for nine innings at Safeco Field.

True, he was up against the Seattle Mariners, who have been the most feeble offense in MLB two years running and looking for the hat trick so far in April. But in baseball, so many things conspire against one of sports’ most difficult feats.

Bad calls. Bad hops. Bunts. Bloops. Batters hit and get hit. Fielders collide. Too cold. Too hot. Too tired.

None of those things happened, especially including any offensive glimmer by the Mariners. So Humber, who had been the next-to-last player in MLB to get into a game this season (the Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma was the final one to play Friday), also entered baseball Valhalla, becoming the 21st pitcher, going back to 1880, to throw a perfect game. Oh, and his Chicago White Sox won, 4-0 — the first perfecto against the Mariners in their 35-year history.

“I don’t know what Philip Humber is doing on this list,” he said of perfect-game pitchers. “I have no idea.”

Clueless as well were the Mariners, who watched Humber masterfully mix a 94-mph fastball with a wicked slider, curve and occasional change-up.

“We got nothing going — he kept us off-balance all day,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge, who seemed a little stunned at the bats he had been touting as coming, going the other way. “He did a great job. You have make him work harder than we did today. We mishit so many balls.

“He stayed ahead of us the whole time. He did a great job staying on the plate.”

So much so he needed only 96 pitches, including just 20 in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and picked up a career-high nine strikeouts. The only time he was troubled was the ninth, when the pressure of perfection forced him into 16 pitches as 22,742 stood and cheered, preferring history over the humiliation of the hometown lads.

If there were luck and controversy, which tend to accompany perfectos, both came in the final inning, and final pitch.

Against Michael Saunders leading off the ninth, Humber reached the first three-ball count in his game. But Saunders turned the 3-0 count into strike three, swinging. Pinch-hitter John Jaso flew out weakly to right field for the second out. For the last chance at break-up, Wedge went with another pinch-hitter, veteran shortstop Brendan Ryan, instead of Munenori Kawasaki.

Ryan reached 3-2, then fouled back the only fastball of his at-bat.

“I’d really like that pitch back,” he said afterward. Instead, he got a far worse one. Humber threw a slider in the dirt, ball four, so wide that catcher A.J. Pierzynski couldn’t come up with what would have been scored a wild pitch — if Ryan hadn’t offered a bit of a swing.

Home plate umpire Brian Runge, apparently not wanting to be part of ruining a perfect game, called strike three.

Ryan blew up at Runge. But Pierzynski sprinted to the ball 30 feet away and fired to first to record the strikeout before Ryan made it 20 feet down the line.

Afterward, Ryan refused to talk about what appeared to be a poor call on a swing Ryan checked. He’s been around baseball long enough to know that anything he said would have been viewed as sour grapes.

“I really don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “I will say it was an outstanding game by Humber. He was bringing A-plus stuff . . . pretty authentic today.

“I was so fired up for the chance to wreck it. My heart was probably pounding harder than his was.”

Moments after the final out, the only pounding was being done by teammates on Humber, who dropped to his knees between the mound and first, then did a face plant in the Safeco grass.

Of the last pitch, he said, “I yelled at A.J., ‘Go get it — throw him out!’” I saw the ump ring (Ryan) up. At the moment, there was a ton of emotions. I have so many thanks for where I’m at.”

A first-round draft choice out of Rice University by the New York Mets in 2004 (third overall), Humber is not exactly unknown. But until 2011 his career floundered, including Tommy John elbow surgery in 2006. Last year, he had a breakout, forcing the Sox to use a six-man rotation. He had a career-high 163 innings and limited opponents to a .243 batting average.

But this season, because of a rainout causing him to be skipped in the rotation, he was the second-to-last player on an Opening Day MLB roster to get into action, ahead only of Iwakuma.

The limited action was no hindrance Saturday.

“Once you get past the fifth inning, you know what’s going on,” he said. “It’s a slim chance it’s gonna happen. But by the ninth, you’re standing there with chance to throw a perfect game.

“I really want to thank A.J., especially on that first (Saunders strikeout) in the ninth. He was able to get back me in there. He knew what to call today, and kept them off balance.

“I was rushing a little bit in the beginning, and I was able to slow myself down a little bit.”

Instead, it was the Mariners who began rushing, seemingly more aggressive with each at-bat. Only Dustin Ackley’s liner to right field in the fourth inning had a chance to be a hit, but it was hauled in by Alex Rios.

Losers of three in a row and four of their last five, the Mariners get a chance to wipe off the nine-inning omelette starting at 1 p.m. Sunday. Ryan said he hopes he and his teammates come out mad.

Couldn’t hurt. Seeing how the fans were cheering the foe Saturday, they seemed to have exhausted the word sad.

Modern-Era Perfect Games

Date Pitcher Team Opponent Pitches K’s
May 5, 1904 Cy Young Americans Athletics NA 8
Oct. 2, 1908 Addie Joss Indians White Sox 74 3
April 30, 1922 Charlie Robertson White Sox Tigers 90 6
Oct. 8, 1956 Don Larsen Yankees Dodgers 97 7
June 21, 1964 Jim Bunning Phillies Mets 90 10
Sept. 9, 1965 Sandy Koufax Dodgers Cubs 113 14
May 8, 1968 Catfish hunter Athletics Twins 107 11
May 15, 1981 Len Barker Indians Blue Jays 103 11
Sept. 30, 1984 Mike Witt Angels Rangers 94 10
Sept. 16, 1988 Tom Browning Reds Dodgers 100 7
July 28, 1991 Dennis Martinez Expos Dodgers 95 5
July 28, 1994 Kenny Rogers Rangers Angels 98 8
May 17, 1998 David Wells Yankees Twins 120 11
July 18, 1999 David Cone Yankees Expos 88 10
May 18, 2004 Randy Johnson D-Backs Braves 117 13
July 23, 2009 Mark Buehrle White Sox Rays 116 6
May 9, 2010 Dallas Braden Athletics Rays 109 6
May 29, 2010 Roy Halladay Phillies Marlins 115 11
April 21, 2012 Philip Humber White Sox Mariners 96 9

YourThoughts

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608757232 Jake Gravbrot

    I didn’t think that things could get much “worse” than the woeful Mariners being unable to draw 20k to an Ichiro bobblehead night.  I mean, the M’s think that EVERYONE loves those bobbleheads, right???????  

    Oh, to be an M’s fan, we must realize that things can ALWAYS get worse.  Today was a prime example.  

    • Jamo57

      On the bright side, at least we haven’t had any falling ceiling tiles.

      • Artthiel

         And unlike the Kingdome days, you can also go half a block to a strip joint if, during a perfect game, you need to see a couple of hits.

    • Artthiel

       That bobblehead night attendance shortfall means there are 57 bobbleheads still stored on premises. Ichiro Bobblehead II? Be there!

      • Joe Fan

        Promo for a future game, “The first 57 fans receive a free Ichiro bobblehead!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608757232 Jake Gravbrot

    I didn’t think that things could get much “worse” than the woeful Mariners being unable to draw 20k to an Ichiro bobblehead night.  I mean, the M’s think that EVERYONE loves those bobbleheads, right???????  

    Oh, to be an M’s fan, we must realize that things can ALWAYS get worse.  Today was a prime example.  

    • Jamo57

      On the bright side, at least we haven’t had any falling ceiling tiles.

      • Artthiel

         And unlike the Kingdome days, you can also go half a block to a strip joint if, during a perfect game, you need to see a couple of hits.

    • Artthiel

       That bobblehead night attendance shortfall means there are 57 bobbleheads still stored on premises. Ichiro Bobblehead II? Be there!

      • Joe Fan

        Promo for a future game, “The first 57 fans receive a free Ichiro bobblehead!”

  • Jamo57

    Art, when looking at that list of perfect games, why does the memory of Dave Valle calling for a first-pitch fastball to Ken Phelps come to mind?   Am I a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy?

    • Artthiel

       You are half-empty, Jamo, but so are most fans because ownership has helped make them that way. The consistent squandering of money and talent has most feeling like jaded lovers burned too many times with bad relationships.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608757232 Jake Gravbrot

        Serious question Art:  Is there any hope ever for Chuck & Howard getting ousted?  Accountability has to come from somewhere and the M’s have continued to pass the blame to everyone in the org. except for those two.  At some point (in any normal corporation) the people at the top would have stepped down or been fired.  When is that going to happen here?  

        • Artthiel

           This has never been a normal corporation. Its purchase by Yamauchi was a political payback for favors done by then-Sen. Slade Gorton. Yamauchi either doesn’t know or care about the impact the losing has had on the fan base in Seattle. Until Yamauchi gives word for the corporate owner, Ninendo of America in Redmond, to sell, nothing is likely to change.
           

  • Jamo57

    Art, when looking at that list of perfect games, why does the memory of Dave Valle calling for a first-pitch fastball to Ken Phelps come to mind?   Am I a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy?

    • Artthiel

       You are half-empty, Jamo, but so are most fans because ownership has helped make them that way. The consistent squandering of money and talent has most feeling like jaded lovers burned too many times with bad relationships.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608757232 Jake Gravbrot

        Serious question Art:  Is there any hope ever for Chuck & Howard getting ousted?  Accountability has to come from somewhere and the M’s have continued to pass the blame to everyone in the org. except for those two.  At some point (in any normal corporation) the people at the top would have stepped down or been fired.  When is that going to happen here?  

        • Artthiel

           This has never been a normal corporation. Its purchase by Yamauchi was a political payback for favors done by then-Sen. Slade Gorton. Yamauchi either doesn’t know or care about the impact the losing has had on the fan base in Seattle. Until Yamauchi gives word for the corporate owner, Ninendo of America in Redmond, to sell, nothing is likely to change.
           

  • Joe fan

    Look on the bright side, we’ve got a great stadium and can watch baseball in our home town. That’s what Chuckie and Howie want us to think anyway. That message is getting old. But, deep down, I still just like watching baaseball, even if it is the other team that does great things.

    • Jamo57

      I agree with everything you say.   However as to Chuckie and Howie, that doesn’t entitle them to become urban planners and become obstructionist towards putting an arena in SoDo.  There are people around town who would love to watch a hockey or basketball game in a great arena!

    • Artthiel

      There is no killer instinct in the front office here, Joe. You’re right. Not when compared to Texas, Anaheim and a lot of other win-first outfits.

  • Joe fan

    Look on the bright side, we’ve got a great stadium and can watch baseball in our home town. That’s what Chuckie and Howie want us to think anyway. That message is getting old. But, deep down, I still just like watching baaseball, even if it is the other team that does great things.

    • Jamo57

      I agree with everything you say.   However as to Chuckie and Howie, that doesn’t entitle them to become urban planners and become obstructionist towards putting an arena in SoDo.  There are people around town who would love to watch a hockey or basketball game in a great arena!

    • Artthiel

      There is no killer instinct in the front office here, Joe. You’re right. Not when compared to Texas, Anaheim and a lot of other win-first outfits.

  • Trygvesture

    Great achievement– I seem to recall the last pitch of Larsen’s game looked a mile outside in the films– but the strikezone for THAT kind of last -pitch is always a mile wide, and no kind of swing would be called a checked swing. Ryan was fooled, got beat –and gettin pissed was bush-league. Disappointing — the fans were great, and they don’t get paid to be out there.

    With this I suspect the franchise has dropped off the charts in terms of resurrectable good-will: Mr Button-Down Baseball ( “Damn that insubordinate upstart Lou Pinella!”) Lincoln and Mr. “I don’t really have a job that can be identified” Armstrong are goats that will remain goats until the M’s win the Series.( Insert life-expectancy tables here).  They’ve earned it, and, worse, continue to earn it: The pathetic bobbleheads are killing fan base loyalty, and the little dashboard-adorning giveaways aren’t helping either.   Wait till Felix wants to walk to a winner– they’ll probably have a George Argyros bobblehead extravaganza. Remind me again– Who didn’t fire these guys?

    • Artthiel

       Losing three games in brutal ways can leave a scar, but remember, they have 14 losses in a row to catch last year. Regarding Ryan, I think he checked his swing, but he won’t get that call in that moment. And give him credit in the post-game for shutting up about it. He knew not to saying anything, and he stuck to it.

      • Trygvesture

        Hard to give extra credit to a guy who lost it at the plate on a call that had to go to the pitcher in that situation– and anybody with 6 baseball synapses knows it. That he got told to shut the F up in the post game — and then did it begrudgingly with his “authentic” line– just points to a lack of understanding and respect for the game. He’s got talent, but with his repeated fielding gaffes and this stunt I’m thinking Crash Davis might refer to the five cent head on this one.
        The point for me is that it’s a lousy, non-baseball franchise, modeling the stance and the sensibilities of the CEO, just like any other corporation and their corporate “culture”. It’s always like that: the organization mimics the leader, knowingly or not. Wedge, too.  Yikes. 3 balls don’t equal a walk. Not once, not twice. Figgins can’t throw from center field.  Olivo.. oh, too obvious. Big talk, but not overflowing with anything but personnel management talk– no sense of ‘baseball in the blood’ from anybody there.
        Sadly, the game is too good for these guys: they don’t do it justice.
        Who didn’t fire these guys? Did the board OD on valium?

        • Artthiel

           Well it was ball four, he did check his swing and he was amped. Hard to imagine NOT reacting in the moment.
          But your points about the greater issues are mostly true and a part of the discussion for some time. As far as the point about firing, Nintendo/Yamauchi have majority control of the board and want someone they trust, Lincoln, to remain in charge. Baseball results obviously are of secondary consideration to business. Hard to see it changing if it hasn’t been necessary to this point.

          • Trygvesture

            Thanks for the insight. Ryan, however, still begrudges the call, and it’s just so entirely without a sense of the history or a sense of the game as bigger than a triple-A caliber ss… Who was the guy Larsen ended it with? Did HE scream at the ump, show obvious sour grapes for two days on that called strike?  Sheeesh– our guys need, really, to grow up. Even Wedge mentioned it.

            It seems that minority players on the board are nonetheless — players on the board. They have their own interests in the community to  protect, even if the net value of the franchise is stellar relative to their investment: they gotta live here. Are they somehow more beholden to Nintendo America than to, what?, anything else? As board members, they have autonomy and they have a mandate to oversee the well-being of the organization. Is Lincoln holding compromising pictures of this group? Is Armstrong known as anything but a lackey? How do these guys hold their grip on absolute power in the realm of corporate governance when they are such terrible performers? I am mystified there isn’t at least some noisy, leaked squawkin goin on at the board level.

  • Trygvesture

    Great achievement– I seem to recall the last pitch of Larsen’s game looked a mile outside in the films– but the strikezone for THAT kind of last -pitch is always a mile wide, and no kind of swing would be called a checked swing. Ryan was fooled, got beat –and gettin pissed was bush-league. Disappointing — the fans were great, and they don’t get paid to be out there.

    With this I suspect the franchise has dropped off the charts in terms of resurrectable good-will: Mr Button-Down Baseball ( “Damn that insubordinate upstart Lou Pinella!”) Lincoln and Mr. “I don’t really have a job that can be identified” Armstrong are goats that will remain goats until the M’s win the Series.( Insert life-expectancy tables here).  They’ve earned it, and, worse, continue to earn it: The pathetic bobbleheads are killing fan base loyalty, and the little dashboard-adorning giveaways aren’t helping either.   Wait till Felix wants to walk to a winner– they’ll probably have a George Argyros bobblehead extravaganza. Remind me again– Who didn’t fire these guys?

    • Artthiel

       Losing three games in brutal ways can leave a scar, but remember, they have 14 losses in a row to catch last year. Regarding Ryan, I think he checked his swing, but he won’t get that call in that moment. And give him credit in the post-game for shutting up about it. He knew not to saying anything, and he stuck to it.

      • Trygvesture

        Hard to give extra credit to a guy who lost it at the plate on a call that had to go to the pitcher in that situation– and anybody with 6 baseball synapses knows it. That he got told to shut the F up in the post game — and then did it begrudgingly with his “authentic” line– just points to a lack of understanding and respect for the game. He’s got talent, but with his repeated fielding gaffes and this stunt I’m thinking Crash Davis might refer to the five cent head on this one.
        The point for me is that it’s a lousy, non-baseball franchise, modeling the stance and the sensibilities of the CEO, just like any other corporation and their corporate “culture”. It’s always like that: the organization mimics the leader, knowingly or not. Wedge, too.  Yikes. 3 balls don’t equal a walk. Not once, not twice. Figgins can’t throw from center field.  Olivo.. oh, too obvious. Big talk, but not overflowing with anything but personnel management talk– no sense of ‘baseball in the blood’ from anybody there.
        Sadly, the game is too good for these guys: they don’t do it justice.
        Who didn’t fire these guys? Did the board OD on valium?

        • Artthiel

           Well it was ball four, he did check his swing and he was amped. Hard to imagine NOT reacting in the moment.
          But your points about the greater issues are mostly true and a part of the discussion for some time. As far as the point about firing, Nintendo/Yamauchi have majority control of the board and want someone they trust, Lincoln, to remain in charge. Baseball results obviously are of secondary consideration to business. Hard to see it changing if it hasn’t been necessary to this point.

          • Trygvesture

            Thanks for the insight. Ryan, however, still begrudges the call, and it’s just so entirely without a sense of the history or a sense of the game as bigger than a triple-A caliber ss… Who was the guy Larsen ended it with? Did HE scream at the ump, show obvious sour grapes for two days on that called strike?  Sheeesh– our guys need, really, to grow up. Even Wedge mentioned it.

            It seems that minority players on the board are nonetheless — players on the board. They have their own interests in the community to  protect, even if the net value of the franchise is stellar relative to their investment: they gotta live here. Are they somehow more beholden to Nintendo America than to, what?, anything else? As board members, they have autonomy and they have a mandate to oversee the well-being of the organization. Is Lincoln holding compromising pictures of this group? Is Armstrong known as anything but a lackey? How do these guys hold their grip on absolute power in the realm of corporate governance when they are such terrible performers? I am mystified there isn’t at least some noisy, leaked squawkin goin on at the board level.

  • Earth Daze

    Not exactly a game for the ages, despite the lipstick that Art is trying to apply to the pig here.  Watching the national TV Fox broadcast, I still got saddled having to listen to that clueless homer Dave Sims (wearing another of his 3 Stooges porkpie hats).  Watching Humber go thru our virtual-AA lineup of hitters (sic) like the proverbial warm butter knife.  And then in the latter innings hearing the majority of the in-stadium M’s ‘fans’ cheer wildly for the opposing team.  Forget Cooperstown.  This production can go right into the archives of Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.

    Think our dirty little parochial secret that Seattle is truly a bush league sports town is now well known by the rest of the country?  My, oh my……..Howie & Chuck:  what clowns you both are.

    • Artthiel

       Earth, regardless of the broadcast or what you think of Lincoln and Armstrong, Humber had it going like few others you will witness. Agreed that the Mariners abetted it with their futile offense. But the there’s nothing wrong with the crowd here expressing appreciation for something special on an otherwise ordinary Saturday. People in 29 other parks would have done same. Try not to let your cynicism bleed over everything.

      • Earth Daze

        Like few others I will witness?  I’ve witnessed many of the greats going back to Drysdale, Koufax, Gibson, Seaver, et al.  Humber’s stuff yesterday doesn’t even remotely compare.  And you’re wrong about people in 29 other parks acting like cheerleaders for the opposing team.  Dead wrong.  Ever been to Yankee Stadium or Philly or Fenway?

        Save your moralizing and faux condescension for the PLU pulpit, Art.  Nobody has thinner skin than those in sports media.  Art meet Al Michaels.

        Howie & Chuck must have comped you – again – for the head of the media buffet @ Safeco.  Have heard about your own cynicism bleeding red when others in line are too slow for your esteemed POV.  Enjoy the cheesy grits and humble pie.  And keep cheering the opposing team.

        • Trygvesture

          What’s THAT all about? Somebody got their nose out of joint on a discussion board?

        • Brett

          All of those ballparks would have given Humber a standing o just like the Safeco crowd did. You’re right about Chuck and Howie though.

          • Artthiel

             Brett, you’re offering up a response about Lincoln and Armstrong that tells what happens to a sports franchise that breaks the bond with its fan base. Fans look, and find, the worst in a situation. Not saying you’re wrong, it’s just human nature when trust evaporates.

        • Artthiel

           Been to all the parks, Earth. Seen many great pitchers and great games. Not saying Humber was best ever, but it damn sure was special. And deserving of the recognition it got from Safeco crowd, which I guarantee would have happened at Fenway, Philly and everywhere else, although there would have some guys like you, earth, booing.
          And yes, I have been at times too cynical for my own good. But I still appreciate splendid sports achievement no matter the uniform. 

  • Earth Daze

    Not exactly a game for the ages, despite the lipstick that Art is trying to apply to the pig here.  Watching the national TV Fox broadcast, I still got saddled having to listen to that clueless homer Dave Sims (wearing another of his 3 Stooges porkpie hats).  Watching Humber go thru our virtual-AA lineup of hitters (sic) like the proverbial warm butter knife.  And then in the latter innings hearing the majority of the in-stadium M’s ‘fans’ cheer wildly for the opposing team.  Forget Cooperstown.  This production can go right into the archives of Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.

    Think our dirty little parochial secret that Seattle is truly a bush league sports town is now well known by the rest of the country?  My, oh my……..Howie & Chuck:  what clowns you both are.

    • Artthiel

       Earth, regardless of the broadcast or what you think of Lincoln and Armstrong, Humber had it going like few others you will witness. Agreed that the Mariners abetted it with their futile offense. But the there’s nothing wrong with the crowd here expressing appreciation for something special on an otherwise ordinary Saturday. People in 29 other parks would have done same. Try not to let your cynicism bleed over everything.

      • Earth Daze

        Like few others I will witness?  I’ve witnessed many of the greats going back to Drysdale, Koufax, Gibson, Seaver, et al.  Humber’s stuff yesterday doesn’t even remotely compare.  And you’re wrong about people in 29 other parks acting like cheerleaders for the opposing team.  Dead wrong.  Ever been to Yankee Stadium or Philly or Fenway?

        Save your moralizing and faux condescension for the PLU pulpit, Art.  Nobody has thinner skin than those in sports media.  Art meet Al Michaels.

        Howie & Chuck must have comped you – again – for the head of the media buffet @ Safeco.  Have heard about your own cynicism bleeding red when others in line are too slow for your esteemed POV.  Enjoy the cheesy grits and humble pie.  And keep cheering the opposing team.

        • Trygvesture

          What’s THAT all about? Somebody got their nose out of joint on a discussion board?

        • Brett

          All of those ballparks would have given Humber a standing o just like the Safeco crowd did. You’re right about Chuck and Howie though.

          • Artthiel

             Brett, you’re offering up a response about Lincoln and Armstrong that tells what happens to a sports franchise that breaks the bond with its fan base. Fans look, and find, the worst in a situation. Not saying you’re wrong, it’s just human nature when trust evaporates.

        • Artthiel

           Been to all the parks, Earth. Seen many great pitchers and great games. Not saying Humber was best ever, but it damn sure was special. And deserving of the recognition it got from Safeco crowd, which I guarantee would have happened at Fenway, Philly and everywhere else, although there would have some guys like you, earth, booing.
          And yes, I have been at times too cynical for my own good. But I still appreciate splendid sports achievement no matter the uniform. 

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  • Jamo57

    I’ve spent the past two days sequestered in my mother’s basement looking at all the video frame by frame and collecting all the data I could via the Twittersphere and can now say unequivocally that there was a second quarterback located on the grassy knoll at Century Link field. On a more serious matter, if Golden wants to maintain his sanity and his focus, I might recommend he not read the feed on his Twitter account. Have Pete’s Senior Twitter Coordinator handle all of his tweets.

    • art thiel

      Didn’t you know that the Twitterverse is an irresistible drug, just like commenting on SPNW?

  • Eric K

    Look at the photo Danny O’Neil has on his Seahawks blog on The Times web site. It isn’t clear evidence that Tate made the catch, but it is clear that it is a very close call that could have gone either way. It is a call that 100 people can watch and split 50-50 on. The real refs could have made the same call. They would have handled the mechanics better sure.

    Yet the national media is treating it like an obviously horrible call on the order of the 1st base call in the Cardinal’s world series or the 5th down for Colorado. The seeming certainty that it should have been an INT is ridiculous. You can’t tell me that the fact it went against the precious Packers isn’t influencing them.

    That people are attacking Tate is obscene. His hit against the Cowboys wasn’t dirty, he hit a LB who was chasing the QB in the chest with his shoulder. He didn’t head hunt, he didn’t lead with his helmet. The guy wasnt even hurt. And on this play he didn’t do anything remotely dirty, he pushed off on a hail Mary and then fought for the ball.

    • art thiel

      You’re right, it’s a 50-50 call that would be tough for the real refs. But the refs neither discussed it, nor received objective info from the booth, where the officials were fearful of a worse reaction in denying the touchdown. Regarding the the PI, the question is: Would real refs have called it? I think they would.

  • Will

    “Jamie Lee Curtis’s topless scene in “Trading Places.” ?? Talk about a geriatric moment. IMDb is so good for trivia.

    • art thiel

      Some things don’t require aid by Google or websites.

  • 3 Lions

    Tate could have done w/out standing on the bench after ‘the catch’ & posing.

    • art thiel

      Good point. It’s not like he was racked with humility over his good fortune.

  • Matt712

    OK, time to call ‘overkill’ here. I understand all the ways the Monday Night game continues to be an unfolding story and I’ve enjoyed the theater, as well as the fine journalism (as always). But here at ground zero, I was hoping we would, by now, at least begin to get back to some ‘football’ talk. Monday’s enormous distraction, as fantastic as it’s been, has left me starving for a good read on things we would surely be talking about otherwise.

    Bruce Irvin finally starting to ‘get it’ and what that does for Chris Clemmons would be a good read. Or what about the growing concern about the passing game? I thought the offseason goal (and moves) was to elevate the play at the quarterback position. Clearly, this has not happened. I don’t know that I’ve seen a better defensive performance from the Seahawks than last Monday, yet for a blown call they would have lost. Regardless of the officiating both ways, and with all due respect to the Packer defense, that game should have been a more decisive victory for the Hawks.

    Sorry Art. Hate to ride ya like a rented mule, but that call wasn’t my fault either!

    • art thiel

      I get your point Matt, but I also know this one play was significant well beyond the single-game outcome and would have overwhelmed the conversation in any other city as well. And the degree of abuse Tate took is newsworthy. The controversy changed the season because it brought back the real refs.
      We’ll get back to football, but don’t expect you’ve heard the end of this.

  • art thiel

    All I can tell you is that some Seattle fans have very high horses and very short memories about how sports work and now Seattle has been denied.

  • art thiel

    Some people need to blame an individual because it’s easier than understanding complexity or tolerating randomness.

  • art thiel

    The metaphors in this episode will choke a family of English teachers.