200 Miles From the Citi

June 8, 2010 5:50 AM

A Feel Good Story


The Mets drafted Harvey?

That's awesome!  How did he slip so far?  Wasn't he supposed to go number one overall?

Oh wait...I'm thinking of Harper.

I'm ashamed to admit that was my first split-second reaction when I saw the mock draft in Sports Illustrated this weekend.

So instead of pretending I know anything about any baseball prospects (more on that in this week's Sunday Paper), I'm going to write a bit about how what could have been a disaster turned into a feel good story.

Maybe you're sick of stories about the perfect game that wasn't.  If so, I'm sorry.  But the class act behavior of Armando Galarraga just shouldn't be forgotten, and I'm going to do my part to keep it alive.

Just throwing this out there up front - In that situation, I don't know how Jim Joyce doesn't call the runner out (I'm sure by now you've also seen the runner's reaction, where he couldn't believe he was called safe too), but did you see the center field camera angle?  I'm not hearing enough about how there was a lot of white showing in Galarraga's glove - it wasn't quite a bobble...but it wasn't an entirely clean catch either.   I wouldn't be surprised if that threw Joyce a bit...but he hasn't talked about that, so I won't spend time on it either.  Except to say...if it was a perfect game, Galarraga should have made a perfect catch to end the game. Maybe he didn't, and maybe that's why it wasn't a perfect game.  But that's neither here nor there.

What I want to highlight is some outstanding behavior.  Not by Jim Joyce.  I have nothing against Joyce, but he's getting a lot of unwarranted praise.  He screwed up.  He hasn't done anything special since except bask in forgiveness.  Nothing special there.

Armando Galarraga's behavior has been special.

I have had temper issues in the past.  I would have yelled at the umpire.  Easy.  Best-case scenario, I probably would have jawed at him the entire time a la Miguel Cabrera.  (And I hate myself for just comparing me to Miguel Cabrera.)

That didn't even seem to be a consideration by Galarraga.  He moved on, took a major heartbreak in stride.

This comes just a week after Hanley Ramirez not only dogged it on the field, but then took shots at anyone within arm's reach when he felt the heat.  And not long after Nyjer Morgan threw a hissy fit in center field after he missed a difficult catch, throwing his glove down as the ball rolled on the field and the batter circled the bases.

I'm among the quickest to come down on guys like Ramirez and Morgan when they take a misstep.  There's a lot of selfish behavior out there in pro sports.

I didn't want to miss this opportunity to heap praise on Armando Galarraga for being what I want professional ballplayers to be - perfect gentlemen.

You've set the bar high for yourself Mr. Galarraga - please be this good a person off the field.  I wouldn't be able to handle it as gracefully as you did the call by Joyce if I found out you were not a nice person.

(I have to give just a little credit here to NPR's "Only A Game"  [Here's my review of the show from a couple of years ago.].  They did a little piece on Galarraga's game this week that got me thinking, as the show often does, on a little more deeper level about Galarraga.  All of the above ideas are my own, but the inspiration for them came externally.)

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