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.


  1. Don't you newspaper guys have a template for things like that?

    INSERT PLAYER'S NAME threw a no hitter against INSERT OPPONENT. "I knew he had it from the sixth inning on," said INSERT MANAGER'S NAME. The Final score was INSERT TOTAL NUMBER OF RUNS BY WINNING TEAM to 0. (VERIFY THAT LOSING TEAM DID NOT SCORE)

    INSERT PLAYER'S NAME was sprayed with champagne in the clubhouse. The team looks forward to the rest of this series and and hopes to do well in the playoffs.

    The last time a no-no was tossed our current sports editor was not working. Please cut him (OR HER) some slack if he (OR SHE) forgets to edit this properly. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

  2. Never in my life did I even think about how a newspaper was put together and what it entails.

    Now I know, great info and post.

  3. woo-hoo, you mentioned Switzerland. Just letting you know that you have a reader from Switzerland.

  4. ...and what will you say if he does it again tonight? I gotta tell ya, and this is coming from a Twins fan, mind you... the Twins are gonna make it nice and easy for him.