Thursday, June 03, 2010

Governor Granholm Issues Proclamation Declaring Galarraga Pitched Perfect Game

Just released from the Governor's Office:

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today delivered on her promise to issue a proclamation declaring that Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga indeed pitched a perfect game last night against the Cleveland Indians.

The governor’s proclamation follows:

“Whereas, pitching a perfect game is considered one of the crowning achievements of sport, attained only 20 times in the history of Major League Baseball; and,

“Whereas, a perfect game is defined as when a pitcher or pitchers retire each batter during the course of a game lasting at least nine innings; and,

“Whereas, Armando Galarraga retired all 27 players in order, a feat no Tigers pitcher has ever accomplished; and,

“Whereas, an umpire’s missed call resulted in Armando Galarraga being charged a hit that clearly should have been an out; and,

“Whereas, the umpire graciously admitted his mistake after the game ended; and,

“Whereas, video replays unmistakably show Galarraga to have retired all batters;

“Now, Therefore, be it Resolved that I, Jennifer M. Granholm, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby declare Armando Galarraga to have pitched a perfect game, and I join Tigers fans all across the globe in saluting his unassailable accomplishment — the first perfect game in Tigers history.”

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart." - Bart Giamatti.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a baseball freak, and I just have one thing to say about this:

Baseball is perfect in its imperfection.

There is something very romantic and traditional about the folklore that would be created by a "28 out perfect game", a moment in history that would be as memorable as Babe Ruth's called shot or Billy Buckner's error or Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak. To me, to overturn this call would be to cheapen that accomplishment somehow. Sounds strange, I know, but that is how I feel. Quick, who pitched the 9th perfect game in basball history? You don't remember, do you? You will remember this one.

You know, I know, we all know, that the guy pitched a perfect game. But if we introduce instant replay on every close call that happens (and every game seems to have its share of close calls), baseball's purity is further degraded. Then again, if I had my way, the designated hitter would be outlawed and the games would be played in the daytime on grass fields only. Don't even get me started on aluminum bats.

Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce are both tremendous class acts in the way they have handled this. A tip of the cap to them for being true, honorable gentlemen in their display of sportsmanship - which is a lot more than I can say about some behavior I have seen on the internet. (If there is anything more horrible than politics on the internet, it's sports. Trust me on that.)

Since there is precedent on overturning games with Fay Vincent's act in 1991, let's leave it to Bud Selig to make a decision here. But this purist, superstitious fan thinks we might be going down a road that the sport really shouldn't go down if we are to start second-guessing and overturning every bad call. After all, sometimes they go in our favor.

That's baseball. Don't mess with it.