A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Armando Galarraga

Is it any wonder that the man who was so "classy" in pitching a perfect game that got botched by a poor officiating call is now designated for assignment? Sure, he has upside. He pitched a perfect game, but so did Len Barker, the author of a 1981 perfect game against Toronto (3-0). But what else did he do? At least Dallas Braden mouthed off at A-Rod and his blue lipped world of Madonna obsession for daring to cross his pitching mound.
Now, Brad Penny's aging and injured self is on the team and he's been solid for years and years - when he's healthy. Armando really didn't contribute after that game. He got his Corvette and people hailed him the perfect sportsman, but being a great competitor doesn't win games, and Galarraga's final record was 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA. Take out the gem, and where does that leave him? Should we really feel so sad for the Venezuelan pitcher who had his 15 minutes of fame and will forever be #21 with an asterisk on our list of perfect games?
So if another team chooses to give him another chance, so be it. It's just that from August 20th to the end of the season, Armando never won again. Sure, there were a fair bit of no decisions and there were 2 hard luck decisions (2-1 losses to Baltimore and Kansas City), but still. Baseball is baseball. Ubaldo Jimenez will tell you that you can win some of those decisions and lose some. I'm sure his 19 win season last year hurts even more because he can't take a hurting to the Rockies who should be sued for lack of support worse than any deadbeat dad, but that's the game. Having 5 tough luck losses after his 15th win (3 runs or less allowed including a 1-0 loss to the New York Mets) really says it all, but look at the first part of the season (1 hard luck loss and almost all of his wins were close - there was never a blow out - his team did just enough or he got the shutout victory). It's like the glory days of Pedro Martinez all over again for Ubaldo, but with Armando, he's just not the pitcher that the other 2 guys are.
That said, this is baseball, and we believe in second chances. Surely, Jim Joyce got one in the Armando Galarraga story. Will Armando?

No comments:

Post a Comment