05/30/10 12:38 AM ET
It's a Memorial Day Weekend like no other
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Phillies ace Roy Halladay threw a perfect game.
Angels first baseman Kendry Morales led the Angels to a win over the Mariners with a walk-off grand slam -- and then broke his lower left leg jumping onto home plate in the typical celebration scene.
Indians starting pitcher David Huff took an Alex Rodriguez liner off his head and was carried off on a stretcher, a horrifying moment for many. Huff was OK after tests.
Memorial Day Weekend 2010 is already different than any before it. You could have been on a boat, on a beach, at a barbecue or in a foreign land and it would not have mattered much. It is truly a year of Baseball Everywhere with unprecedented portability for live Major League Baseball, thanks to MLB.TV and an MLB.com At Bat app that travels with you all over.
This is how so many baseball fans came to find out about the remarkable events of Saturday around the National Pastime. Many were tipped off by tweets that came across their Twitter feed. You grilled, you swam, you regaled at family picnics, you traveled, and yet you were right there to find out about the events, one by one, each more mind-boggling than the other.
It became a story in itself, the story of Saturday, May 29, 2010.
Part of that was the way the story was told, the way it was discovered. We were all over the place for this holiday weekend, and yet connected so tightly.
Buster Posey made his much-anticipated 2010 debut for the Giants. He ripped an RBI single in his first at-bat.
Asked if he was nervous, Posey said: "A little of both. Mostly excited. There's a few butterflies. But I think that's pretty normal. I'm ready to get the game going."
Carlos Silva, to the dismay of fans in Minnesota and Seattle, suddenly was 7-0 for the Cubs. No Cubs pitcher had started a season 7-0 since 1967. He had just thrown seven scoreless innings, striking out 11 and walking none, continuing to dominate on an All-Star course. Behind him, the Cubbies blanked their rivals from St. Louis, 5-0.
"This is as good as I've seen him throw," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He's had some good games this year, but stuff-wise, changing speeds, good fastball, breaking ball -- today was as good as I've seen him throw all year."
In Cincinnati, a full house at now-supercharged Great American Ball Park saw the Reds pound six homers and crush the Astros, 12-2. All of a sudden, the hot Reds were 10 games over .500 (30-20) and two games ahead of the Cardinals in the National League Central.
There were many such fascinating developments, but these freakish stories seemed to keep coming -- steadily requiring your attention as you may have felt that first summer breeze. The National Pastime called you, no matter where you were.
The Indians somehow rallied and won that game at Yankee Stadium long after Huff's departure, and we all heard together that Alex Rodriguez actually drove to the hospital after it was over in hopes of visiting Huff. But we also heard that Huff wasn't there; he had been back at the ballpark. A-Rod, we heard, called Huff on his cell.
Then we saw Huff actually jump on his @DHuff11 Twitter page around 7:30 p.m. ET and tweet his status to everyone, something you would not have seen in any Memorial Day weekend before.
"Everything is good," Huff tweeted. "It was a little scary but I'm out of the hospital now and with my family. Thank you all for your concern and support."
An hour later, he added: "I'd like to thank the Yankees team doctors, our training for making sure I was OK. I'd also like to thank the NY security staff for taking care of my family, they were amazing. Finally, to A-Rod, contacting me on his way to the hospital, one class act."
On top of everything, there was that one moment when you heard from someone that Halladay was perfect through six down in Miami. Then perfect through seven.
Then if you weren't already watching it, you were watching the Live Look-In on MLB.com. You were perhaps glued to MLB Network. Phillies third baseman Juan Castro made a sweet stop on a Jorge Cantu smash to third and got the first out of the eighth, and when Halladay motioned thankfully to Castro at that point, you knew this was real.
It was Halladay, and it was not hard to imagine him carrying on. He did. Castro ranged to his left to snag Ronny Paulino's grounder and threw to Ryan Howard for the 27th and final out of the game, and there you were -- wherever you were -- enjoying some goosebumps with your holiday gathering. It was the 20th perfect game in Major League history, and already the second in the past month, following Dallas Braden's gem for Oakland.
"It was awesome," Halladay said. You were watching his on-field postgame interview with Sarge Matthews of the Phillies broadcast crew, hearing the pitcher give full credit to his backstop. "I can't say enough about the job [Carlos Ruiz] did today mixing pitches."
At almost exactly that time, 9:15 p.m. ET, the Angels e-mailed a statement that made it clear Morales' injury was worse than imagined -- not your basic embarrassing sprained ankle. The emotions were all over the place on this day as a fan. It read:
"WHO: Angels first baseman Kendry Morales sustained an injury to his lower left leg at home plate at the conclusion of today's game after hitting a game-ending grand slam. He was carted off the field on a stretcher and taken locally for X-rays. Morales will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a corresponding move to be announced.
"WHAT: X-rays taken today revealed a fracture of the lower left leg. It was determined that surgery will be required tomorrow (May 30th) with Dr. Phil Kwong performing the procedure (Foot & Ankle Specialist with Kerlan-Jobe Clinic). No timetable has been set for a rehab schedule or his return."
You watched the scores. You enjoyed the rest of your Saturday. You prepared for more Memorial Weekend fun, wondering perhaps what it might be like when Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum start opposite each other on Monday.
This is a long weekend, and it is a baseball weekend. That is true this year more than ever.