Friday, June 04, 2010

Antidote to the usual bullshit

I haven't weighed in too much on the 28 out Perfecto, but when idiots over at National Review start comparing it to the BP spill in the Gulf, then I guess something must be said.

Truth is, whether this leads to more instant replay or not, I'm not too concerned, but if they had had instant replay, veteran umpire Jim Joyce would not have his name inextricably tied to that of Armando Galarraga, a guy who last year gave up more hits than innings pitched.

And that, in some ways, would have been too bad. Because we are, everyday, surrounded to our necks with people -- from business, the public sector, the press, you name it -- running as far away as they can from their fuck ups. Accountability has become as quaint as the dial-up phone. And not to sound too much like fauxioligist David Brooks, this small incident in a game played by millionaires was a reminder that taking responsibility for your actions can, sometimes, be its own reward.

The whole thing was a thing of beauty and a reminder that baseball is an amazing, unpredictable game (and all props to Joe Posnanski): the look on Galarraga's face when he heard "safe," which seemed to say, "Really, are you sure?;" the almost beatific smile on the pitcher's face as he walked calmly back to the mound, which seemed to say, "Man, is this game crazy, or what?;" going back and quickly getting the third out instead of completely unraveling, which you might have expected under the circumstances; Jim Joyce's tearful, brave meeting with the baseball beat writers after the game; then, yesterday, the ovation (mixed, yes, with boos) as the umpires came on to the field; Joyce trying to hold back his tears of appreciation; Galarraga looking nervous and uncomfortable as he brought the lineup card to the plate; the shaking of the hands, and the shoulder punches pitcher and umpire gave each other at the end of the encounter.

I am proud to love this game and I never cease to be amazed that there still are people like Jim Joyce, who never thought his long career would be remembered for one blown call (but always knew it could happen), but still came out to stand behind the plate the next day.

And, yeah, watching the start of the Detroit/Cleveland game yesterday, I admit to shedding a few bro-tears myself.



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