A few reactions to Roy Halladay's perfect game

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halladay throwing.jpgRoy Halladay captured the nation’s attention on a sports-heavy Saturday night, throwing the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history as the Phillies defeated the Marlins 1-0 in south Florida.  Let’s take a trip around the baseball world for some unique reactions to the perfecto:

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports noticed some rather deep counts and an amazing will to battle back:  “The difference between brilliance and immortality is one pitch, and
seven times Halladay ran the count to three balls only to bail himself
out.”

Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski saw it coming in the fifth inning:  “Halladay was so sharp, so on, so confident, so much in control, that he
turned the improbable into the expected, he made a perfect game feel
oddly routine.”

ESPN’s Jayson Stark points out that few great pitchers ever get a taste of perfection:  “There are 67 pitchers in history who have won a Cy Young Award. And
before Saturday, only four of them ([Sandy] Koufax, [Catfish] Hunter, [Randy] Johnson and David Cone) — not to mention Cy Young himself — ever managed to throw a perfect game.”

David Brown of Yahoo’s Big League Stew calls Halladay the “perfect pitcher” to throw a perfect game:  “I view Halladay like Quint looked at great white sharks in “Jaws.” He saw them as the perfect killing machines. Emotionless, except for a certain amount channeled of rage when they attack.

Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer remembers the last Philadelphia pitcher that recorded 27 straight outs, Jim Bunning:  “He estimated that additional commercial opportunities generated by the perfect game added $15,000 to his $30,000 salary in 1964.”

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez saw a different side of Halladay the moment he completed the perfecto:  “Before being surrounded by teammates, a usually stoic Halladay smiled
ear to ear and extended his arm to receive a warm embrace from his
catcher, Carlos Ruiz, who he gave a lot of the credit to for his gem.”

The Phillies have been in a highly publicized offensive slump as of late, but there’s no doubt that this club will be competing once October rolls around.  Halladay has been superb all season and, taking into account Saturday’s perfecto, is 7-3 on the year with a 1.99 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and 70 strikeouts in 86 innings.  He’s an early favorite for NL Cy Young Award consideration alongside the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez, who made a little history of his own this season with a no-hitter against the Braves.  It’s not the worst time to be a baseball fan.

We’ll see a leaner Yasiel Puig in 2017. Just like we did in 2016.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers tips his hat to Vin Scully as he announces his final home game for the Dodgers during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Yasiel Puig made a public appearance today. He was a guest barista at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Los Angeles as part of a charity . . . thing. I dunno. I just hope that, after finishing the foam on someone’s latte he airmailed it past his fellow barista at the counter and got it to the customer on the fly 300 feet away, after which he flipped the espresso machine. Gotta stay on-brand.

After that he talked about baseball. Puig, who was demoted last season and then brought back up in a part-time role, said that it’s his goal to be a starter again, if not in Los Angeles than someplace else. As for the someplace else, the Dodgers explored a Puig trade last season and it was thought they’d try again this offseason, but it’s been all quiet on that front.

What is Puig, for his part, doing to become a starter again? Getting in shape. From MLB.com:

Puig has been working out at Dodger Stadium the last two weeks. He is conditioning his leaner body to avoid injuries that have plagued him and working with batting coaches in search of regaining the impact bat that once had him on the verge of superstardom . . . The 6-foot-2 Puig, who last year was listed at 240 pounds, now has a personal chef to prepare healthier foods.

A leaner Puig. That’ll certainly be a game-changer, right?

Yet as a new season dawns, the team still hopes he can recapture the form he displayed as a rookie in 2013. The organization asked Puig to slim down and focus on durability rather than musculature. Friedman sounded pleased with the result. Puig had suggested he weighed about 240 pounds, down 15 from his listed weight in 2015.

Oops. That was from January 30, 2016.

If he keeps getting leaner each offseason eventually he’ll just disappear, right?

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.