You know, if you were the suspicious type, this may cause your eyebrows to raise a bit:
Some umpires can work their entire careers and never find themselves behind the plate for a no-hitter. Eric Cooper has been the plate umpire for three of them, including two by White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle, who pitched a perfect game Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays . . .
. . . How's this for strange? Cooper has been behind the plate for each of Buehrle's last three shutouts -- the perfect game Thursday, the no-hitter April 18, 2007, at U.S. Cellular Field against the Texas Rangers and a 6-0 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 17, 2005, at the Cell. Cooper, 38, also was behind the plate for Boston Red Sox right-hander Hideo Nomo's no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles on April 6, 2001.
Sadly, there isn't any suggestion that Buehrle is paying off Cooper or anything, because that would be the bestest story ever (at least if you were a writer). If you're Ozzie Guillen, though, don't you mess with your pitching staff to ensure that Buehrle is on the mound the next time Cooper is behind the plate when his crew's in town? If, for no other reason, than to boost your ace's confidence?