How baseball can make the best of botched perfect game

Since it’s all anyone is talking about this morning …

By now you have almost certainly seen the botched call at first base on what would have and should have been a perfect game by Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga.

Some are pleading today that Major League Baseball should step in and right this obvious wrong.

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They should not hold their breath, as it would astound me if Commissioner Bud Selig were to simply decree that that the game was indeed pitched perfectly when the umpire, however wrongly, ruled otherwise.

That's not the baseball way.

However, it doesn't mean that there's nothing that can be done. It's been years since I have been to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., but I would be surprised if it does not include a collection of memorabilia from the 20 perfect games that have been pitched over the game's storied history.

Add Galarraga to that display. Sure, the inclusion will require an explanation for museum visitors, but provide a video clip right there next to the pitcher's cap, spikes and photograph. Let people see for themselves why the man deserves to be included even though the box score from last night's game will forever say otherwise.

It's the least the game can do.

Also, before we get back to our regular programming, I found this passage from a Sports Illustrated account of umpire Jim Joyce's apology to be the embodiment of class and sportsmanship:

The pitcher told a Venezuelan reporter that Joyce was crying when he offered him his apology.

"He really feel bad. He probably feel more bad than me," Galarraga told Fox Sports Detroit. "Nobody's perfect, everybody's human. I understand. I give a lot of credit to the guy saying, 'Hey, I need to talk to you because I really say I'm sorry.' That don't happen. You don't see an umpire after the game say 'I'm sorry.'"

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, after seeing a replay of the call Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, said of about Joyce, "It happened to the best umpire we have in our game. The best. And a perfect gentleman. Obviously, it was a mistake. It was a perfect game. It's a shame for both of them, for the pitcher and for the umpire. But I'm telling you he is the best baseball has, and a great guy. It's just a shame."

Time to step up, Hall of Fame.

(Update: They did.)

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