06.03.10

Posnaski : In Praise Of A Gracious, If Royally Screwed, Galarraga

Posted in Baseball at 5:07 pm by

(earlier today at Comerica Park, man on the left, comfortable in the knowledge he’ll have the widest strike zone imaginable someday from the gent on the right)

Shortly after Detroit’s 12-6 defeat of Cleveland this afternoon, it was reported that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig will decline to overturn Jim Joyce’s blown call from the 9th inning of Armando Galarrago’s almost-perfect-game from Wednesday night.  While Selig cited the calm reactions from the Tigers, as well as umpire Joyce’s apology, Joe Posnaksi was particularly impressed with Galarraga’s handling of the situation (“no argument. No theater. No wild waving of arms. No, he just smiled, a smile that seemed to say: ‘Are you sure? I really hope you are sure.’”)

In that moment when he had a perfect game so unfairly taken away from him, he smiled. In the interview after the game, he simply said that he wasn™t sure about the call but he was proud of his game. When told afterward that Joyce felt terrible about the missed call, Galarraga said that he wanted to go tell Joyce not to worry about it, that people make mistakes.

Galarraga pitched a perfect game on Wednesday night in Detroit. I™ll always believe that. I think most baseball fans will always believe that. But, more than anything it seems that Galarraga will always believe it. The way he handled himself after the game, well, that was something better than perfection. Dallas Braden™s perfect game was thrilling. Roy Halladay™s perfect game was art. But Armando™s Galarraga™s perfect game was a lesson in grace.

And when my young daughters ask, œWhy didn™t he get mad and scream about how he was robbed, I think I will tell them this: I don™t know for sure, but I think it™s because Armando Galarraga understands something that is very hard to understand, something we all struggle with, something I hope you learn as you grow older: In the end, nobody™s perfect. We just do the best we can.

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