Last night, I was scared to death.
I use that in the sports sense, of course. There was no point in time where I literally feared for my life, but when Ricky Romero of the Toronto Blue Jays was mowing down hitter after hitter en route to a masterful performance against the White Sox, it was the first time I sat up and thought to myself “Crap, we’re going to get no-hit.”
I was at work when it started, sitting at my desk in The Daily Eastern News newsroom. I didn’t really have work to do, but stayed in the newsroom to watch the game because I no longer have cable at my house. I wasn’t paying a good deal of attention, but turned around at one point to see Romero’s line and it looked like this: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K.
Alright. Time to pay attention. The only problem was that i had to leave. I went home and sat at my computer, following the game on ESPN’s fantasycast. As every hitter got out, I couldn’t help but think it was going to happen. The White Sox were going to get no-hit. I was on Twitter at the time, following White Sox beat reporters such as Joe Cowley and Mark Gonzales as they kept updating each White Sox player getting retired.
After the seventh inning, when Romero had 12 strikeouts and still only one walk, I realized that, as much as it pained me to watch it, I had to witness the no-hitter in person. I also needed an excuse to go work out, so I figured I’d go to the Rec and watch the rest of the game there. But I also knew that as soon as Romero’s no-hitter was complete, my Facebook and Twitter would be full of insults from the Cubs fans I regularly belittle, so I posted a message resigned to my fate and left.
I didn’t even get to the Rec before it ended. As I walked in, I got a text message update alerting me that Alex Rios had broken the no-hitter and the shutout with a two-run homer. The White Sox were safe from embarrassment yet again.
But that’s not the point of this post.
The point of this post is that last night’s almost no-hitter got me thinking about possible “worst case scenarios” for sports fans, and having your team get no-hit (or worse, have a perfect game thrown against them) has to be the worst.
Now, I’m not talking about big picture stuff like blowing a 3-0 lead in the World Series or losing the Super Bowl on a Hail Mary pass, I’m talking singular moments in which a game with seemingly little meaning turns downright embarrassing.
Getting no-hit has to be on the top of the list, right?
White Sox fans such as myself have been lucky the past couple of years. Not only have we gotten to witness a World Series Title, but one of our beloved pitchers, Mark Buehrle, has thrown two no-hitters over the past couple of seasons (one a perfect game).
I remember in both instances thinking through my euphoria what it must be like to be a fan of one of those teams (Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays). Are fans of teams who get no-hit gracious and accepting of the incredible feat that just took place, or are they bitter and angry?
I’d have to say I would be the latter. I was thinking last night that, if Romero had completed his no-hitter, I would have been furious. I wouldn’t have spoken to anyone for hours. Even worse, what if you experience something like that in person?
In 2006 I attended a White Sox-Angels game when the Sox were playing miserably and Ervin Santana was throwing a gem. Well, it was a gem by Santana’s standards. He had something like seven walks, but found himself with a no-hitter through six innings. I was sitting in the dead-quiet stands on the edge of my seat, horrified that I might see the White Sox get no-hit in person. It would have tortured me as a sports fan.
Luckily, it didn’t happen that night and it didn’t happen last night. But I’m curious, if anyone reads this post, if anyone has insight into this? If you’re a fan of a team that has been no-hit in your lifetime, what was your feeling? How did you react? How long did it take you to get over it? Were you proud that you witnessed a special moment in baseball, or did you not care because it happened against your favorite team?
Anyway, that’s all for today. Just thought I’d share my horror story from last night.