Enjoying perfection

Perfect. It’s such a cool word.

When I told a girlfriend I’d rather go to a San Francisco Giants’ game with my friends than a birthday party for her sister, she said, “That’s just perfect.” So at least I was perfect that time.

I’m guessing I’ve seen about 300 major-league baseball games, but I’ve never seen a truly historic game, such as a no-hitter, a batter hitting for the cycle, a three-home run game or, yes, a perfect game.

The Phillies’ Roy Halladay threw the second perfect game of 2010, remarkable also that it was just the 20th perfecto in history.

Loved the first perfect game of 2010 by Dallas Braden, the second perfect game by an Oakland A’s pitcher.

Interestingly, 13 years passed between the A’s 1968 Catfish Hunter perfecto and a 1981 gem by Len Barker. But from 1988 to 2001, a whopping 11 perfect games were thrown.

In between 1981 and 1988, two perfectos were thrown, one by Mike Witt of the then California Angels.

The Todd family has some history with the Witts. My brother-in-law, Mark, was best man at Adrian Witt’s wedding. Adrian is Mike’s older brother.

In a Babe Ruth All-Star game, I was inserted into the lineup when Steve Witt, Mike’s younger brother, was kicked out of the game for throwing his helmet after getting picked off first base. (I got a hit and stole a base in that appearance, but let a ball sail over my head in center field, alas, costing our team a key run. But I did get a postgame ride on a horse from a girlfriend who had moved, so I had that going for me.)

And my brother Spike actually batted against Mike Witt in a Babe Ruth game. Notice I wrote “batted” and not “hit.” Said Spike: “I had no chance.”

* Heard around the campfire: After the presentation a few weeks ago for naming streets at Bishop Union High School after coaches Gus Klekas and John Schwab, some people wondered if it was a bit much.

Yes, both coaches are legends. The west (newer) gymnasium is named after Klekas, not only the most successful Bronco hoops coach but also coach and mentor and to many other athletes. The football field proudly boasts the moniker John Schwab Field, named after the gridiron master who guided Bishop to its only CIF football title in 1957.

But, I understand a few eyes were rolled, to paraphrase, “Aren’t they already being remembered? We have had some wonderful teachers here, too, haven’t we?”

* Just can’t believe the people who sold marijuana to government workers at China Lake Naval Station could be facing life in prison. Obviously, the accused, if found guilty, need to be punished.

But does growing and selling pot deserve a possible harsher sentence than MURDER and RAPE!! I’m sure you noticed my use of CAPS and two exclamation marks to accentuate my disgust.

This is from the Los Angeles Times a couple of weeks ago: “A judge handed down the maximum sentence Monday to a husband and wife convicted in a hit-and-run crash that killed one USC student and left another seriously injured as they walked home last year from a fraternity party.
Judge Robert J. Perry issued a sentence of eight years in prison for Claudia Cabrera, the driver, and seven years for Josue Luna, who was riding in the front passenger seat. Their 7-month-old son was in the back.
“The acts of the defendants … were outrageous and shocking,” Perry said. “These actions were extremely callous.”
Authorities alleged that the couple’s Infiniti sedan ran a red light and struck Adrianna Bachan and Marcus Garfinkle in a crosswalk near campus on March 29, 2009.
Bachan, 18, died from massive head injuries. Garfinkle, then 19, was carried about 300 feet down the street on the hood of the car but survived with multiple injuries, including two broken legs.
A student who witnessed the crash testified at a court hearing last year that he saw the car’s passenger haul Garfinkle’s body out of the vehicle’s broken windshield while the driver pushed from the inside.
The student said the passenger dumped Garfinkle onto the sidewalk before the car sped off. In court papers, L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Janis Johnson said Cabrera fled in part because she had been drinking at a party earlier in the evening.
She had also had her driver’s license suspended and a lawsuit filed against her following a previous collision where she had stopped, Johnson said.”

Kill someone – seemingly without remorse – and get eight years in prison. Grow and sell pot and perhaps get life in prison. I respect the U.S. Attorney’s office, and know it deals with criminals that would scare me to tears. But this is just wrong.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoy baseball so much. You can be perfect. Judging by these two cases, that’s virtually impossible in our judicial system.

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