That's class! Too often the sports stories make the news section when bad behavior is on display. It was all class today at Comerica Stadium before the Detroit Tigers game -- Armando Galarraga shaking hands with Jim Joyce, the ump whose missed call cost Galarraga a perfect game. What can we learn from this? Read on ...
Jim Joyce knows what it's like to be the most second-guessed man in America. He missed the call - plain and simple -- and he admitted it. But when he called the runner safe at first, it cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game. The replay clearly showed the runner was out -- but umpires are human and the error stood. Across the airwaves the reaction was swift and fierce. "Robbery." "The umps an idiot" ...and much worse.
It would be perfectly understandable for Galarraga to be ticked ... perfect games don't happen very often. I've seen one report that says there have been only 20 perfect games in the history of baseball! Some say Commissioner Selig should step in and overrule the call in the "best interests" of baseball.
The best interests of baseball require an acknowledgement that the human element is what makes this such an exciting sport. The thrill of a long ball. The amazement of a gravity defying catch. And yes, the mistakes made by both players and umps all contribute to that wonder that packs 'em in every time the lights come on at the ballpark. Baseball is men. Ordinary men who sometimes do extraordinary things. Usually when the ball is in play.
Today the extraordinary happened before "Play ball" was called.l A simple act of forgiveness, a public recognition that we all fall short at times. When you show your kid the clip of the missed call, make sure you show him the handshake too. That's where the really important lesson is to be learned.
And one more thing: Armando Galarraga got a new Corvette for his 'near perfect' game.