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Gazette Premium Content Sky Sox's Armando Galarraga unfazed by game postponement

by nEAL REID sports@gazette.com - Published: August 22, 2013

A little weather postponement is not going to faze a guy like Armando Galarraga.

Cool and calm after his scheduled start for the Sky Sox was postponed a day by rain Thursday night, Galarraga is a master at dealing with frustrating situations. For it was Galarraga who was the victim of one of the worst blown calls in Major League Baseball history on June 2, 2010.

One out away from a perfect game while pitching for the Detroit Tigers against the Cleveland Indians on that fateful day, umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe at first on an infield hit where Galarraga covered the bag and received the throw in time to record the final out.

Even though baseball had implemented the limited use of video replay during the 2008 season, the safe call was unreviewable and stood, costing Galarraga the perfect game in a 3-0 shutout win. Joyce, one of the most respected umpires in the game, immediately admitted he'd made the wrong call and went on to pen a book with Galarraga and writer Daniel Paisner called "Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call and a Game for Baseball History."

Galarraga was applauded for the classy way he handled the impossibly maddening situation, and he and Joyce became friends through the ordeal. Now, he's a 31-year-old veteran with a 26-34 career major league record fighting to pitch another day while a member of the Sky Sox.

On Aug. 15, MLB announced plans to expand its video replay from whether home runs have left the field and if fan interference affected home runs to include fair and foul calls, fan interference at all walls and whether balls have been caught or trapped. Managers will be allowed one review the first seven innings and two additional, but won't be able to argue balls and strikes.

The proposed additions - which are scheduled to be implemented in 2014 but must be approved by the umpires' union - would be fine, according to Galarraga, as long as the process didn't slow down the game.

"I don't know how they're going to do it, but I'm pretty sure they're going to try to (implement) them fast," Galarraga said. "I'm happy about it, because decisions like what happened with me before should be the right calls. Everybody makes mistakes, but (maybe) next time they'll get an out or a home run because they're going to do replay."

Naturally, Galarraga would like to see out-safe calls be considered reviewable.

"Yeah, I think they should be doing that," he said. "I don't read about it, but it's all about how they're going to do it. I think it'd be great if they could do it fast, because the game is already long enough."

Notes

Torrential rain and hail pelted Security Service Field, forcing Thursday's game to be postponed. The teams will play seven-inning games in a Friday doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m., with Galarraga taking the hill in the first game. Thursday's postponement was the fifth weather cancellation since July 29 and the 10th for the Sky Sox this season.

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