6 Jun

What a week in Major League Baseball.

The story of the week and perhaps the year was the “imperfect call” by Jim Joyce that prevented Tigers pitcher, Armando Galarraga, from throwing a perfect game.

Debates over technology and the human element of the game creeped into every conversation, from non-sports shows to water coolers. It was a refreshing break from the constant and sad coverage of the oil leak that is the real tragedy in this country.

While I, myself, have went back and forth over the imperfect call, the umpires are as much a part of the game as anyone else. We’ve witnessed fans interfere in big postseason games before. If you like it or not, the human element, as well as the earthly element such as rain, wind and snow, all play their part in this unique game.

What will be remembered in history will be a blown call and one of the classier responses demonstrated by professionals.

Galarraga and Joyce handled this as perfectly as possible, setting an example for the players, coaches and umpires in the league as well as all athletes. If these men could stay composed and classy in the biggest of stages, so can the coaches on little league fields who treat those Saturday morning games as game 7s.

Stay classy baseball fans, it’s only a game.

This week also gave us the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr.

I remember when I heard that he turned down a trade to come to the Mets. Whenever he journeyed into centerfield of Shea in the years that followed, me and my buddies made sure we told Jr. that we didn’t want him either, although we really did.

The Mets ended up going after Mike Hampton who took us to October, but if Griffey came to town, Armando Benitez would’ve left. Imagine the agony that could’ve been prevented.

Griffey will always be remembered as a great that could’ve been greater if it wasn’t for injuries. He was the “natural” who was going to take all the records. Instead, he fought the disabled list and saw cheaters take the records that were his to own.

The week that was also showed us once again why Frankie Rodriguez looks more and more like John Franco with every lost pitch. As Bob Murphy would say, fasten your seat belts when the 9th inning comes around.

Oliver Perez continues to be the selfish child that this city has come to hate. His recent “injury” landed him on the disabled list, off the roster and hopefully off the team for the rest of the summer.

Gary Matthews Jr. swung and missed his way to a dismissal from the team. It was the centerfield competition that never was. Angel Pagan hit and Matthews didn’t.

Carlos Beltran is swinging the bat and playing extended spring training games in Florida. His return in July will lift this squad. It will lead to Pagan and Francoeur rotating in the outfield, deepening the bench and making the Mets a better team.

Minaya still needs to bring in another arm to solidify this team’s chances. Bring Lee in and the Phillies will really begin to feel the pressure, still wondering what could’ve been if they had two aces.

As for the Braves who took over first this week. They, like the rest of the division, are not going away. They can pitch but I still question their offense. They will be in the mix but the Mets are a better team.

It’s June, the Mets are alive and healthy. They play well at home. All they have to do now is figure out how to win on the road.


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