Friday, June 4, 2010


I don't know if Bud Selig should unilaterally change the outcome of Wednesday's imperfect game. I don't know if he will.

I do know, however, that we learn a lot more from our failures than our successes. And in this case we learned a lot more from imperfection than perfection. We learned who Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga are.

And I don't mean that now we know their names, or that one missed a call, or that one lost a perfect game.

In imperfection, they revealed about themselves the stuff that counts much more than any line in a record book.

We know that Jim Joyce has humility and a capacity, it seems, to feel even worse about the outcome than the pitcher who was robbed. We know he has enough self-esteem and little enough self-regard to freely admit his mistake. No excuses, no bluster.

And we know that Armando Galarraga, a player most of us had never heard of before Wednesday, is a professional in the best sense of the word. We also know that he has an immense pool of decency and empathy, enough to understand the suffering of someone who caused him such disappointment.

Perfect isn't everything. And twenty-seven outs, no base-runners, isn't the only perfect thing. For both Joyce and Galarraga, knowing you did all you could -- going forward, knowing you can't go back -- may have to be enough.

And if you think about what we learned, things we'd never know if Jason Donald had been the 27th out, it might be more than enough.

Baseball really is just a game. Life is being able to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and then get on with it.

(Just a note: I wonder whether Joyce and Galarraga might have been a bit surprised by their responses too. Perhaps each even learned something new and edifying about himself.)

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