The title of the post comes from Armando Galarraga himself in discussing the blown call by Jim Joyce which cost Galarraga a perfect game. That says it all doesn’t it? It speaks to the game, to the call, to everything. There’s no getting around the frustration in this one. A game in which pretty much everyone feels awful when it is done.
Galarraga was sublime in his composure throughout the evening. He never wavered, commanding all of his pitches. He barely even threatened to walk a batter, only once getting to 3 balls in a plate appearance. That he threw a complete game in 88 pitches is a feat in and of itself. When Austin Jackson made a terrific running play on Mark Grudzielanek‘s shot leading off the 9th inning, Galarraga merely grinned slightly. But never was that composure more evident than in Galarraga’s immediate reaction to the call and in the aftermath.
As for Joyce, he’s devastated as well though it is little consolation to most fans. Detroit sports writer Dave Hogg, @stareagle on Twitter, interviewed Joyce after the game. He tweeted some of Joyce’s quotes:
Joyce said he didn’t know if he would try to talk to Galarraga. “I don’t know what to do. I just cost that kid a perfect game.”
“Biggest call of my career, and I kicked the s**t out of it.”
“I don’t blame the Tigers for anything that was said. I don’t blame one person a bit.”
“If I were Galarraga, I would have been the first one in my face, and he didn’t say a word to me.”
The firestorm around instant replay has been launched as have calls for reversals, scoring decision changes, and Bud Selig overruling Joyce’s call and awarding Galarraga a perfect game. Only the former has a real chance of happening. The latter would set precedents that MLB likely isn’t eager to pursue.
As for my thoughts on instant replay, I don’t know right now. I haven’t been a big proponent of it. Joyce was asked about instant replay and on this we agree tonight: “He was asked about it and said that he was having trouble thinking about anything beyond what he had just done.”
That’s the shame of it all. We’re talking about the wrong things because Jim Joyce screwed up. We should be weaving story lines about Galarraga starting the year in the minors. And Alex Avila calling a perfect game in just his 46th game behind the dish. Instead at best we can think back to Milt Wilcox and Jerry Hairston in 1983, and at worst we’ll curse Joyce’s name and talk about what he took from Galarraga and the fans. One day we can even look back and view this game as the catalyst for expanded use of instant replay. But it will never feel right or good.
Congratulations Armando. You did everything you could, and you did it with the utmost class and composure.