T.J. Brida is doing just fine, thank you for asking. "I'm definitely proud of how far I went, definitely proud of myself," he told me yesterday. After losing his bid at a perfect game, and a shot at $1 million dollars, in the most anguishing way imaginable, Brida did come back to Major League Baseball 2K12, chin up, ready to try again.
He just didn't come back to the game immediately.
"I was so pissed off about the last attempt that I just stayed away from the game for a bit," Brida admitted. "I played Halo: Reach."
But four days later. he was ready to try again, playing MLB 2K12 before his shift at a Philadelphia-area Best Buy, just like he did that fateful morning of April 5 when, held scoreless himself by the Pittsburgh Pirates, he pitched a perfect game into the 14th inning before giving up a line-drive base hit to a slap hitter.
Brida, and hundreds of thousands of others, have not only been trying to throw a perfect game—in which a single pitcher retires every batter in a victory of 9 innings or longer—in MLB 2K12 this month, in the qualifying free-for-all that will determine eight finalists for a million-dollar tournament held next month in New York. What's interesting is that Brida himself was a finalist in MLB 2K9's tournament, without the perfect game qualifier, that sent him to St. Louis for the All-Star Game in 2009. Had he gotten on the leaderboard this year, he could have been a legitimate threat to win out.
He's convinced a 13 1/3-inning, 17-strikeout perfect game would have placed him in the top eight for good. Retiring all 27 batters (or more) in the contest is only the beginning—555 games out of about 620,000 attempted have already accomplished that. 2K Sports then scores the quality of that perfect game relative to others thrown. Degree of difficulty—including the quality of the opposition, the number of strikeouts, and the number of pitches—will move one's score higher.
So when he went back to work on perfection, Brida had to look for a difficult matchup featuring a pitcher who still had quality stuff. The average top-8 score was somewhere in the 500s when he had his 13-inning epic. It's around 800 now.