Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bigger Than Perfection

You've no doubt run across the story of how Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game by a blown call by umpire Jim Joyce. The blown call happened on the final out of the game and was the difference between Galarraga having the 21st perfect game in MLB history and having just another well pitched game.

Normally, this would make a sports idealist like myself blow his top. In fact, some of my friends did blow their tops as the festering problem with baseball umpires not being punished for sub-standard game calling exploded onto the front page.

It was a tragedy, it was awful, it left a bad taste in your mouth. The MLB suits were shown just how their inaction and fear of any progressive change negatively affected their sport. Again.

You can bitch about all of that, but don't cry for Armando Galarraga because he's about to get more publicity than he ever dreamed of.

There have been three perfect games in the past year. Those three guys are in the record books. But when people look back on the 2010 baseball season in the near future, they will not think of Dallas Braden or Roy Halladay. They will think of Galarraga and the Great Game Robbery.

The first two were cool sports moments. This is drama. This hits home with any person who feels they have been screwed over by the powers that be. You had it figured out, but the boss came by and shot it all to hell. We've all been there at some point before.

As for umpire Jim Joyce, the other umps should send him a thank you note because he is now the unofficial face of shoddy game calling. It's too bad because Joyce made an honest mistake (albeit a terrible one) and later apologized with sincerity. Meanwhile, the idiot umps that are too busy giving attitude to call a game get to skate by. That's the real tradgedy of this situation.

No need to worry about Galarraga though. While he won't go down in the history books like his predecessors, he will be at the top of every trivia card from here on out and in the court of public opinion, he did indeed threw a perfect game.

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