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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Galarraga Robbed of Perfection
But Not of His Character
[Update at end of post]
Even if you missed the Tiger game last night, you will no doubt see the replay of the blown call that robbed Armando Galarraga of a perfect game, a feat never accomplished in more than 100 years of Tiger baseball history. The replay--even without slow-mo--shows the runner was out by half-a-step. It is so obvious that Umpire Jim Joyce humbly appologized to Galarraga minutes after the game.

This AP article reported: " [Umpire Joyce said] 'I just cost that kid a perfect game.'

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Joyce asked to speak with Galarraga. Denied the first perfect game in Tigers history, Galarraga appreciated the gesture. “You don’t see an umpire after the game come out and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you I’m sorry,”’ Galarraga said. “He felt really bad. He didn’t even shower.”

The real story is not the first picture that proves the call was badly blown; it's the picture of Galarraga's smile in response to the blown call. This guy should be heralded as the new hero of sport. The game does not make us who we are--it shows us what we are. Remember Galarraga every time you see professional athletes, on or off the field, acting like a jerk, a drunk, a thug, a sexual predator, or an over-paid, raving, self-centered megalomaniac.

Listen to this ESPN interview with Galarraga. This young man understands that character and understanding that "we are only human" is far more important than perfection. Galarraga may have been robbed on that final call but his character was put on display. This is what baseball--and all sport--should be about. I'll say it again: The game does not make us who we are--it shows us what we are. Oh, that there were more role models like this. Oh, that all of the Tiger fans spewing over this blown call could take a deep breath and act more like Galarraga today and in the days ahead. This world would be a better place.

Do I think the commissioner should intervene and correct the record? Yes. Just as Joyce admitted he was wrong, I think that the runner, Jason Donald, could make history by honorably setting the record straight and taking that "hit" out of his average. Instant replay is another discussion. This is a historic and indisputable error, and  I agree with Jon Morosi that Bud Selig should correct it for the good of the game. Whether or not that happens, in the meantime, I will take my cue from this new sports hero... and smile.
See more complete coverage and commentary on the blown call here.

Update: I've never been more proud of the Tigers. Selig did not overturn the call, but the Tigers handled the matter with absolute class the next day. Jim Joyce was behind the plate. Chevy gave Galarraga a 2010 Corvette; Galarraga gave Joyce the line-up and sincere handshake; Joyce broke down in tears. Tigers won, and afterwards, Manager Jim Leyland gave a great, tear-jerker press conference after the game.  Remarkable pitcher. Remarkable ump. A great moment in baseball.

Here is a day-after article that reflects similar thoughts to those I shared in this post. Maybe he reads here at POI. (Ha Ha)


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