Saturday, May 29, 2010


combined no hitters not counted
07/26/10 Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Garza - team's first)
06/25/10 Arizona Diamondbacks (Edwin Jackson)
05/29/10 Philadelphia Phillies (Roy Halladay - perfect game)
05/09/10 Oakland A's (Dallas Braden - perfect game)
04/17/10 Colorado Rockies (Ubaldo Jiminez, team's first)
07/23/09 Chicago White Sox (Mark Buehrle - perfect game)
07/10/09 San Francisco Giants (Jonathan Sanchez)
09/14/08 Chicago Cubs (Carlos Zambrano)
05/19/08 Boston Red Sox (Jon Lester)
06/12/07 Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander)
09/06/06 Florida Marlins (Anibal Sanchez)
05/18/04 Arizona Diamondbacks (Randy Johnson - perfect game)
09/03/01 St. Louis Cardinals (Bud Smith)
09/11/99 Minnesota Twins (Eric Milton)
07/18/99 New York Yankees (David Cone - perfect game)
09/17/96 Los Angeles Dodgers (Hideo Nomo)
07/28/94 Texas Rangers (Kenny Rogers - perfect game)
04/08/94 Atlanta Braves (Kent Mercker)
09/08/93 Houston Astros (Darryl Kile - vs. METS)
04/22/93 Seattle Mariners (Chris Bosio)
08/26/91 Kansas City Royals (Bret Saberhagen)
07/26/91 Montreal Expos (Dennis Martinez - perfect game - now Washington Nationals)
09/02/90 Toronto Blue Jays (Dave Stieb)
09/16/88 Cincinnati Reds (Tom Browning - perfect game)
04/15/87 Milwaukee Brewers (Juan Nieves)
09/30/84 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Mike Witt - perfect game)
05/15/81 Cleveland Indians (Len Barker)
08/09/76 Pittsburgh Pirates (John Candelaria)
08/13/69 Baltimore Orioles (Jim Palmer)
NEVER San Diego Padres (team's inception, 1969)
NEVER New York Mets (team's inception, 1962)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sitting Out The Next "Dance" For Good

I am so done with "Dancing with the B-List". Tired of all the backstage romances that really clutter up the show, and the politics of casting the celebrities and pros to encourage this.

Show's run its course, why do another one?

And it would kill Betty White.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jack Hannah and Freeloading Feline

An important transitional cartoon for the Walter Lantz studio. Lantz was always on the lookout for castoff cartoonists from other studios, and when Walt Disney curtailed its shorts unit in the late 50's, it left a lot of talent looking for a home. Some went to work for Hanna-Barbera, but Jack Hannah - one of the last shorts directors at Disney, responsible for some screamingly funny Donald Duck and Humphrey Bear cartoons - found work with Walter Lantz for a few years. Hannah did some cartoons in the Doc series, the character originating with Alex Lovy a few years prior, as well as Inspector Willoughby, Woody Woodpecker, the Beary Family, and a character named Fatso Bear - a thinly-veiled knockoff of Humphrey Bear. This is his first Doc cartoon, "Freeloading Feline", which Hannah also wrote, and it's probably the funniest example of this character.

Hannah had been hired because Lantz was looking for someone with live-action TV experience to direct the wraparounds for the Woody Woodpecker TV show. Hannah brought with him some Disney colleagues such as animators Al Coe and Roy Jenkins and background artist Ray Huffine.

The credits of this cartoon reveal an interesting mix of old and new. This is animated by Coe and pioneering female animator La Verne Harding, who spent almost 30 years working for Lantz. Huffine does the backgrounds here with Raymond Jacobs, who left the Lantz studio after this cartoon (the other background guy at the time was Art Landy). Coe and Huffine got the most out of their Lantz experience: Huffine was with the studio until 1968 and Coe was still there at the studio's shutdown in 1972.

The music is by Eugene Poddany, who'd been working with Lantz since about 1956 or so to give Clarence Wheeler a break once in a while. Lantz at this time also brought back his classic 1940's music director, Darrell Calker. Poddany eventually became music director for Chuck Jones at M-G-M.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Crystal Clear

With just two weeks to go before "American Idol" leaves the air for the season - not coincidentally coinciding with the last day of May Sweeps - it's all but on paper that Crystal Bowersox is your next American Idol. Crystal of late has begun evoking the early Jewel, right down to the less-than-perfect smile. She has worked very hard since her pre-teens to get to this performance level. She above all others is worthy of the crown.

Crystal really did good for herself in both her solo and duet performances on Tuesday, but somehow wound up in the bottom echelon of contestants Wednesday night. Tuesday, Crystal mined deeper meaning out of the goofy Kenny Loggins "I'm All Right" from "Caddyshack", and really shone in her face to face duet with Lee DeWyze, while the dizzying 360-degree camerawork of director Bruce Gowers seemed to favor neither contestant.

Last year we had Adam and Kris in the finals; year before that the two Davids. Last female in the finals was Jordin Sparks three years ago, who won. I'm hoping for Crystal and Lee in the finals. Lee has just been a house on fire the last few weeks and should be on the Nokia stage with Crystal on May 25.

Next week, we will have video packages of Lee, Crystal and Casey's return to their respective home cities, and two songs from each contestant. The following week I think the finalists do four songs each. It should be entertaining.

Last point: as long as we're talking winning "Idol" it does not necessarily mean that second place is the first loser. Look at Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert... all post-Idol successes who didn't win the big prize.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Lives They Lived: 2009 Edition

Due to our St. John trip, we neglected to check the annual New York Times Magazine necrological feature and in particular the annual subject of one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth McCracken. Here is her write up of two people buried in their own way - one an underground explorer, the other a woman who spent 61 years in an iron lung.