We couldn’t resist making note that when the Angels’ Mike Trout opened the bottom of the first tonight against the Giants’ Matt Cain with a single to left, Angels’ FSW play-by-play man Victor Rojas said: “Line to left field … no perfect game tonight as Trout takes a big turn…”
That was quick to note, eh?
Rojas was later talking about the Giants broadcast team of Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow — noting how Kuiper was an infielder for the Indians when Len Barker threw his perfect game, and then broadcast Cain’s perfecto last week.
Rojas complimented Kuiper on the fact he called Cain’s game “and adhered to the old adage of not mentioning if it was a no-hitter or perfect game, just used different words, and did an admirable job, got a write up in the paper in San Francisco about it.”
That reference must be to the column that Bruce Jenkins wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday (linked here), where he asked the question: Is saying ‘no-hitter’ a broadcaster’s no-no?
As we’ve chronicled long before this, Rojas sticks by the superstition, and drove viewers batty while Jered Weaver was throwing his no-no last month, and did it again as the Angels’ Ervin Santana was perfect into the eighth inning on Saturday.
(FYI: Rojas even tweeted during at 8:32 p.m. last Saturday: “18 in a row retired by Ervin Santana to start the game, still w/ 3 K’s…remains untarnished. 2-0 #Angels B6” Does that tell you enough?)
From Jenkins’ column: “I don’t know how that all started,” Kuiper said, “but if there’s any way you can help that guy on the mound, you do it. I have no problem with the way anyone calls a game. Personally, I just would not be comfortable saying ‘no-hitter’ or ‘perfect game.’ ”
So Kuiper cleverly danced around the semantics, a task that becomes relatively easy on television, where graphics and visuals tell much of the story. That’s hardly the case on radio.
“I said ‘perfect game’ over and over again during that broadcast,” (Dave) Flemming said. “I just think to myself, what if someone’s just tuning in, doesn’t know anything except that the Giants have a 10-0 lead, and then they turn it off, only to wake up the next morning completely disappointed? I want to make sure people know exactly what’s going on.”
“I’m not superstitious in that way, and I really don’t understand it,” (Jon) Miller said. “You can say ‘he hasn’t allowed a hit’ but not ‘no-hitter’? Is it a jinx if the Astros’ guy says it? What if our engineer (Lee Jones) says it in the back of the booth? I just don’t get how it actually works. What will the gods allow?”
God only knows.