I hate to pile on the French since this hasn’t been one of the best weeks in their history but I have to add one more thing before we let this go. As you have probably noticed, I have a little thing about sportsmanship. This is somewhat awkward since I tend to be a terrible sport myself and have even been known to throw at opposing batters while playing softball (yeah, seriously). But, knowing this weakness in myself makes it much easier to spot it in others.
For every Armando Galarraga there’s an Alex Rodriguez. For every Nancy Kerrigan there’s a Tonya Harding. And for every Carlos Parreira there’s a Raymond Domenech. Raymond Domenech? Maybe this will refresh your memory:
Refusing to shake the hand of your opposite number on the world’s biggest stage is not exactly the best way to end a career. It’s not like Parreira had insulted Domenech’s mother and sister the way Italian defender, Marco Materazzi, is reputed to have done in the lead up to Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt during the final of the 2006 World Cup.
And you know what, even if he had insulted Domenech’s mother wouldn’t the ultimate payback be shaking the man’s hand and showing that you’re the bigger person?
It has been a rough few weeks for the French. Their retirement age is about to go up to 62 and their World Cup team has become the biggest French snafu since the Maginot Line. However, intractable situations give us all the opportunity to shine and Domenech totally missed his. Me, I just make sure I’m not pitching when I play softball.
And so in this Podcast…
Dear readers galore FINALLY get to meet THE one, the ONLY, Mr. Allen Krause as he joins Jeff and Johanna to discuss all things urgent, all things necessary. And it’s all made possible by science. And hard work. And Skype. Judge for yourself. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Strasburg as Jesus, the difference between anathema and an enema (it’s important), starting a Pete Rose for US WBC Team Player/Manager petition on Facebook, Gallaraga’s thingy, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much,
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
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thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast
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is posted regularly at Undercard
Recorded Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Despite all the controversy and repeated airings of the historically disputed play at first base, the ultimate effect of Armando Galarraga’s almost-perfect, perfect game seems to have been an outbreak of good sportsmanship.
Of course Galarraga has quickly established himself as a stand-up guy with his reaction to the call and his level-headedness when dealing with the aftereffects. That in and of itself is impressive. In fact, when compared to certain other players known for their general lack of sportsmanship (yes, I am once again looking at you, A-Rod), Galarraga comes across as a role model for anyone taking up the sport.
His behavior has been contagious, too. First, the ump apologized for the blown call. Then the two of them appeared together at the start of the next day’s game and acted as though the events had somehow brought them closer. But this is where things really start to get weird.
In following the career of Hugo Chavez, a Venezuelan who also aspired to play professional baseball, I have never been struck by a sense of restraint. El Presidente says what he wants and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade (or a president an ignoramus — or worse depending on how you translate the word Chavez actually used). But even Hugo seems to have been affected by Galarraga’s magnanimity saying in his weekly address that it was simply a mistake before moving on.
Wait a minute! There wasn’t even a claim that the imperial oppressor had done its worst to hold down a poor Venezuelan? Nope. Like I said, Galarraga’s demeanor easily cooled what could have been an incendiary situation and that seems to have also cooled off what are normally much hotter heads.
So, once again, here’s to you, Armando Galarraga. In a world of fiery tempers and sorely lacking graciousness, you are the new anti A-Rod.
Thanks to L for the news on Chavez’s broadcast and the gist of the article.
But aren’t we going to miss D-train? Haha.
I think every Tigers’ fan was stoked when Dontrelle and Cabrera came over. Sure, we were giving up a potential phenomenon in Maybin but Miggy? The guy just hits. And even though Dontrelle had some issues, he was young enough that it made sense to think he could rediscover his form and again be a dominating pitcher.
A couple years later it hasn’t turned out to be the steal it seemed at the time but, despite wasting all that money on the D-Train, the fact of the matter is that we still have Cabrera and he’s on pace for an MVP season. Look further south and you’ll also notice that Maybin has been a huge bust so far.
Hope springs eternal when you’re a fan and when you look at who Willis’ replacement is, you can’t help but think that maybe we’ll be all right. Sure, Galarraga hasn’t been dominating in every start and has even been roughed up at times. But a guy who has the stuff to throw a perfect game also has the stuff to be a solid addition to the rotation.
Honestly, I’m a little sad to see Willis go. He didn’t pitch great for the Tigers but I always wanted to see the guy do well. Maybe it was his goofy windup or maybe it was his promise as a pitcher but I couldn’t help but like the guy.
So, yes. The D-Train has left D-Town. And even though I won’t miss his abundance of walks and botched starts, I am going to miss the guy himself.
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A friend of mine came into town from Venezuela a week ago and she came bearing gifts. The first thing she handed me was a thoughtful yet dangerous history of the American cocktail. So many recipes, so little time. Next up was what is surprisingly my first Scrabble set.
But the final item, although the smallest, was really what got me excited. It’s a calendar handed out by the US embassy in Caracas where each month features a different Venezuelan major leaguer. Of course there was the requisite Johan Santana and K-Rod but when I reached November and Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat, that was when I realized just how great of a gift it was.
I didn’t realize how amazing it was, though, until I turned the final page to an unknown pitcher for the Tigers. Well, unknown at the time. In the last couple days I think the entire country, even someone who has never watched a baseball game in their life, now knows who Armando Galarraga is.
And with all the events of the last couple days, I got to thinking. Despite MLB’s reliance on Venezuelan superstar players, relations
between the two countries are not exactly warm. Was it possible that Joyce’s blown call at first base was actually a conspiracy? Was this a subtle thumbing of the nose toward the often belligerent president of Venezuela? And if so, why, two days later, has Mr. Chavez still not weighed in on the subject?
We don’t have answers to these questions but with the weekend approaching and another edition of El Presidente’s weekly diatribe, “Alo Presidente”, set to hit the airwaves, you can be sure he’ll have something to say. And as always, we here at RSBS will make sure to keep you updated on all the events. Well, unless we get sucked into that first gift. Who knew you could do so much with whiskey, sugar and a lemon?
Special thanks to L for the calendar and all the other gifts. Be safe down there.