Kevin Slowey got yankered after 7 innings of no hit ball on Sunday. Predictably, everyone booed. Who doesn't want the chance to hold onto a no-hit ticket stub? But the Twins had bigger concerns for Slowey who had thrown 106 pitches after missing his last start with elbow soreness. Jovial, Busch swilling lawn gnome Ron Gardenhire sympathized with the disappointed fans. For a second.
"I'd be booing, too," Gardenhire said. "I want to see a no-hitter myself, but I also know that I'm responsible for this young man's arm, and we were going to protect him no matter what."
Clearly the right decision was made, which is a little bit surprising. But what's really surprising is that everyone is agreeing on it. Even the fans in a newspaper poll are overwhelmingly in favor of the move. There is no surer way for a baseball fan (or writer) to lose all touch with common sense than to introduce the HISTORY bugaboo into the equation. Perhaps they watched the game and noticed he didn't exacly have devastating stuff. Maybe with the rash of no hitters this season, people are just more laissez-faire about the whole thing. Who knows. In any case, a pitchers' health was put before a milestone and no one complained about it or raged against pitch counts. Happy Day.
In somewhat related news I checked in with The Baseball Project over the weekend at Wilco's Solid Sound festival and am happy to report that their song "Harvey Haddix" has been updated. The song lists every pitcher to throw a perfect game in its chorus and includes all of the 2010 gems INCLUDING Armando Gallaraga's ump smudged one. Also whenenver they sing Jim Bunning's name it is promptly followed by the word "asshole." Co-Leader Steve Wynn told me how much he hated having to have Bunning in one of his tunes. We feel you, man. New record out later in the year, do go see them.