When A’s starter Jarrod Parker gave up an eighth-inning single to Michael Young Monday, it saved his manager some headaches. Parker is a rookie, had already exceeded his closely monitored pitch count, and, until Young reached safely, had not yet given up a hit to the Rangers.
Bob Melvin had already told himself that the eighth would be Parker’s final frame, regardless of the outcome. He was prepared to do what Terry Collins wouldn’t, just days earlier: capsize a no-hitter in progress.
Because it never came to pass, however, and because intentions are far less fun to criticize or defend than actions, we’ll turn our attention to Ray Ratto of CSNBay Area. Never one to subscribe to superstition (or even buy it off the newsstand), Ratto set about needling those on the collective edge of their seat during Parker’s gem.
In the seventh inning, he took some notice of folks on Twitter trying to draw attention to Parker’s feat without actually coming out and saying it, for fear of the dreaded jinx. From Ratto’s ensuing column:
Superstition lives in baseball, at least among the devout and experienced. Well, I am a man of science, in that I believe in evolution for some people. So I blurted out in response to one such devotee of tradition, “You mean JARROD PARKER’S NO-HITTER THROUGH SEVEN INNINGS? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TRYING NOT TO REFER TO?”
Did he jinx anything? Parker gave up his first hit two pitches later.
For those of you unfamiliar with Ratto’s style from his years at the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, his response to the ensuing fallout paints a fairly accurate picture:
So it was my fault, except for the following things. Jinxes don’t exist, and superstitions are idiotic. There are no baseball gods minding the store for etiquette violations, and if there were baseball gods, they still haven’t fully explained the color line to my satisfaction, so to hell with them anyway. Plus, Parker wasn’t reading my Twitter feed at the time, plus nobody else in the dugout was, plus, they already knew very well he had a no-hitter, plus shut up.
Other than that, yes, it was my fault.
In Ratto’s mind, even if there was a jinx, he should be doubly thanked for sparing Melvin the fallout from having to remove a pitcher from his own no-hitter.
Seems like perfect logic from here.