Armando Galarraga should be the S.I. Sportsman of the Year

Oh I am sure there will be some record breaker in football or basketball. Probably there will be a hero in the World Cup.

Or perhaps Phil Mickelson’s Masters win will get people all weepy.

But how could there be a better example of class, excellence and sportsmanship than what Galarraga displayed over the last few days?

He showed excellence with the perfect game… and then overwhelming calm when the call was blown, and he just gave a laugh.

That night he had the dignity to comfort umpire Jim Joyce after the game.

And then came the next day. Everyone screaming bloody murder. I wrote about 4,392 blog posts about it.

Airwaves were jammed.

Columnists wrote about it.

Bud Selig mulled over it!

A regular season game between Detroit and Cleveland overshadowed Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Boston and Los Angeles!

Even the White House referenced it!

And how did Galarraga, the man who was denied immortality, handle it?

Less than 18 hours after it happened and tempers simmering, he brought the line up card out to the visibly distraught Jim Joyce, shook his hand, gave him a pat on the back and it was a new day.

Try watching that clip and not get choked up.

You tell me there isn’t a Little League coach or a Pop Warner, YMCA basketball league or youth hockey coach in the world worth their weight who wouldn’t want their players showing that kind of sportsmanship!

When everyone talks about the selfishness of the athlete and how nobody can relate to them and how they are a bunch of spoiled cry babies, along comes Armando Galaragga. The guy who had every reason to bitch and moan showed set the new standard for playing it cool.

The S.I. Sportsman of the Year is supposed to honor not only those who play the best on the field, but dignify the sporting world (you know, like past honorees Pete Rose, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.)

Galaragga’s class is something that should not just be swept under the carpet.

In an odd way, for Galaragga’s legacy, the blown call was the best thing that happened to him.

Sure Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay got their moment in the sun from baseball fans. But my in box and Facebook page was filled to gills with messages from friends of mine who don’t even follow baseball.

My wife even said “Now I have faith again in that stupid game.”

He even got a Corvette out of it.

Give him the Award. And when future generations ask “Why was the Tigers #3 starter the Sportsman of the Year?” they can learn a little bit about class.

And hopefully by then, those kids will ask “But didn’t they have instant replay then like now?”

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I guess the "Human Element" isn’t so important in hockey

Did you see what happened in the Stanley Cup Final game last night?

In the overtime period in Philadelphia, Simon Gagne of the Flyers slapped a shot that looked like it was a game winner.

Everyone was celebrating and no doubt some dude threw up on a little girl.

But what did the officials do? They checked the tape! They made sure it was right!
They weren’t going to award a Stanley Cup Final victory to a team based on the human element.

They found out it WASN’T a goal and play resumed.

Now the Flyers won it later and made it a moot point, but just think about that for a second. Without instant replay a team could have won a Stanley Cup Final game they didn’t deserve. The difference between a 2-1 hole and a 3-0 hole in a best of seven series is enormous. (Don’t tell the Bruins that.)

The call was right. There is no “But the Flyers didn’t REALLY win it” caveat.

Remind me why we can’t have that kind of certainty again? Not just because of Jim Joyce’s epic bed wetting last night, but also last seasons’ grotesquely umpired post season.

Heck the Tigers could have made the playoffs with the right call!

Nah…. the HUMAN element is more important.

Riiiiiight.

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Jim Joyce blew ANOTHER call in Detroit!

Yup… Jim Joyce blew a call this afternoon about 18 hours after he etched himself into baseball immortality.

He called an inside pitch to Cleveland’s Russell Branyan a hit by pitch.

The pitch missed him worse than Sonny Corleone’s phantom punch to Carlo.

Well that hit by pitch is starting a rally and a 5-0 Tigers lead is now 5-4.

Am I being nit picky o Jim Joyce? Sure. But after last night, wouldn’t you think that ANY borderline call would go the Tigers way today?

The human element!

(By the way, a 4th run just came across the plate at a play at first… where replay showed the runner was out. FYI)
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