Wednesday, June 2 will forever be in baseball fans’ minds as the night we saw Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga throw the third perfect game inside of a month. It would have been only the 21st perfecto thrown in 135 years of baseball. It’s considered one of the rarest feats in all of sports. To have two perfect games thrown in the same season is remarkable, let alone three thrown in the span of 25 days.
And after first base umpire Jim Joyce blew the call on what would have been the 27th out, as fans booed and the announcers went crazy, what did pitcher Armando Galarraga do? He smiled, readjusted his cap and headed back to the mound to finish the game. It brings tears to our eyes just thinking about it.
(and several players) gave the umpire the business. But not Galarraga.
He showed some disbelief at the call and then went right back to doing
his job, earning himself a 28-out perfect game. Even after the game
Galarraga didn’t display any hard feelings. “I feel sad” is what he
said. About Joyce, he said, “He feels so bad — really bad … I told
him, ‘Nobody’s perfect.'”
What a display of grace by Galarraga.
cost that kid a perfect game,” Joyce said afterward. “I thought
he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the
“I don’t blame them a bit or anything that was said. I
would’ve said it myself if I had been Galarraga. I would’ve been the
person in my face, and he never said a word to me,” said Joyce.
graciousness, but not only by Galarraga but by the umpire. In admitting he was wrong.
Joyce himself and many writers around the country have been invoking the name of Don Denkinger, an umpire who made a famously bad call in the 1985 I-70 World Series. But we don’t think that even comes close to the travesty this was for Armando Galarraga and the sport of baseball. And we say that as a St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Two of our writers were emailing back and forth
about it, wondering what would happen in the harsh light of day on
Thursday, June 3.
Andrea: You give that call to the
pitcher if it’s that close and then it turns out the guy was OUT. Makes
me feel sick.
Marisa: Right?! I don’t care about the
Tigers, but I cursed at the TV at that HORRIFIC call. The umpire is
kicking himself, though. (Not that it fixes things, but there were some amazing
quotes from everyone after the game.)
don’t care if that umpire was flogging himself with barbed wire, that
doesn’t undo his mistake and give this guy something that he will
probably never again come even close to having.
know a lot of people are crying out for Selig to overrule the ump and
make it an official PG. Okay, yeah, he ABSOLUTELY should. But the moment
will forever be tainted. The excitement the team/fans/Galarraga would
have felt had it been when it was RIGHTFULLY his would have been a
million times more than it will be if there is an announcement tomorrow.
Selig can’t overturn the call and just hand the guy the game. Maybe he
should, but it doesn’t make it right. I feel bad for the ump because he
will be haunted by this for the rest of his life.
Hopefully this is the biggest sports upset of the summer. But a lot of
the umps have been REALLY out of line lately. So maybe it’s just the
start of frak ups.
The second the bad was made, articles were
being written all over the country about two things — A) does MLB
commissioner Bud Selig reverse the call and make it an official perfect
game and B) does he institute instant replay?
There have been a
lot of blown calls in the past few years — calls of great consequence,
calls in the World Series. But perhaps none so egregious as the one
robbing Galarraga of history. So what should Selig do? We don’t think he should overturn the call — that’s just the way it goes when the game strictly relies on the human umpires. But it has never been clearer to us that it’s time to jump into the 21st century and institute instant replay.
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