Home MLB Out of Left Field: A bad week to be a pitcher, umpire, restaurant manager

Out of Left Field: A bad week to be a pitcher, umpire, restaurant manager

by Steve Keene

MlbHlSqIt has already been covered elsewhere on this fine site, and with much more insight and style, but how gutted would you feel if you were Armando Galarraga right now? One bad call, from umpire Jim Joyce, with one out left in the game, and there goes your Perfect Game. Had a bad week at work? Well, at least your shot at immortality wasn’t thwarted, eh?

Also, it can’t be fun being Jim Joyce either. Imagine condemning a man to being a kooky footnote to history. In fact, imagine being the man cancelling baseball Christmas.

That’s one of the real benefits of baseball, it offers us mere mortals perspective. Things could be worse. You could have had your Perfect Game broken up by a duff call. You could have got the most important call of your career wrong in front of millions and millions of people.

And hey, in the grand scheme of things, baseball’s only a game. So, really, your problems ain’t nuffin if a game eclipses them. See, I bet you feel better already! I should be some sort of baseball-themed life coach, I really should.

And perhaps we need to look on the bright side of the whole Galarraga/Joyce saga. If we’d had three perfect games in a month, surely each and every sabermetrician would have spontaneously combust. Because, let’s face it, three perfect games in a month just isn’t meant to happen, no matter how you crunch those numbers. Does. Not. Compute.

But a serious question here – are pitchers getting better or are hitters getting worse? Or am I oversimplifying? Or is it just some sort of freaky pitching perfect storm? Or chance? Or am I just throwing out a load of questions (despite saying “a serious question” in the singular) as a means of bumping up my word count? Answers, as ever, on a postcard, or failing that, the comments box…

Meanwhile…how about a story more likely to raise a smile than a grimace? Barry Zito was eating in a fancy San Francisco restaurant when in walked a long-haired, scruffy skater kid, who walked straight towards Zito. The restaurant manager stopped him in his tracks. “Please don’t bother Mr. Zito. No autographs tonight,” said the manager. Who was the intruder, pray tell? None other than Zito’s teammate, two-time Cy Young winner and all-round slacker genius, Tim Lincecum.

So a bad week for that restaurant manager too! I imagine Lincecum saw the funny side of it, what with his being awesome and all, but that has to be a genuine ground-swallow-me-up moment. Although I imagine Tim could well have been trying to grab a snack off of Zito’s plate anyway, much to Zito’s comedic annoyance. Hell, maybe Zito primed the manager to say that anyway? Maybe Zito and Lincecum live in some kind of private sitcom world, where Zito is forever tying to outfox the ever-hungry Lincecum?

So, all in all, we probably had a good week in comparison to the above. I hope the next one is as good for you, if not better!

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