As you can imagine, blogging every day requires that I wade into cyberspace with some regularity to take the pulse of what my fellow bloggers are stewing about. It was on just such a sortie that I came across a story on ESPN.com where a guy came up with a novel strategy for Alex Rodriguez in confronting his public relations nightmare about steroid use.
According to our blogger, the idea is that A-Rod needs to reshape the public perception of his transgression with an eye toward convincing 500-plus baseball writers, say, 15 or 16 years from now, to include him on their Hall-of-Fame ballots. He was essentially proposing that A-Rod voluntarily remove 33 home runs from his lifetime total, a figure he came up with by looking at A-Rod’s home run production in three-year segments before and after the tainted 2001-03 steroids slice.
Well. I gotta admit it’s an intriguing idea, by which I employ intriguing as a euphemism for some uncharted hybrid word meaning moronic-idiotic-goofy. I guess the plan would be that if A-Rod approached Barry Bonds’ all-time home run mark, breaking the record would actually take place 33 home runs later (if at all) than what the unsuspecting fan might think. Gee, not too many holes in that idea, are there?
So in the spirit of this kind of freewheeling improvisation, I started wondering about Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game in the World Series, specifically about that called third strike from umpire Babe Pinelli that sent the Dodgers’ Dale Mitchell back to the dugout fuming and propelled Larsen into Yogi’s arm in the well-documented celebration of perfection.
As baseball historians recall, no less an authority than Mickey Mantle opined that the pitch looked high from his perspective in center field.
Wouldn’t it be pretty cool if Larsen stepped forward now and – in the giddy spirit of admitting stuff that I suspect is going to be an ever-expanding non-contact sport in coming months – reveal that Strike Three really was outside the zone and voluntarily offer to rescind the perfect game?
I concede there might be a few minor drawbacks that might make revising the historical record a bit of a problem, but hey, confession is supposed to be good for the soul.
I’ll give Duke Snider the final word on this one: “I think he (Pinelli) wanted to go out with a no-hitter,” said Snider, “but there were 26 outs before that and he got them all. You can’t take anything away from him.”
Tell it to A-Rod.