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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, May 9, 2010


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Dallas Braden definitely owns the mound now.
Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history on Sunday, shutting down the majors' hottest team and leading the Oakland Athletics to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Braden threw his arms in the air after Gabe Kapler grounded out to shortstop for the final out, his simmering feud with Yankees star Alex Rodriguez merely a footnote to the first perfect game for Oakland in 42 years.
The closest the Rays got to a hit was Jason Bartlett's liner to third leading off the game. Evan Longoria tried to bunt against Braden leading off the fifth, drawing boos from the small crowd.
"It's without a doubt a team effort," Braden said. "You got eight guys out there chasing balls and knocking balls down for me. So this is ours, not just mine, this is ours."
It was the majors' first perfect game since Mark Buehrle did it for the White Sox against the Rays on July 23, and the second no-hitter this season after Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez pulled it off in Atlanta on April 17.
Braden pitched the A's first perfect game since Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter's gem on May 8, 1968, against the Minnesota Twins. Only 6,298 were there to witness it. Sunday's crowd at the Coliseum wasn't much better: 12,228.
Braden (4-2) wasn't fazed by anything, throwing two-strike changeups and getting quick outs against a Rays team that lost on the road for just the third time this year. He struck out six in the 109-pitch performance, throwing 77 strikes in his 53rd career start and first complete game.
Braden's teammates mobbed him when the Mother's Day masterpiece was over, leaving bats and gloves scattered on the field. The left-hander pointed to the sky in honor of his mom, Jodie Atwood, who died of cancer when he was a high school senior. He shared a long and tearful hug with his grandma, Peggy Lindsey, the woman who raised him, in front of the dugout.
"It hasn't been a joyous day for me in a while," Braden said. "With my Grandma in the stands it makes it a lot better."
Braden's perfect game was the sixth no-hitter in Oakland history. The 26-year-old Braden, a native of nearby Stockton, was a 24th-round draft pick by the A's in 2004.
Last Mother's Day, Braden was hit by a line drive by Vernon Wells.
"You know, a year later you don't expect anything like this," he said. "I'm just happy to be putting on the costume a year later."
The A's defense didn't even have to make a really tough play in fair territory.
Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff sprinted to the dirt in front of Oakland's dugout to catch a foul popup by Dioner Navarro for the second out in the sixth. Kapler then fouled out on a 12-pitch at-bat on another ball caught by Kouzmanoff. Navarro fouled off five straight pitches before the popup.
Landon Powell - who caught the game with regular catcher Kurt Suzuki injured -- Kouzmanoff and Ryan Sweeney each singled in runs for the A's, who added two unearned runs in the fourth after catcher Navarro's throwing error. Daric Barton had three hits and scored twice for Oakland.
The A's last no-hitter was by Dave Stewart on June 29, 1990, at Toronto. Before that, rookie Mike Warren against the White Sox on Sept. 29, 1983; a combined effort by Vida Blue, Glenn Abbot, Paul Lindblad, and Rollie Fingers against California on Sept. 28, 1975; Blue by himself on Sept. 21, 1970 against the Twins; The Cat's Perfecto against those same Twins on May 8, 1969; Bill McCahan when the team was in Philly, Sept. 3, 1947(This was his best season at 10-5; he was 6-9 his other 28 MLB games); Dick Fowler, Sept. 9, 1945(It was his only win of the season, going 1-2); Bullet Joe Bush, Aug. 26, 1916(He had 15 of the pathetic A's AL record low 36 wins that season); Hall of famer Albert "Chief" Bender, May 12, 1910; and Weldon Henley, July 22, 1905. Stewart, Blue, and Bender did theirs in World Series years; Cat and Henley in playoff seasons-Henley's a year the A's lost to the hated Giants 4 games to 1, Hunter's a year the A's lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS. We also have been the victims of no-hitters 14 times, the last by Nolan Ryan for Texas in that same 1990 season as Stewart.
Russia finished their game with a 3-1 win over Slovakia, while Matthias Weihandl got his second goal to snap a 2-2 tie and his hat trick a little later as Sweden beat Norway 5-2.

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