I'm a day late and a dollar short, but Wednesday night Detroit Tiger's pitcher Armando Galarraga was on his way to a perfect game. He had pitched 8 2/3's innings of perfect ball. Not a single Cleveland Indian had made it to first base. Then, Indian Jason Donald hit a ball to the first baseman who threw it to Galarraga who was covering for the final out seemingly ending the ball game. Wait!! The first base umpire called Donald safe even though he was obviously out. Galarraga recovered and got the next batter out for what is being called the first 28 out perfect game.
To his credit, first base umpire Jim Joyce, realized his mistake after reviewing the replay after the game and was aghast at his error. He said that it was the most important call of his career and he "kicked the #### out of the call" costing "that kid" a perfect game.
And to his credit, Armando Galarraga, took it all with class. I'm sure he was angry and upset but he accepted Joyce's apology saying that we all make mistake. The next day Tiger manag
er, Jim Leyland, had Galarraga take the line-up out to Joyce, who happened to the the home plate umpire--a sign of respect and forgiveness.
We can all take lessons from both Joyce and Galarraga. Joyce was a class act and came out and said he messed up. Sometimes we can be stubborn and make excuses when we mess up. "Traffic was bad." "I thought it was later on." "It was so and so's fault." In boot camp, my senior drill instructor used to say "excuses are like @#!-*^&#'s--everyone has one and they all stink." (you can put "belly button's there--but it just doesn't have the same flair) Maybe it's a self defense mechanism but we tend to make excuses for ourselves when we need to put on our big boy pants and accept blame and ask for forgiveness.
Galarraga also was a class act. He has every right to be angry. He would have been in baseball's history books for being one of the few people to ever throw a perfect game. But he accepted Joyce's apology and moved on. It takes a big man to do that. It's much easier to wallow in pity and be angry. But you know what---in the end--in knows he threw a perfect game even if it's not in the books and he will probably be remembered longer for this incident.
Be a man, and accept blame for your mistakes, and be a man and be willing to forgive those to have hurt you. Two lessons to learn from baseball this week.
Now---on a side note. This call is being called the worst blown call since Don Denkinger called Orta safe in game six of the 1985 World Series. As a Royals fan, I am SO sick of people complaining about this blown call. The Royals were down 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th of game six. The St. Louis Cardinals were 3 outs away from a World Series win and Don Denkinger called Orta safe at 1st base. The Royals go on to win that game and the next game for the championship.
Now, there are a couple of differences between the two incidents.
#1) Galaragga didn't CHOKE like the Cardinals did afterwards. The Cardinals made errors and let themselves lose.
#2) Donald would have been the last out of the game. Orta was the lead off hitter. A champion team doesn't lose because of a lead off hit.
#3) Galaragga still won despite the bad call. The Cardinals not only CHOKED that game but got BLOWN OUT in game 7.
#4) Galaragga reacted with class. He didn't tear up the club house and hold onto it for THIRTY YEARS. GET OVER IT CARDINALS FANS!!!