Gallons and gallons of ink (both real and electronic) have been spilled in the aftermath of last night’s Detroit-Cleveland baseball game, and the botched call that ruined Armando Galarraga’s shot at the 21st perfect game in baseball history. Emotions are running high, to say the least. Countless commentators — everyone from former players to former umpires to politicians — have weighed in with their suggestions, and an equally countless number of articles and blog posts have been penned regardin what should be done to rectify last night’s “injustice,” what can be done to prevent it from occurring in the future, or whether there is even anything that can (or should) be done on either front.
Peter Gammons, Ross Douthat, and Elizabeth Scalia, in particular, have written pieces that are excellent, dealing intelligently with the many issues that make this particular incident so thorny. But I grow increasingly disinclined to analyze the consequences of last night’s play on the “Sport of Baseball,” finding myself drawn much more strongly to a consideration of what we learned about the young man who “lost out on perfection” last night — a consideration made glaringly obvious by comparing these two videos:
- George Brett, Kansas City’s ultimate baseball icon and one of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game, going absolutely ballistic at the end of The Pine Tar Game.
- Galarraga, “a working-class swingman who is 20-18 lifetime, entered the start with a 5.23 earned-run average and has spent part of the 2010 season in the Minor Leagues” and while almost certainly never be in line for a “perfecto” again in his career, looking at Jim Joyce with resignation, and (unless my eyes deceive me) a bit of wry humor.