A Most Unusual 2012

Miguel Cabrera: batsman nonpareil

On the eve of the finish of the 2012 Major League Baseball regular season, I (Evander) thought I ought to highlight a few of the unusual aspects of this most unusual season.

As of today, only one American League club, the Detroit Tigers, has captured a division. A year late, as predicted by the Right Off the Bat Project, the Oakland Athletics (in the lead 1-0 at this writing) are breathing down the neck of the Texas Rangers, and may capture the A.L. West. Only one game in the standings separates the Baltimore Orioles from the New York Yankees. As this is the first season featuring two Wild Cards, all five postseason-bound A.L. teams have no idea what tomorrow will look like.

Unless there is another tonight, there have been three perfect games in 2012, hurled by Philip Humber, Matt Cain, and Felix Hernandez. To put this into perspective, when Don Larsen pitched his famous perfect game in the 1956 World Series, the major leagues had not seen one prior to that in nearly thirty-five years. The perfect game previous to that was thrown in 1908. (In 2010, Armando Galarraga was denied a perfect game thro a bad call by umpire Jim Joyce—yes, christened James Joyce for you literary types.)

On top of the three perfectoes (spelled like “potatoes,” the only thing with eyes we strive to eat), there were four no-hitters in 2012.

Unusual you say? (I haven’t even got into the truly wild Wild Card possibilities.) Consider Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Unless Joe Mauer has a scorching final game of the season, Cabrera will become the first player to win the Triple Crown in forty-five years, when Carl Yastrzemski did it: most home runs, most runs batted in, highest batting average (for you cricket followers).

To make everything a little more interesting, tonight is the first Presidential debate. I can safely predict that there will be plenty of channel surfing in Baltimore and New York.

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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