Watch Lester's no-no on your iPod
Apple, MLB team up to bring you 'Games of the Year' videos
Jon Lester can "Take a Bow" like Rihanna, because he showed no "Mercy," never threw one "Lollipop," made hitters seem "Lost," and found a lot of "Love In This Club" after no-hitting the Royals on an unforgettable Monday night at Fenway Park.
Yes, the Red Sox left-hander belongs with all of those current top hits, because sometimes it seems like all the world is downloading files at iTunes, and his dominating performance on Monday is the music site's newest must-have.
MLB.com and Apple have been teaming up all season to offer fans a "Games of the Year" full video file that they can download by the "episode" for $1.99. That means Lester's gem can be yours to own with that easy process, from his first pitch to his 130th -- that high heater that blew past Alberto Callaspo to end it.
It was the first no-hitter of the 2008 Major League Baseball season, the 18th no-hitter in Red Sox history, and the first one by a Boston lefty in 52 years. Making it more special is the story of what Lester had to overcome to get here. Less than two years ago, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, but he persevered to start and win the clinching Game 4 of the last World Series and now has just done practically the unthinkable.
Red Sox fans will want to own this moment, and doing so is going to be a natural process for many of them already accustomed to downloading iTunes for their iPods or other devices. Here is how to find the MLB.com Games of the Year page: On the front of the iTunes Store, click "TV Shows" and then "Sports." The MLB.com programming lineup is there and a 7-0 Red Sox victory has just been added.
There will be many more desirable Games of the Year to consider while you're there. The long list started with Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off homer to help Washington successfully open its Nationals Park in the ESPN Sunday Night opener on March 30. John Smoltz's 3,000th-strikeout game is also there. So is the biggest of all those Brandon Webb victories so far -- an April 27 decision over fellow former National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy.
If you are a Cubs fan and you just have this feeling that the 100th anniversary of the team's last world championship will be the perfect time to celebrate another, then you might as well start stocking up now on some of the top Cubs moments of 2008. There are a handful listed in the MLB.com Games of the Year so far.
There is just something cool about having one of these games on your iPod video and watching it while commuting to work or on vacation or wherever the urge strikes. It tends to make sort of a great conversation piece, just the way everyone around baseball is talking today about Lester's no-hitter.
"This probably isn't fair to say, but I feel like my son graduated and my [other] son threw a no-hitter," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona, whose son Nick graduated from college on Sunday. Speaking of Lester, he added, "It couldn't happen to a better kid. It's probably selfish on my part to even say something like that, but I think it's obvious how we feel about this kid."
It sounds like Francona might want to download this one, too. It even lists the time of the game just as a typical song listing would show the time of the track, and once he has downloaded it, he will be able to fast-forward to any particular pitch sequence. That convenience would be beneficial for a busy big league manager.
All you have to do is read the User Reviews on iTunes to see how baseball fans feel about being able to download memorable games this way. One fan with the username "titusd" wrote: "Totally awesome -- I loved it. Nice addition. I love that they put some baseball stuff on iTunes." And it also is clear that fans want even more there as technology and baseball continue to grow together. Wrote "BWess21": "I will buy every great Yankees game available and possibly other teams' great games."
The first no-hitter of the year is in the books, and Red Sox fans will want to head straight to the iTunes Store. Before "Leavin'" like Jesse McCartney, have a "Say" about the way great games are remembered today. Like Chris Brown says in the appropriately titled hit song "Forever:"
It's like I waited my whole life
For this one night
It's gon' be me, you, and the dance floor
'Cause we only got one night
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.