No products in the cart.
Everybody has weighed in on Jim Joyce’s blown call ruining Armando Galarraga’s perfect game by now, so I’ll keep it short, since nothing I write here is bound to be particularly novel.
I don’t think Bud Selig should grant him the perfect game. It sets a dangerous precedent in correcting high-profile umpire errors, which could affect situations with far greater implications than a personal achievement, as heartbreaking as it is.
Besides, I think there’s a lesson. As much as I couldn’t believe how badly Joyce blew that call, Galarraga’s immediate reaction shocked me more:
He smiled. It was slight, it was pained, but it was a smile.
Miguel Cabrera kept barking at Joyce as Galarraga was on his way to recording the 28th out, and Gerald Laird and Jim Leyland let Joyce hear it on the field as the Tigers rushed out in a halfhearted celebration.
Galarraga didn’t say anything until after the game, when he hugged Joyce to console him.
He had every reason to go Ozzie-grade ballistic on Joyce, and Joyce, who was flagellating himself after the game, would have taken it.
But Galarraga took it in stride, instead. That amazes me. The guy has his chance for baseball immortality yanked away from him by the most unfair, gut-wrenching means available, and his first reaction is to recognize the cruel humor of it all.
It might not mean much to Galarraga, but given the recent runs at perfection, he found a way to make his night stand out even more. Twenty years from now, I’ll probably remember that Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay threw perfect games, but I won’t remember anything about them.
Galarraga, meanwhile, won’t go on the wall in the museum in Cooperstown, with a game ball in front of a brightly colored tile bearing his black-and-white face, the score and the date. But he was perfect, and the way he dealt with one of the great stomach punches of all time was even better.