Thursday, June 03, 2010

The First Detroit Tiger Perfect Game

Life is a humbling sport. It's a game of what ifs. It's a game of failure. Oh, and so is the game of baseball.
Watching that game last night in the 8th inning with two of my co-workers, we were cheering for the Tigers to put together a couple insurance runs.

The irony of that moment was, not one of us had any idea the historical impact of that game. Not one of us even knew who was pitching, let alone that Andres Galarraga was in the process of throwing a perfect game.

Well, it was a perfect game. Even though this game had nothing to do with my life, and that if the Indians had gotten a real hit my life would have been impacted in no way. I still would have asthma. I still would be at work with only 2 patients and nothing productive to do for the next 11 hours.

Yet, my heart started pounding like hay fire when I clicked on my computer moments later and learned via a yellow flag on top of cbssports.com that there was a perfect game in process, and it was the game we were just watching.

I saw it. I saw the out. I was jumping up for joy. Then I shouted loudly, "What! He was out! How can you call him safe! What!" Then I realized I was alone, and the people walking past the room were looking at me with wide eyes, as if thinking, "What an idiot!"

I am an idiot. Yet I'm a big Tiger fan. I'm a bigger Tiger fan than anything not real life related. Some of us guys cling to a sport because in real life we are failures. We fail at nearly everything we do. We ultimately accept failure, and see what we have as success. It's religion perhaps that does that to us. Humbling religion.

Yet here I am all irate, when in fact the game was won by my Tigers. I should be happy. Never do I ever remember being unhappy when my team won, especially when it was in April, not October. This was not a World Series. This was not a playoff. This was a single game early in the season.

Yet, only 21 times in Major League Baseball history did someone throw a perfect game, and it never occurred twice in the same season before 2010. Now it was going to be done (was done) by this Tiger, and the ump blew it.

Yet, I can humbly say that, in this game of life, if I were that pitcher I'd do the same as Galarraga did, and hug the crying umpier who admitted he did it. Now it's up to MLB to overturn the call, of which it has done in the past. It's time to give that young man, and Tiger fans worldwide, what they earned -- the first perfect game in Detroit Tiger History.

It was hard to work the rest of the night. It was hard to work, even though the Detroit Tigers have really no real impact on it.

In fact, reality set in later in the night when a man came in not breathing. Hiis family had something to really be upset about. Yet, even as I pulled the plug on the ventilator as the family of the 92 year old man decided to make the right decision, all four family members in the room were smiling, happy, and alright about it.

Yes. Life is a humbling game. It's a game of failure. It's a game of death. Yet we must all have something intangible to hold on to so we don't let all the failure drag us down. Life is great, and seing them smile assures me I'm right in my assertion.

Perfect game or not, life will go on, and we should all enjoy it to the end. Still, I hope MLB makes the right decision in the end. If nothing else, it'll create a lot of smiles.

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