Thursday, June 3, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect

Armando Galarraga throws the first 28-outs perfect game in history. That's not so bad.

Last night's history-making event in Detroit featured Galarraga's gem, Jim Joyce's missed call at first, and a recipe for an avalanche of questions today.

Should baseball reverse the call, a day later?
Instant replay? Should there be instant replay on judgement calls?
Is Joyce any good? How good can Galarraga become?
And on like that.

I read in Mike Lopresti's column today, regarding overturning the call, that "Such justice is not retroactive in sports." And it's not.

The story might be better years from now, might stand out more, as it is. It'll have to be, because Galarraga's effort will stand as a one-hitter and a 3-0 Detroit win over Cleveland.

And we learn again, though the smiles and grace of the winning pitcher and the apology and tears of an umpire, that nobody's perfect. No matter how 'good' you are -- Joyce has been voted by the players, consistently, as one of the top umps in the game -- you are capable of fumbling, and fumbling at crucial times. It's hard to swallow, but it's a solid-gold fact.

(Three 'perfect' games in 10 days? The NL champ Phillies can't score a run. More than 150 three-hitters since last mid-summer? You know what that means? A lot less drugs in baseball. Harder to hit without the extra juice...)