Armando Galarraga
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Armando Galarraga wants MLB to recognize his perfect game


On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga nearly threw a perfect game against the Indians. He retired the first 26 batters he faced in order. The 27th, Jason Donald, slapped a grounder that sent first baseman Miguel Cabrera far to his right. Galarraga raced to cover first base. Cabrera’s throw appeared to beat Donald, but first base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe, ending the perfect game bid. Replays showed that Joyce got the call wrong. Donald would take second and third base on defensive indifference in the 3-0 game, then Galarraga got Trevor Crowe to ground out to end the game.

Joyce was very remorseful after the game, admitting that he got the call wrong. He apologized to Galarraga as well. Sadly, irate Tigers and general baseball fans showered him with criticism. The next day, manager Jim Leyland had Galarraga take the lineup card out to home plate. Galarraga shook the hand of a crying Joyce and the next game began.

Joyce and Galarraga helped write a book about the near-perfecto called Nobody’s Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History, authored by Daniel Paisner. Galarraga didn’t pitch again in the majors after 2012, and Joyce retired ahead of the 2017 season.

The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen caught up with both Joyce and Galarraga to discuss the upcoming 10th anniversary of the perfect game bid. He notes that Joyce advocated on Galarraga’s behalf, to no avail, to have the commissioner recognize the effort as a perfect game.

Galarraga didn’t say much at the time, but he feels like Major League Baseball should recognize it as a perfect game. He said, “Why not? Why wait for so long? I don’t want to die, and then they’ll be like, ‘You know what, he threw a perfect game.'”

There have been just 23 official perfect games thrown in MLB history, last achieved by Félix Hernández for the Mariners against the Rays on August 15, 2012. Coincidentally, there were two other perfect games in 2010: Dallas Braden on May 9, and Roy Halladay on May 29. If Galarraga had his way, he would be added to that list.

As Stavenhagen notes, there isn’t much of a precedent for MLB making retroactive changes. MLB in 1991 updated its definition of a perfect game, saying that a pitcher must complete the game for the effort to be recognized. Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix, who brought a perfect game into the 13th inning against the Milwaukee Braves in 1959, lost the accomplishment. Besides that, the league has typically let what happened on the field, for better or for worse, stand on its own. It seems unlikely that Galarraga will get his wish, but anybody who watched that game and saw the play on the Donald grounder knows he was perfect on that day.

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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