CHICAGO -- Dan Meyer was on his way to the airport Sunday night aboard a quiet Marlins team bus when his cell phone began buzzing with text messages from his friends. The first one read: "Did you hear about Dallas Braden?"
"The first thing I'm thinking is what did he say about about A-Rod now?" Meyer said.
It didn't take the Marlins reliever long before he figured out his former minor league teammate in Oakland had just pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history. Soon after, Meyer ran over to share the news with Marlins catcher John Baker, who also played with Braden in the Athletics minor league system, and the two watched video highlights of the feat on Meyer's cell phone before boarding their flight to Chicago.
"It was surreal to see," said Meyer, who played three seasons with Braden in A's farm system and was his roommate for most of those seasons on the road. "We were pretty close, hung out a lot. I know him way outside of baseball. For me it is more than a baseball thing.
"I lived with him, played golf with him and used to stay at his grandmother's house on off days, so I even know the grandmother."
Baker was equally thrilled for Braden and sent him a text message with one word "Wow."
"I couldn't be happier for the guy," said Baker, who caught Braden in several spring training games and played against him once he was traded to the Marlins.
"He's just a different character. He almost seems like he doesn't care. But he he does care -- just like you saw with the Alex Rodriguez thing. He's not afraid of star status. It takes a pitcher like that, whose not afraid, to pitch a game like that."
RESPECT FOR PERFECTION... The Marlins have never had a pitcher throw a perfect game, but have had four toss no-hitters including Anibal Sanchez.
But there is at least one Marlin who has thrown a perfect game at the professional level -- reliever Clay Hensley. He threw one for Class A Hagerstown Suns in 2003 on only 81 pitches.
"It takes a lot of luck," said Hensley, who also threw two no-hitters in college. "The stars have to be aligned for you."