MLB may have to contend with Jordan’s Furniture customers after Madison Bumgarner’s almost no-hitter
Long ago in the dark days of the 2006 off-season when the Red Sox slipped from the 2004 World Series Champs to first place by AL East in 2005 to third behind the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in 2006 The Idea was developed deep within a furniture chain in New England: a competition where customers would get free furniture if the Red Sox won the World Series.
The premise was simple: “Customers who buy furniture between March 7th and April 16th  When the Sox take over the crown, their purchases are free. “That was the only catch – you had to spend the money in the spring and hope that the Sox would not only have a good season but also make the playoffs and make the World Series but win.
Just three short years away from The Curse, this had more of the feel of a Deal or No Deal candidate who doesn’t understand fractions. But if you were in the furniture market anyway and thought a long term refund based on the success of your favorite team would be fun … you know the story. The fans got free furniture!
According to ABC News, nearly 30,000 people received free furniture thanks to Jordan’s “Monster Deal” promotion. The $ 60 million payout suggests they spent an average of $ 2,000 each on eligible products.
Warren Buffet, whose Berkshire Hathaway bought Jordan’s Furniture in 1999, announced that the deal cost his company $ 60 million. The promotion was a hit and Jordan has experimented with things like this time and again over the years.
2021 is no different. Other than that the criteria for winning free furniture require that you 1) make a purchase between April 14, 2021 and May 16, 2021, and 2)[the] Red Sox throw up a no-hitter between August 3rd and October 3rd. ”
There is only one problem: what is a no-hitter? Well it’s complicated.
Until 1991, when a game was cut short due to rain (or other weather) or lack of sunlight (before night games and stadium lights), or maybe even a team had to take a move (believe it or didn’t happen more than once) turned out to be full Game viewed. But MLB decided to make things clearer and passed a new rule: “A no-hitter is a game where a pitcher or pitcher completes a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit.” Seems simple enough.
It feels a little unfair to get those no-hitter years off the record book after the games were settled. Who knows, maybe a rain delay could have taken a little longer, or a game resumption when the sun came up, or a last-minute change of tickets for the next train outside of town would have been possible. Would it really have been that bad to have adopted the 1991 rule? Even that wouldn’t have saved Devern Hansack’s perfect five-inning game in 2006.
The rule worked well for almost 30 years. Until 2020, when the pandemic turned everything upside down. One of the alleged “one year” rule changes for the short season was double headers with seven innings. Last year, despite a lot of double heads due to COVID fears and postponements, nothing crazy happened. While the universal DH disappeared after just a year, the double header with seven innings, the punching power requirements for pitchers and the runner on the second base, starting in additional innings, continued.
Sure enough, Madison Bumgarner had to cause trouble and throw a no-hitter with seven innings in April.
While the Arizona Diamondbacks are counting it for themselves, this wasn’t a no-hitter in the eyes of MLB. And the terms of the Jordan competition reflect the MLB rules, not what the pitcher team decides.
Major League Baseball defines a no-hitter as a game in which a pitcher (or pitcher) does not allow hits during the entire course of the game, which consists of at least nine innings. For the avoidance of doubt, a game of fewer than nine innings in which a pitcher (or pitcher) does not allow hits will not be considered a “no-hitter”. In a no-hit game, a batsman can reach the base via a walk, a mistake, a hit across the field, an overtaken ball or a wild field on hit three, or the interfering with the catcher. A no-hitter doesn’t mean a shutout or a Boston Red Sox® win. Any no-hitter who completes nine innings but is forced to additional innings can only remain a no-hitter if a Boston Red Sox® pitcher does not give up hits in the additional innings.
The full terms posted on Jordan’s website are, frankly, fun read. “A no-hitter might not even be a win! Enjoy the free furniture too! “While this makes logical sense (running in a runner) it is still strange to think about how most of us envision the dream of being a no-hitter for our team where that team wins.
If seven-inning games weren’t planned as a course of action, you’d just resent that the Sox could get a no-hitter before August 3rd, and well, you’re on the hook for that furniture. But with two innings subtracted from the requirement, the Sox is slightly more likely to actually manage a seven innings, zero hit game. Heck, Nick Pivetta had 5 2⁄3 innings without hits on April 22nd. In a seven innings game, you might aggressively bring in Matt Barnes and jail it. But this is not a real no-hitter, just a game without hits.
The rule against short no-hitters makes sense in a world with nine inning games as standard. But when games are scheduled as seven-inning affairs, even a goofy furniture advertisement can turn into a bad feeling. With luck, the only Sox no-hitters will be nine-inning wins.
If you had Rob Manfred’s powers, would you allow seven innings double header games with no hits in the record books (even if you couldn’t use that power to turn it into nine innings)?