200 Miles From the Citi

June 3, 2010 5:00 AM

You've Got Company, Harvey Haddix


What's worse?

Being totally unknown?

Or being the guy who came within an umpire's missed call of throwing a perfect game?

The latter case is probably better than the former...but if you're Armando Galarraga the latter means you're not going down in history as the 21st perfect game in baseball history.

It means you're essentially Harvey Haddix - famous for almost throwing a no-hitter (or however you classify Haddix's feat).

Here are my thoughts on a night that will go down in baseball history - for the wrong reasons.

*I was driving home late, and tuned into the Mets on the radio (at night I can get SportsRadio 66 pretty good in Massachusetts).  Wayne Hagan, who I'm not tremendously crazy about as a Mets broadcaster, is doing the play-by-play.  Now, understand, Hagan is serviceable.  He's nothing special, but he's not terrible.  And I'm listening, and I'm having trouble figuring out what's going on in the game because he's just not doing a good job.  So I'm figuring this is my opportunity to jump all over Hagan, but it turns out he mentions that the Detroit pitcher has a perfect game, and he's clearly distracted watching that game in the bottom of the 8th inning.  So I'm OK with his distraction, I guess, because he kept me informed about the weird ninth inning happenings.  But I'll get you yet, Hagan.

*My initial reaction to this update was that I couldn't believe there was another perfect game about to happen.  Never before had there been two in the same season - we pretty much had a third on Wednesday night.  It's just a fluky thing that after 18 perfect games in history, 2 (3 dating back to Mark Buerhle, 4 including Galarraga) have happened so close together.

*My thoughts didn't go there immediately because I actually got a sick feeling in my gut after hearing about the bad call, but I was not surprised that when I checked out a sports talk show before I got home that the talk had already drifted to instant replay on all plays.  Now that talk is everywhere.  I'm sure that will happen now on these types of important plays - maybe even the mundane.  And seriously, I just felt sick about this.  I need to find better things to worry about.

*I felt bad for Galarraga at first, then, since I'm a fan, I felt bad for the 17,738 fans in attendance at Comerica Park.  They should have seen a perfect game Wednesday night.  I mean, that's still a ticket stub worth saving, but you can't say you saw a perfect game.

*In retrospect I feel really bad for umpire Jim Joyce.  He screwed up.  It happens.  But to have it happen in that type of situation is really, really unfortunate.  I hope he bounces back from this OK.  He did the stand-up thing by admitting that he blew the call after the game.  Not much more you can ask for after a screw-up that bad.  I hope the reaction he faced on the field from the Tigers after the game is the most extreme fallout from the admittedly bad call. 

*After I saw the replay on TV, incidentally, what really stood out to me was Jason Donald's reaction - he was the hitter who was called safe.  It looks like he didn't expect that call either.  Check it out if you can.

Harvey Haddix...36 straight outs.  People remember the name.  It wasn't perfect...but I don't think people will be forgetting the 28 straight that Armando Galarraga had to get.

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