Thursday, June 03, 2010

Quotes of the day

There was something beautiful lost in the Jim Joyce fiasco, something that I hope I remember for as long as I remember the blown call. Yes, it’s hard to think about beautiful things when you have just watched one of the most absurd injustices in the history of baseball. But I’m a father of two young kids. And fathers find themselves looking for lessons. And there was a something beautiful in the Jim Joyce fiasco. ... And in that moment when he had a perfect game so unfairly taken away from him, he smiled. In the interview after the game, he simply said that he wasn’t sure about the call but he was proud of his game. When told afterward that Joyce felt terrible about the missed call, Galarraga said that he wanted to go tell Joyce not to worry about it, that people make mistakes. Galarraga pitched a perfect game on Wednesday night in Detroit. I’ll always believe that. I think most baseball fans will always believe that. But, more than anything it seems that Galarraga will always believe it. The way he handled himself after the game, well, that was something better than perfection. Dallas Braden’s perfect game was thrilling. Roy Halladay’s perfect game was art. But Armando’s Galarraga’s perfect game was a lesson in grace. And when my young daughters ask, “Why didn’t he get mad and scream about how he was robbed,” I think I will tell them this: I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s because Armando Galarraga understands something that is very hard to understand, something we all struggle with, something I hope you learn as you grow older: In the end, nobody’s perfect. We just do the best we can.--Joe Posnanski

To avoid the extraordinary bad calls, you have to start overturning the quotidian bad calls, the gaffes and brain cramps that have always been part of the warp and woof of the game and that have never detracted a whit, so far as I can tell, from anyone’s enjoyment of it. And I’m pretty sure that would be a mistake. ... the fact that the fallibility of umpires has always been part of baseball history strikes me as a sound — not dispositive, but sound — argument in favor of living with that fallibility, even in an age when the worst blunders could be corrected with a glance at a television monitor. It’s not fair, but then life is not fair, and I don’t want to live in a world where the next generation of fans is deprived of the particular agony associated with losing a game, or more, because the umpires are human beings too. Or put another way, I don’t want to live in a world where Galarraga’s achievement is remembered as just another perfect game, rather than what it was — something more extraordinary and more memorable, something that brought out the best, in a strange way, in almost everybody involved, and something that will still be talked about long after the season’s other perfectos have faded into trivia.--Ross Douthat

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