Varsity Kansas

Galarraga and Joyce: Perfect examples of sports and class

I’m sure you’ve seen by now how Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga lost his perfect game on Wednesday night because of a blown call on the final out of the game by umpire Jim Joyce. A sad situation, no doubt about it.

But what I’ve been so impressed by is how both handled it. To me, it’s a lesson that all fans, coaches and athletes should learn from when it comes to high school sports.

Galarraga’s face when he got that out on first base was priceless. He was so excited, then, when he realized the call had been made as safe, he just smiled. He didn’t scream. He didn’t stomp, he didn’t jump around or get in the ump’s face.

He went and pitched the end of the game.

Then there was Joyce, who truly thought he had made the right call — until he saw the replay. He didn’t make the right call, and he admitted it. Check out this story about Joyce in the aftermath. He wanted to go talk to Galarraga to apologize. And Galarraga accepted that.

That’s what I talked to my sons about this morning. They’re just starting out in sports, but it was a perfect moment to discuss how you handle the difficult times. How you handle messing up. How you handle it when someone else’s decision/play affects you.

It’s OK to be upset. It’s OK to be sad. But you don’t need to freak out and throw a tantrum. Do my boys really know what I’m talking about right now? Maybe, maybe not. But I hope that when a tough situation comes up in sports, or life, for that matter, they might just remember this lesson and be classy instead of a baby.

Your thoughts?