The Near Perfecto

For those of you looking for the Trade Retro of Jermaine Dye, it’s been postponed (probably until next week sometime). Figured this was a bit more timely at the moment.

As nearly everyone on Earth has probably seen at this point, Armando Galarraga nearly threw a perfect game on Wednesday night, if not for the missed call by umpire Jim Joyce. Having had a night of sleep to think about it, I think that (with the exception of the call itself), the situation has been handled about as well as could reasonably be expected.

Joyce came out last night on Detroit radio, and essentially admitted that he clearly blew the call. MLB Network had a lot of coverage last night, and also had interviews with Armando Galarraga and manager Jim Leyland, among others after the game. The thing that stood out to me out of all of these people is this: They were all consummate professionals about the situation. The Tigers could have been screaming to high heaven about how they and Galarraga were screwed out of perfection. They could have filed a protest to try to get the call reversed after the fact. They could have come out in the media after the game and started yelling and screaming about how terrible a decision it was and how bad an umpire Joyce is. But they didn’t do any of these things. Instead, they came out and talked about the human element of the game, and how sometimes the umpires miss calls, and that it is a part of the game.

Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of talk in the coming days and weeks for instant replay, and I am honestly not sure where I stand on the issue. There’s a part of me that felt cheated after seeing the replay of the call, and there’s a part of me that felt like this was just the convergence of bad luck and bad timing, as that call could just have easily occurred in any other inning of the game.

Joyce, who really appears to be the consummate professional through this all, is working behind the plate today. MLB gave him the option to not work today, since they will be leaving Detroit after today’s game. Joyce declined. From all the sound bites and interviews, it really looks like Joyce is really torn up about the fact that he didn’t get this call right, and that it cost the kid in this way. In a classy move, the Tigers sent Galarraga out with the lineup card today to give to Joyce.

As sad as it is that this piece of history did not occur last night, it has actually reaffirmed one of the things that I love about the game. You’ve got a pitcher that was barely in his job coming into last night, had been pushed back once to bring a better pitcher in, and yet he still went out there, did his job, and did it very well. And at the end of the game, the end result was still excellent, just not perfect.

The interesting thing, being lost in today’s Tigers-Indians game is this: the starting pitcher for the Indians today is none other than David Huff, the pitcher who took an Alex Rodriguez line drive off his forehead on Saturday. He didn’t even miss his turn in the rotation. Anthony Castrovince, the beat reporter for the Indians, said it best: “There’s perspective to be gained here from Huff pitching today amid the Galarraga drama. Some things are more important than perfect games.”

3 responses to “The Near Perfecto

  1. Pingback: The Week in Review: May 31-June 6 « Jason's Baseball Blog

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