Shanoff's WUC: Galarraga, Lakers, USC, Bee!

Today's Calls: Lakers vs. Celtics, Armando Galarraga vs. Jim Joyce, LeBron vs. David Stern, USC vs. NCAA, Pac-10 vs. Big 12, Darrelle Revis vs. the Jets, Tiger Woods vs. Mediocrity, Bee vs. Belmont and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: The Imperfect Game created the perfect argument fodder. ↵

↵

↵It is worth repeating: Instead of being "only" the 21st perfect game (or, more banally, "the third perfect game this month"), Galarraga achieves baseball immortality for being perfectly imperfect. ↵

↵

↵How many regular-season games do you really remember? Maybe a "milestone" game -- so-and-so's 3000th career strikeout or 300th win (and even those blur together). Maybe a super-high-K game. Maybe a no-hitter or perfect game. Maybe. ↵

↵

↵But this one? This one we will remember. Because it is much bigger than just a perfect game. ↵

↵

↵• It became the new linchpin for much-needed instant replay reform in baseball. (Yes, please!) ↵

↵

↵• It sparked a fierce debate about whether MLB should go back and selectively change history. (Bud passed, to his credit.) ↵

↵

↵• But what will stick with me most -- precisely because it will get no argument from anyone -- was the sportsmanship that was on display immediately after the blown call: Galarraga gracefully accepting the call; Joyce tearfully owning up to his mistake. ↵

↵

↵Yesterday's moment at the plate before the game might have been the best part of it yet: Galarraga delivering the lineup card to home-plate umpire Joyce, who cried and apologized again, while thousands of Tigers fans cheered them both. ↵

↵

↵The two are now connected for baseball history -- and they represent the id and the ego of all sports fans: Joyce the id, the utter emotional investment with which we take our sports. Galarraga the ego, the realist that accepts that nobody's perfect. ↵

↵

↵If one of them had freaked -- Joyce insisting he was right; Galarraga losing his mind on the field; even the time-release reaction from fans -- it would not have been nearly as powerful. ↵

↵

↵But in the way it played out, it offered up an ultimate model for fans, kids, other athletes, anyone. Improbably, the entire story turned out ... perfectly. ↵

↵

↵NBA Finals Game 1: The Celtics didn't just look beaten; they looked beat. It is more than possible that the gravity of age is finally catching up to them. Kobe and Co. looked like they were on a mission; for motivation, payback trumps repeat. (What a difference for the rematch having a talented big man and ferocious defensive player.) ↵

↵

↵John Wooden hospitalized in serious condition: We can all pray for the best, but the most you can really hope for is that he is comfortable. ↵

↵

↵LeBron Watch: President Obama has tacked, now endorsing LeBron staying in Cleveland. His folks must have done some polling and realized that voters in Ohio would actually vote based on that issue. ↵

↵

↵(As for the so-called "free agent summit?" Take it from David Stern: It ain't happening. I liked Stern's veiled jab at LeBron: Except for Wade, they would all be better off watching the Finals to see how champions do it. Zing.) ↵

↵

↵USC Scandal Report Not Out Today? Contrary to expectations, that's what USC is saying. This week, next week: Does it really matter? Continue to maintain extremely low expectations that the NCAA will do much more to USC football than apply a slap on the wrist. ↵

↵

↵CFB Conference Expansion: Pac-16? After tons of hype over Big Ten and SEC expansion, the Pac-10 refuses to be marginalized, and is reportedly ready to make an offer to Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado. Can we all at least agree that the Big 12 is dead men walking? ↵

↵

↵NFL Offseason: Darrelle Revis skipping Jets workouts? If I were him, I would be looking for a pay raise, too. And the Jets will give it to him (at least if they want to maintain those Super Bowl aspirations). ↵

↵

↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

↵

↵• Yesterday's Best: King Felix is back. ↵

↵

↵• Stras-Mania: He is SO ready. ↵

↵

↵• Hot Seat: O's Trembley out? ↵

↵

↵• Bryce Harper: Not helping rep. ↵

↵

↵• Good Read: Griffey's Top 10. ↵

↵

↵• Weekend Watch: Halladay vs. the Padres. ↵

↵

↵Stanley Cup Finals: Looking ahead to Game 4. Let's call it a must-win for Philly. ↵

↵

↵World Cup: One week away! The latest drama -- Jozy Altidore's sprained ankle. A week from tomorrow is the biggest soccer game in U.S. history, the World Cup opener vs. England. ↵

↵

↵Tiger Watch: 50th? Yeesh. ↵

↵

↵CFB Offseason: Arkansas as the new Ole Miss? (Only if you're looking for an overhyped SEC team that should fall way short of expectations.) ↵

↵

↵Spelling Bee Mania: Historically, I have done very well in picking winners at the Bee. Last year, I correctly picked Kavya Shivashankar to win it all. The secret -- as my fellow Bee handicapper Darren Rovell knows -- is Bee experience. Rovell goes with Aditya Chemudupaty. I'll take 4-time Bee participant Neetu Chandak. ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: Belmont. Yikes, without either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winners, there is not much anticipation for this one, is there? Ice Box is the natural pick, but watch out for Uptowncharlybrown. ↵

↵

↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.