Posted on: January 18, 2011 3:33 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 3:52 pm
Armando Galarraga was a great story, but the Tigers decided he wasn't a good enough pitcher.
A few hours after announcing that Galarraga had agreed to terms on a 2011 contract, the Tigers designated the right-hander for assignment on Tuesday, making room on the roster for newly-signed free agent Brad Penny.
Galarraga was the guy who became instantly known last June 2, the night of his "28-out perfect game," the one where umpire Jim Joyce missed a call at first base for what should have been the final out of a more normal perfect game.
As Tigers manager Jim Leyland said a couple of weeks later, Galarraga "became an instant, temporary rock star."
As Galarraga said, in a column I did last June , "People love the story."
But the Tigers didn't love his pitching, at least not enough to guarantee him a spot in their rotation. Instead, they signed Penny as a free agent, and gave him the job that could have been Galarraga's.
It's hard to argue with their decision.
Despite the 28-out perfect game, Galarraga was just 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 25 big-league games last year. He has become one of those pitchers who is just good enough to win a spot in a big-league rotation, but not good enough to hold one.
Penny has had injury issues though his career, but he also has 108 big-league wins.
By designating Galarraga for assignment, the Tigers have 10 days to trade or release him, or to outright him to the minor leagues. If another team sees him as a big-league starter, the $2.3 million contract he agreed to on Tuesday might not be a problem. It's less likely that the Tigers (or any other team) would want to pay him that much to pitch out of the bullpen.
So why did the Tigers sign him to a contract Tuesday?
That has a lot more to do with baseball rules than with their desire to keep him. By tendering Galarraga a contract last month, the Tigers had already committed to sign him for 2011. The amount would either be negotiated (as it was) or would have been determined in arbitration. These deals are not guaranteed, so if the Tigers end up releasing Galarraga, they would owe him only a fraction of the $2.3 million.
Posted on: June 7, 2010 5:19 pm
Five days later, people are still talking. People are still asking.
And readers are still writing.
With Armando Galarraga set to start Tuesday night in Chicago, in his first start since the "28-out perfect game" (see below), the talking, asking and writing aren't likely to stop anytime soon. So if I don't get through the mailbox now, it will completely overflow (do e-mail boxes overflow?).
Keep saying it! The 28-out perfect game. Yes!! Justice is served. He will get credit if you stay on message. Use the power of the pen.
If I'm typing on a laptop and writing on the internet, is it still the power of the pen? If so, the least I can do is to link to the column David refers to.
If [Miguel] Cabrera had done his job the play wouldn't have even been close. It took him too long to turn and finally throw the ball to first, where Galarraga was waiting. Whether the runner was safe or out, it was not a well-executed 3-1 play.
Can't argue with you, and others have made the same point. But it's a little silly to blame this all on Cabrera. He made the play, made the throw, and the throw beat the runner.
Why is everyone harping on the fact that Jim Joyce is such a reputable umpire? I don't care if he apologized. It's absolutely stunning that Galarraga was so gracious in the aftermath, but even that can't excuse this call. It's the single worst officiating decision in the history of baseball. . . . Since it affected such an astounding feat in baseball, Selig should make the one right decision he's ever made and reverse the call. And Jim Joyce should be banned from baseball for life.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people want Joyce fired. When I write a column they don't agree with, they want me fired. And that's even when I'm right.
Well said. I totally agree with your article. Being from Detroit, I was one of those guys hooting and hollering last night as well. But all said and done . . . human game . . . human mistake . . . and at least he spoke up about it. Good reading.
So not everyone out there wants Joyce -- and me -- fired.
From Matt Mieske:
Danny, I am a retired MLB player, and I think Jim Joyce is one of the better umpires in the Majors. I respect him for apologizing. He apologized on more than one occasion for missing calls during games when I played. I have a lot more respect for him than those umpires who make mistakes but refuse to admit them in humility. I played for Bud Selig in Milwaukee as a Brewer, and I would challenge him to overrule the call and give Galarraga the perfect game; even though that would go against baseball tradition. This is the only time that a perfect game has been tainted.
OK, so if people won't take my word for it that Joyce is a good umpire, what about Matt Mieske's word?
You've said it better than anyone has so far. We learned more about Galarraga because of what wasn't than what could have been. I've watched over five hours of MLB Network and read countless blogs and opinions and you said exactly what is true. I think Galarraga puts it into perspective. As mad and angry as I was when it happened, watching Armando's reaction throughout the night and listening to his interviews made me feel more sick that it didn't happen to a great human being. The article is great, because it's completely accurate. We learned more about him because of what happened than we would have if the call was correctly made. Thank you.
You're welcome. And thank you, too.
At the very least, I think that Selig should award Galarraga the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award for Galarraga's on-field perfect game. He has the power to award that, I respect Selig's decision not to alter game statistics, but here Selig can actually demonstrate that he means well after releasing a bland corporate statement about the perfect game that wasn't. I love the fan respect Galarraga gets and his reaction to the botched call, but he should really win something more than just hearts and minds for his efforts on 3 June 2010. Galarraga should be in serious consideration for the Roberto Clemente Award this year also. Do you agree?!
The Tigers and General Motors gave Galarraga a new car. You'd think MLB could give him something. And, as colleague Scott Miller said, is there any way that Galarraga and Joyce can't be Sports Illustrated's Sportsmen of the Year?
Let me preface by saying I'm an Orioles fan -- condolences accepted. But why is more being made of the blown call in the Tigers game than the one at the end of the Twins-Mariners game? Granted, the Detroit pitcher lost a no-hitter, but the missed call in the Twins-Mariners game directly affected the outcome of the game. At least the Tigers still won.
And the Twins didn't, because Dale Scott called the runner (Josh Wilson) safe at second base when the replay showed he was out, leading to Ryan Langerhans scoring the winning run in the 10th inning. Jeff, you're absolutely right.
Mr. Knobler, there wasn't [just] one bad call at the hands of Mr. Joyce yesterday. In the bottom of the eighth, Johnny Damon was called safe at first on an infield hit. Replays clearly showed he was out, albeit not as blatantly out as Donald in the ninth. That is the problem. Joyce made two critical errors - the first that led to two runs in the eighth to give Galarraga more of a cushion, and the second to steal from him the perfect game. Yet because no one cares about wins and losses; no one cares that the first error did more to affect the outcome of the game, we ignore that in dismissing the calls for Joyce to be fired. Joyce missed two calls at first base in a game where there were only two calls to be made. Neither call was really even close. That's why I can understand calls for Joyce to be dismissed. Consider both calls before rejecting the argument.
I went back and looked at the Damon play, and with super-slow motion, it does appear that Damon should have been called out in the eighth. Replay might well have overturned it. But no, no, absolutely no, no way should Jim Joyce be fired for missing a call that we need super-slow replay to tell that he missed. The point about the Donald call was that most of us called it right at game speed -- and he shouldn't be fired for missing that, either.
The sanctity and purity of the game demands the commissioner stand up today and say that the game and all it means to the fabric of being America's past-time demands that we make correct what is the obvious. If we don't . . . then we truly have become a nation that is unworthy of our heritage of truth, justice and liberty for all! Let baseball and its leaders, at a time when all of America could use a little bit of the obvious, take a stand. This is a clear-cut example of a correctable error after the fact that with a simple press conference could be righted. For the sake of the purist, it keeps the game pure. For the sake of the realist, it keeps the outcome real, and for the sake of us that look at our country and say where in the heck has gone our common sense, it gives us hope that all who are in a position of leadership over situations such as this have the ability to do what is right, not hide behind some veiled notion that makes no more sense as a decision than most being made by so-called leaders today. Print that to your readers!
I guess I just did.
Posted on: June 6, 2010 8:31 pm
The two biggest early-season trends in baseball, we said last week, were perfect games and imperfect umpires.
We missed a trend: Perfect prospects.
Jason Heyward. Stephen Strasburg. Mike Stanton.
And don't forget Bryce Harper.
Monday, the Nationals are expected to use the first pick of the draft on Harper, touted as the best power-hitting prospect scouts have seen in ages. Tuesday, the Nationals will show off Strasburg, touted as the best pitching prospect anyone has ever seen. That same night, the Marlins will show off Stanton, who is only leading all of professional baseball in home runs.
Take it a day farther, and you have Stanton and the Marlins facing Roy Halladay on Wednesday, just 11 days after Halladay's perfect game in Florida.
So there you have it, the perfect convergence, with one of the perfect game pitchers facing one of the perfect prospects.
Let's hope that doesn't mean we're headed for more imperfect umpiring.
On to this week's 3 to watch:
1. The Nationals attracted their biggest crowd since opening day last Friday, which if you remember was the rumored day for Strasburg's debut. A much bigger crowd is expected for Pirates at Nationals, Tuesday night (7:05 EDT) at Nationals Park , since this really is going to be Strasburg's debut. What, you thought everyone just wants to see the Pirates? The Washington Post suggested it's the "most buzzed-about happening" in Washington since the Obama inauguration. That might be a little much, but you get the idea -- this is a big deal.
2. So if Armando Galarraga throws a no-hitter, in Tigers at White Sox, Tuesday night (8:10 EDT) at U.S. Cellular Field , does he count as having tied Johnny Vander Meer? Or actually one-upped him, since neither of Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters was a perfect game, let alone a 28-out perfect game? One more thing to think about, in the admittedly very unlikely event that Galarraga is perfect again: Before last Wednesday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland had been planning to skip Galarraga's turn this time through the rotation.
3. Thanks to Stanton, who hit 21 home runs in 52 games at Double-A Jacksonville, the Marlins lineup that Halladay will face, in Marlins at Phillies, Wednesday night (7:05 EDT) at Citizens Bank Park , will not be the same one he faced on May 29 in Miami. But at least it's still the same team. Of the last 11 pitchers to pitch a perfect game (not including Galarraga), Halladay will be just the second to face the same team later in the same year. The only other pitcher to do it in the division play era (i.e. since 1969) was David Wells in 1998. Three months after his May 17 perfect game against the Twins, he saw them again -- and shut them out again, this time on four hits.
Posted on: June 6, 2008 5:23 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2008 9:59 pm
After reporting some discomfort around his right shoulder, Bonderman went to see a doctor this afternoon. The Tigers weren't sure what's wrong, but two club sources said he would be checked for a possible circulation problem in the shoulder. The Tigers made no announcement before or after tonight's game against Cleveland, but Bonderman isn't expected to make his scheduled start Sunday, and will likely be placed on the disabled list.
Bonderman is 3-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 12 starts, but his velocity has been down, and his slider hasn't had its usual bite.