Thursday, May 3, 2012
He got me good
About a year ago, I mentioned the love-hate relationship that we sports editors have with the no-hitter.
We love it because big events are always fun to put in the newspaper. We hate it because it's unexpected, which usually means overhauling everything that we've done at a very late hour with deadline looming.
I also mentioned that I have been lucky enough to avoid this ritual for almost three years because, mostly by coincidence, I have not been working during the last nine no-hitters. It's been an incredible string of luck because the chances of me working during a no-hitter was basically 50-50.
But not since Jonathan Sanchez hurled a no-hitter on the west coast on July 10, 2009, had I had to scramble to put a no-no in the paper.
The odds in my favor increased further about a year ago when my hours changed. No longer was I in charge of producing the daily sports section, and I left for the evening often as the night's ballgames were just ending. I was also off on the weekend now. So, when Philip Humber threw his no-hitter last month, I was resting comfortably at home.
It was very possible that I could have laid out my last no-hitter section.
I never expected to be blindsided at midnight by Jered Weaver.
For the first time in awhile, I was producing the sports section last night. My co-worker had taken some vacation time. It was just two days. I could get through two days, right?
Tuesday was a breeze. Wednesday was not. First there was the horrible news about Junior Seau. Then I found out the sports section had very little space despite a monstrous number of high school games being played last night. Get out the crowbar. Then a certain hockey game went into THREE OVERTIMES.
I was just finishing celebrating the Rangers game finally ending at 12:14 a.m. -- enough time to get it in the paper with being only slightly late for deadline, when a co-worker said to me, "Oh no. Jered Weaver's got a no-hitter through eight."
This is not good. Weaver's team plays its games on the west coast. Normally, I can shrug off west coast games because there's no time to get them in the paper. But this was a no-hitter. And no-hit games usually end quickly.
This one did, too. At about 12:35 a.m. The perfect time to make sure that I wouldn't get out of the building until about 2:15 and that every customer's newspaper would be late the next day.
With the jam-packed sports section and the lateness of the feat, I managed to carve out only 5 inches on the cover to throw in "Weaver no-hits Twins." Even that was a difficult task.
And through it all, my co-worker and I cursed Weaver, the Angels, the Twins, Torii Hunter, the west coast, the east coast and ESPN (which kept proclaiming -- "a no-hitter which you saw here live," even though all we saw were the final 3 outs), all the while longing to be able to work in a one time-zone nation like, you know, Switzerland.
Today, I'm exhausted. And headed into work again.
My co-worker is back from vacation.
And, I'll say, "you got me good."
The next west coast no-hitter needs to be from a Dodger. I'll even be happy to work for that one.