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Armando Galarraga: More Than Perfect

By now, everyone in the world knows that Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game after a terrible call by first base umpire Jim Joyce. The focus of this post is to not rip Joyce apart (I’ll let the rest of the world take care of that), but instead point out just how perfect Galarraga was and is.

I didn’t think I would have time to blog about this, but I really feel like I have to. I still can’t believe what unfolded before my eyes yesterday. It literally makes me sick to my stomach every time I see the replays.

When it comes down to it, Galarraga was more than perfect last night. Not only did he retire the first 27 batters he faced (even though the 27th was called safe when he clearly wasn’t), he also retired the 28th batter he faced. Cleveland’s Trevor Crowe grounded out to give the Tigers a 3-0 win. While the box score will show a hit, Galarraga achieved something that no other pitcher ever has before (albeit a fluke) by not allowing 28 straight batters to reach base in the same game.

On top of that, Galarraga’s perfect game (I refuse to call it “near” perfect) was more perfect than the two others this year. Oakland’s Dallas Braden had to throw 109 pitches to blank Tampa Bay on June 9th, while Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay tossed 115 pitches to shut down Florida last Saturday. Galarraga only threw 88 pitches, and five of those were to the last batter that he faced (when the game technically should have been over). In all, he would have hurled just 83 pitches had Joyce not blown the call at first base. It doesn’t get much more perfect than that.

What’s even more impressive than Galarraga’s performance, is his more than perfect reaction to the entire situation. After Joyce made the call at first, Galarraga didn’t say a peep, instead he smiled in disbelief. After he retired Crowe to end the game, Galarraga quietly walked off the field and tipped his cap, while his teammates and manager nearly ripped/bit Joyce’s head off. In the locker room it was more of the same, Galarraga acted with unbelievable class. At one point, after Joyce apologized to him, Galarraga actually said that he didn’t know who he felt worse for, himself or Joyce (yes, the umpire who stole in place in baseball lore). Are you kidding me?! Name another Major League Baseball player who would ever something like that.

The history books will never show that Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game, but I will never forget what happened on June 2, 2010. A no-name pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, who started the season in AAA, hurled one of the most unbelievable games in baseball history (something you see in movies). Galarraga was robbed of the greatest moment of his baseball career, and instead was thrust into national headlines because of controversy. He handled it with respect for the the game and the guy who screwed him over. I know I would have had a much different reaction if I was in his shoes (I probably would have punched Joyce in the nose on the spot). 

There’s no doubt about it…Galarraga has a new fan in me.

That’s all I have time for. I’m off to Las Vegas again. I’ll give you a full report when I get back into town.

P.S. For those who followed my fitness adventure over the last month, I officially reached my June 3rd goal. I finally had a chance to weigh myself yesterday. I tipped the scales at 204 pounds. That means I dropped 26 pounds from the day I started.

I also achieved my goal of 160 floors on the StairMaster (I talked about this in my latest fitness update). I actually climbed 167 floors (after doing 40 minutes on an elliptical machine). It was the culmination to the first month and a week that I put into transforming myself. It was a great finish to what I started!

Now, I just need to pick up where I left off once I get back from Las Vegas.

We’ll see how that goes.

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1 Response to "Armando Galarraga: More Than Perfect"

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