Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kill The Ump - On Second Thought, Don't Kill the Ump

Harvey Haddix Jr. Somewhere, the family of Harvey Haddix Jr. may be secretly unhappy this morning. There is a new king in town. His name is Armando Galarraga and he may now have thrown the most famous non-perfect, perfect game in baseball history.

When the asterisk was invented, it could well have been intended for no better purpose than Haddix and Galarraga's achievements. Haddix hurled 12 perfect innings, before losing not only his chance at the ultimate in perfection, but the game itself, in the 13th inning. Galarraga has now, without dispute, thrown the first 28 out perfect game the sport has ever seen.

Quick, for all of you who profess to be baseball lovers, name as many pitchers as you can who have thrown perfect games since Abner Doubleday invented steroids. There are 20 to be precise, and if you can remember the names of more than the Yankee pitchers (Larsen, Cone and Wells), the 2 from this year (the fabulous Doc Halladay and that kid from Oakland who is in a feud with A-Rod over the "don't step on my rubbers", or something like that) and 1 or 2 more, you qualify to go on some 3 AM sports trivia show.

But now, the name of Galarraga will become part of one of the most famous non-moments in baseball lore. He will be forever attached to Jim Joyce, the bearer of the bad news at the first base bag, like white on rice. Couples bound together by circumstance, much as Ralph Branca and Bobby Thompson who have had a 60 year 2nd career as the good and the bad of "the Giants win the pennant" home run, Galarraga/Joyce will live on for many tomorrows. Like Yin and Yang, I see a long time pairing of this odd couple.

So, hold your head up high Mr. Joyce. Do not fret your error in judgment. In the long run, you may have done more for Mr. Galarraga then if you had made the right call. If your vision had been clear, and your call correct, this perfect game would have merely been 1 of 3 to have occurred in the last few weeks. Not now. We salute you Mr. Joyce on a job badly done.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's certainly an interesting perspective on the situation.