Thursday, June 03, 2010

Making Amends in Baseball

Did you watch baseball last night? Did you see the end of the almost perfect game? We changed channels to be there, to see the moment, to witness baseball history. What we saw instead was heartbreak but also baseball history.

Tiger’s pitcher Armando Galarraga threw a perfect 8 and 2/3 innings. On the last ball the hitter makes contact and runs but Galarraga takes the ball to first and tags him out. The whoops begin but are cut short by the almost instant safe call by umpire Jim Joyce.

Shock everywhere. TV viewers could see it was out but the umpire called safe. Game over. Perfect game squelched. I rolled on the floor in pain. Sympathy. Empathy. Seeing something taken away unfairly.

That’s the part so many can relate too. Galarraga pitched a perfect baseball game and it was taken away from him by human error. It was unfair.

But get this. Jim Joyce did look stricken as he left the field. Then saw the instant replay in the clubhouse and came back to apologize to the manager and Galarraga. He named his error. He was remorseful. (I wouldn’t be in that guys belly for anything this morning.)

No, it doesn’t fix it. Jim Joyce is now a fatal baseball story and Armando Galarraga is now the answer to a baseball trivia question. Making amends doesn’t change what happened. It changes us.

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