Saturday, June 5, 2010

Might As Well Know This Now: Sometimes Bad Things Will Happen.

This lesson may be a little beyond you, Isaac. As of right now, you're learning that random temper tantrums won't automatically get you fed any more, and that teething stings like truck stop VD.  Nonetheless, I offer this to you now. As I say this, it isn't meant to be harsh. However, it is meant as an honest appraisal of the fact that life is harsh.

See this guy? His name is Armando Gallaraga, and at the 0:44 mark of this clip, he's about to get screwed royally.

You see little man, perfect games don't happen often. Matter of fact, they almost never happen. Being a pitcher of a perfect game is a big deal, and Armando surely deserved to be that big deal on that night. And just as surely, it was a mistake for the ages that will keep him from being that big deal.

You were too young to see the aftermath, Ike, so I'll summarize it for you: we, as Americans, threw a temper tantrum. Buried in the mass of Youtube crap, if you look up the words "Jim Joyce" (the guy who made the huge mistake), you will see a Hitler-parody, countless pasty white supposedly grown-ass men offering their bilious commentary, the words "ROBBED" and "LOST" written in all caps, and other signs of a nationwide hissy-fit of ridiculous proportions. Likely, by the time you read this, Major League Baseball will have instituted instant replay. Heck, instant replay may be cool, correcting the mistakes of umpires like Joyce. I don't know.

What I do know, my son, is that the world is increasingly filled with a sense of entitlement. We DESERVE the right call. Someone should OVERTURN this. FIX IT! NOW! NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW! Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball (and a tremendous shit-heel, but that's a whole other story), was basically forced to publicly tell the pouting masses "No, the call stands. To overturn one call on the field would be a slippery slope I don't want to deal with." For once, he was right. And that should have been enough.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. Online petitions have started, demanding that the call be overturned, that Joyce be fired, that we have JUSTICE. It's symbolic now. What we are watching is a population remembering every time they felt slighted, screwed over, WRONGED GODDAMMIT, and they want some force outside of themselves to make like an Old-Testament God: act tangibly, forcefully,  and make it right. But here's the damn thing: LIFE DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY. It never has. It never will. And only a childish heart looks at this truth and deems it unacceptable.

Look at that video again, son. This time, look at the 1:13 mark. Before you get a look at this, you will see a supposedly grown man grab his crotch and jump up and down screaming "NO!" You will see a chain smoking dinosaur come outside and read Joyce the riot act for having made what may be the most haunting mistake of his life. But at 1:13, you will see something beautiful. Armando Galarraga, the wronged man, the man who doesn't go onto the short list of perfection because of a bad call, smiles. He knows what's just happened, and he just smiles. Better yet, he gets the next guy out.

Keep that 1:13 mark in mind, Isaac. It is everything I want you to be. Shit, it's everything I want to be, in spite of my numerous failings at the endeavor. That moment right there, that is precisely what it means to be a grown-ass man.


  1. I felt so bad for Joyce after all that hissyfit nonsense. every time they show a news clip of him getting weepy, or of Galarrage being one classy dude-- i get teary-eyed.

  2. Did you see the Joyce interview on the Today show?

    He's come to terms with it in an awesome way. Excellent post, btw.

  3. i hate that i misspelled Galarraga.

  4. if you want to read a sad story, look at this. Joyce blew a largely meaningless game call. This guy blew a World Series call.