When Umpire Jim Joyce apologized to Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga, the man whose perfect game he destroyed with an erroneous “safe” call on what should have been the 27th and final out, he gave him a hug and graciously accepted it without rancor. In interviews, Galarraga has said, “What else could I do?” A great many of his colleagues would have had some alternatives, and they would have not been pleasant. Galarraga is handling his disappointment, frustration and bad luck with superb grace and kindness, in the best tradition of the Golden Rule.
“Nobody’s perfect,” he told ESPN, accepting Joyce’s mistake as human and not malicious. But Armando Galarraga was perfect, both on the mound in Detroit, and in his noble response to misfortune.