DL381: Near Perfection, Junior Retires, Stanley Cup Finals

Two shows today. This is the first. We talk about the perfect game that wasn’t, but still could be. How long until we have robot umpires? We also talk about Ken Griffey Jr.’s retirement. More on that at TSB, including a look at his Top Ten moments. Plus, the Stanley Cup finals were totally overshadowed [...]

What a holiday weekend in sports. We start with a conversation about Roy Halladay’s perfect game, but rather than discuss the game between us – full disclosure, I was watching the hockey then switched over and tracked back to watch after the fact while Nick had the foresight to watch both – we thought it would make more sense to talk with one of the men who had the opportunity to call the 20th perfect game in Major League history.

Scott Franzke, radio play-by-play man for the Phillies, joins the show to talk about that amazing performance, and what it was like in the booth. At what point did they start to think they might be witnessing something special? How was Larry Anderson during the game, and were they conscious of superstition throughout the broadcast? How many times did Franzke mention the word perfect? Did he say “perfect game” before it happened?

We also discuss the historic nature of calling something like a perfect game. After Dallas Braden’s perfect game this season, Nick and I talked about beat writers crafting the “perfect game story” knowing that more people will be reading that day than, perhaps, any other in a writer’s career. For someone doing play-by-play, Franzke doesn’t have the luxury of thinking out what he’s going to say, and hitting a delete key. So how perfect did he try to be? Did he have something in his mind for the last out should Halladay complete the perfect game?

And seriously, how nervous were they in the booth? More on this later today on The Sporting Blog.

The Weekend that Was:

Nick and I rundown the weekend in sports, including the Stanley Cup finals (and the ratings for game one that some people — looking at you John Gonzalez — thought wouldn’t be good because of the holiday). We also discuss the rest of the series, and if the Flyers should be worried or feel fine with the fact that, on the road, they were in both games.

Next, we spend a lot of time talking about the game both of us attended on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. The U.S. men’s soccer team defeated Turkey in their final Send-off Match before heading to South Africa for the World Cup.

I worked the match for Sporting News, so we give a rundown of some of the storylines that came out of the even. I also try to convince you, Nick and myself, that soccer is now for the cool kids. If a member of the media says they don’t watch soccer now because it’s boring, that’s an old and tired meme that will, finally, make them look stupid. Soccer isn’t boring, we just weren’t any good at it. Now, we might be.


We talk about Lakers Celtics and if we’re rooting for the Lakers (and Kobe) or just rooting against everything related to Boston. We also talk about which is a more lame way to win a game, a walkoff balk or a walkoff grand slam where you break your leg.

Thanks to Scott and click here to listen…

DL368: The Weekend That Was

Nick and I talk about the goings on in sports this weekend. We talk about the perfect game and wonder if the reporters writing about it felt they had to write the perfect game story. Also, when do you start writing that game story, because on a normal day you’d be writing throughout the entire game. Is that the case, or at some point do you stop as not to jinx what you’re watching?

Also, Dallas Braden provided a great story on Mother’s Day, having lost his to cancer when he was younger. But is this the beginning of some great things for him, or will be be one of the few “who the heck is that guy” names on the list of 19 men to ever throw a perfect game.

We also touch on Jamie Moyer’s amazing two-hitter and have a conversation about how wins really mean absolutely nothing to indicate how well a pitcher threw.

We shift to golf to talk about Tim Clark finally becoming a PGA bride after all the years as a bridesmaid. Quite a tournament to get his first PGA win, too. Oh, and some guy named Tiger has a neck thing. That’ll dominate the headlines, eh?

We also touch on the English Premiership. Did you know Chelsea needed a win to bring home the championship and won 8-0 this weekend. Yikes. Can’t wait for the playoffs to start. Oh, that’s right, Bill Simmons reminded me last week that there aren’t playoffs.

Speaking of playoffs, lots of that kind of talk in NHL and NBA later in the week. Click to listen.