Detroit Tigers Tickets – Galarraga Deserves Credit for More Than Pitching

January 10, 2011
Detroit Tigers
by The Javelina

As baseball fans cried out about the terrible injustice that was done to Detroit Tigers starter Armando Galarraga when a bad call cost him a perfect game, Galarraga merely smiled and shook it off.  In what could have been a very dark day in baseball, Galarraga became a hero for reasons that had nothing to do with his ability to pinpoint a fastball.  While most pitchers would have jumped up and down and had a temper tantrum right there on the mound, he chose to take the high road, and it’s a story much more important than the missed call seen over and over again on the highlight reel.

With two outs in the ninth inning on June 2nd in Detroit, Cleveland Indian Jason Donald dribbled a ball to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who fielded it and flipped to the covering Galarraga.  The throw beat Donald to the bag and the team was ready to erupt in celebration for what should have been a perfect game, the third of the young 2010 season.  But umpire Jim Joyce saw the play a different way, calling the runner safe and losing Galarraga’s bid for a perfect game.  Replays showed that Joyce was clearly wrong.

But it was from there that the story took an astounding left turn.  Instead of losing his cool, Galarraga kept his mouth shut and went back to the mound, even as boos rained down from the stands and manager Jim Leyland looked ready to blow a gasket.  Few pitchers in the league would have taken the disastrous call with such poise, and Galarraga bore down and got the last batter to end the game, giving him his best pitching performance likely of his career.

After the game, Joyce stood by his call – until he saw a replay and his heart sank.  A remorseful Joyce immediately apologized to Galarraga and openly stated that he blew the call.  Then the story got really strange.  Galarraga actually said he felt bad for Joyce and said he had no grudge at all, knowing full well the wrath that Joyce is likely to encounter for the rest of his career.  Though he had the right to be angry, vindictive even, Galarraga took the time to show a bit of humanity toward Joyce in one of the most stunning change of events one is likely to ever see on a baseball field.

Many will call for Joyce’s head and many others will call for replay because of the incident, though neither perspective captures the essence of the story.  It would have been easy for Galarraga to throw him under the bus, to ridicule Joyce openly for costing him a chance to join in baseball immortality.  But Galarraga proved to be the bigger man, as did Jim Leyland, who quickly pointed to Joyce’s outstanding career in defense of the brutal error.

Nobody wanted to get the call right more than Jim Joyce, and for once a player tossed aside his temper and ego, replacing it with tolerance and understanding.  Though it’s not exactly a gesture that’s likely to sell many <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>Detroit Tigers tickets</a>, it’s one that should be appreciated throughout sports.

Of course, none of the clamoring and talks of instant replay really matters a bit.  Anyone who is in attendance knows that Galarraga threw a perfect game, the same way that most fans understand that Roger Maris and Hank Aaron are the true home run kings.  Either you get it or you don’t.  The event also showed off one of baseball’s most interesting paradoxes.  In a sport that lives and dies by the accuracy of numbers and statistics, it’s also one more vulnerable than any other to human error that can null and void those very same figures and achievements.  It took the humanity of Galarraga to set things right.  A perfect game after all.




This article was written by David James, sponsored by <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>StubHub</a>. For all the best sports tickets like <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>Detroit Tigers tickets</a>, concert tickets, theatre tickets or special events tickets, the best place to look is


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