Who jinxed Gavin Floyd?

Loose lips -- or a corner outfielder playing center -- sink his no-hitter in the ninth.

King Kaufman
May 7, 2008 10:15PM (UTC)

Were you the one who jinxed Gavin Floyd's no-hitter? My friend and self-proclaimed no-hitter alert-bot Mike sent me an instant message around the sixth inning, I think. I didn't see it till the eighth. Did you mention it earlier than that? How dare you!

The Chicago White Sox right-hander lost the no-no with one out in the ninth Tuesday when Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins hit a fly-ball double beyond the reach of diving center fielder Nick Swisher in left-center.


Just eyeballing it on the TV, it looked like the distance between the ball and the outstretched glove of Swisher was exactly the difference between a real center fielder and a good corner outfielder playing center, which is what Swisher is.

The Sox had a six-run lead, so it wouldn't have made sense for manager Ozzie Guillen to put in a defensive replacement for Swisher even if Chicago had a player with true center-field range, and it's not clear to this column that backup Bryan Anderson is that player.

But that was a pretty good illustration of what happens when you put a corner outfielder in center. Now and again, that play will cost the White Sox a ballgame, but the difference between Swisher's bat and the bat of the next-best fielding option in center, whether that's Anderson or Jerry Owens, at the moment toiling for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, more than makes up for the defensive deficit.

The Knights faced freshly demoted New York Yankees starter Ian Kennedy and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Tuesday night. Kennedy had a no-hitter through five and two-thirds innings before he gave up a double. To Jerry Owens.

There's been some chatter in the last week that Owens would get a call-up. If that had happened, there might have been two no-hitters Tuesday night.

Or did you mention Kennedy's no-no too?


King Kaufman

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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