So, now that some time has past and the angry winds have died down I wanted to share my thoughts Armando Galarraga's one hitter. There is so much to this it is crazy. The emotions span the spectrum. As I listen to commentary after commentary, one underlying thing just kept popping into my head, the human element. It is the human element that makes watching other humans play sports more interesting then watching robots do it. Now, I do not follow baseball that much, if at all. I used to when I was younger, but I don't get into much now. This situation intrigues me though. But, don't write me off just because I'm not a baseball follower. There is a ton to this one play that will be etched in our memory for history. I have seen the clips over and over to just see how things went down, though. This situation is one of those where there really isn't a right or wrong call. There is no moral issue and it is part of a game. And God's glory was shown by many if we just look and see.
Off the bat, I just want to say, I'm glad the call wasn't reversed after the fact and that all the people directly involved were respectful and full of integrity. So, the play happens and Ump, Jim Joyce makes a call. A call that defines history for sure. He stuck with it at the moment. That is good, it was definitely a close play. Now, we all have the luxury to see a thousand instant replays at every conceivable angle. Umps do not have that luxury. They have to make a split second call. Take this situation away and you will see first base umps make hundreds of close calls like these all the time. Even I know this. Most of the time people don't make as big of a deal about it. That is what this situation has to be treated as. He can't just be biased because a no hitter is on the line. And can you imagine what is going through Jim's head. He has to continue to BE a fair judge of plays despite how he may feel, what crowds may say, or what players and coaches may say. That is his job. In this situation he also has to force any bias that he may have out. There is a no- hitter on the line. He can't just make a call to let a no hitter happen if he believes the opposite call to be right. He can't be the opposite way either and just be anti-no-hitter no matter what. I don't believe he was either. He even said at the time he was fully convinced of his call. Of course after he got to see a thousand replays he agreed the call was wrong. But, he could not do anything about it. He doesn't have the power to reverse it and there are no rules on instant replays. That's all he can do. I think at that point everyone needed to grow up, understand, and not be hateful to him. He didn't act like a jerk. He was sorry, talked to Armando, and moved on. And he stood up and went and umped his next game and didn't give up.
Now, you don't have to like the call. But, that is the human element to it. If you don't like that, go watch robots play it. Now I have heard people call him a horrible ump for making the call, that he should be fired, his career should be over, and the like. This type of thinking is out of line. In reality, he has a history of being a very good umpire. Players, coaches, and other umps all throughout the league vastly agree that he is. To base his job off this one call is a huge mistake and is flat out ridiculous. If the call was just totally obvious or something like that. I could see some type of penalty to him or something like that, but still not even his job or entire reputation. But, this call was close. He is obviously a great ump, stuck to his call in the moment, and also was willing to admit when he was wrong. That day he stood up and honored Armando, his job, his sport, his boss, his career, and our God. How many of you will do that in your life? He should not be dishonored in any way, shape, or form, and should be held up, as Armando did to him.
Now, to Armando Gallaraga, his actions were just straight full of integrity. He did not get angry, kick dirt, curse, shun, or do anything the like. He kept on smiling and kept going. Now, I bet there was a load of disappointment in his head. He stood up as a leader, though, took the call and got back on the mound. He didn't start blaming others. He took it like a man should. What would you do in the situation? Better yet, What did you do in the situation? Many got angry, blamed others, pouted, and just became bitter. The next day the coach asked him to take the line-up sheet out to Jim, and he did so. Showing respect and honor to Jim Joyce, his coach, his team, his sport, his city, his state, his country, and to our God. He stood up and showed integrity. How much more do I need to say about this.
Lastly, to everyone's favorite, Bud Selig. I'm actually glad he didn't reverse that call. By holding to it he further honored Jim Joyce, his profession, and the game of baseball. What would it be like if a commissioner just started overturning calls because he felt like it or because he was under pressure to? That would just be ridiculous. I can hear all the voices now saying, "Look at the situation. It was a no hitter." and so on and so forth. I say, Where is the line? Is at only in situations like this bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, last call. How stupid would it be to make a rule like that based on one call that happens so rarely, or do we let calls get turned over for all kinds of unique situations. I say, way to go Bud. Now honestly he could have turned it over "For the good of baseball" and gave Gallaraga the no hitter, and not many people would have complained. Except, for all the other calls that made history. Would he be under pressure then to go back review all those and change them "For the good of baseball". He actually, wouldn't be WRONG either way, but I think not overturning it was the way that showed more integrity. In the end maybe it will make a case for adding some type of instant replay rules. That is up to them to do that. Personally, I'm not a big fan of it in any sport. I'm a big fan of the human element. But, honestly I don't really care that much. It would not be right or wrong to add that to the game. A lot of sports have it. But, this call needs to be left as it is.
So, no matter what you think about the situation, what is clear is that God's attributes were shown in some underlying and obvious ways. And, in many ways there are things we can take away from this for our lives.
The initial call could have went either way, Jim's and Armando's actions were steadfast and honorable, the look at the replay shows how close it was and what the reality of the play looked like. The reality of the game is realized and that there is a human element with close split second calls with human errors. The replay also shows the reactions of Jim and Armando to show us, again, what integrity looks like. Bud's decision could have gone either way. In the end, Jim's call, accompanied by their reactions, and subsequent calls actually made a spot in the history books for more than just a no hitter. It showed the kinds of people we would like to be playing our sports and entertaining us. It's a welcome relief, to a lot of the attitudes and actions of sports figures. That is something truly worth celebrating.