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SANTA FE — Last week a truly amazing event occurred in the world of sports. Detroit’s Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game. He threw to the minimum 27 hitters and didn’t let anyone get to first base. It had only happened 20 times previously in the 134-year history of Major League Baseball.
There was only one catch. Umpire Jim Joyce called the final batter safe at first. Baseball doesn’t have instant replay as pro football and basketball do, so the decision stood.
Fans screamed. So did the Detroit manager. But that doesn’t change things. And what was Galarraga doing? He was standing calmly on the mound, readying himself to retire the next hitter.
We have come to expect far less of professional athletes. John McEnroe’s and Kobe Bryant’s fits of anger are now the norm.
And what did the umpire do? When he watched video of the play after the game, he admitted he blew the call, cursed himself and went to find Galarraga and apologize for costing the kid a perfect game. Galarraga replied that no one is perfect — although he had been that night.
It was an amazing action on the part of Jim Joyce too. Umpires are never wrong. Players and coaches can be thrown out of a game for questioning them.
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