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US State Dept hails Galarraga’s sportsmanship
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP)—Call it baseball diplomacy.

Relations between the United States and Venezuela may be testy, but the State Department is lauding the gracious reaction of Venezuelan-born pitcher Armando Galarraga(notes) to an umpiring blunder that cost him a perfect game.

Spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters Friday that Detroit’s Galarraga deserves credit for the “the display of grace and sportsmanship that he has given us in the wake of his 28-out perfect game.”

Crowley’s comments about Venezuela are generally criticisms of the country’s leftist President Hugo Chavez.

On Wednesday, Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce got the call wrong on what would have been the final out. He called Cleveland’s Jason Donald safe at first base but replays later showed he missed the call. Joyce admitted he blew it, apologized to Galarraga in person and hugged him after the Tigers’ 3-0 win.

Galarraga said he respected Joyce for apologizing and admitting his mistake.

“We certainly salute him and what he has done for the good of the game as a proud son of Venezuela and the Detroit Tigers,” said Crowley.

Hall of Fame asks Tigers for items from Galarraga's game
Vincent Goodwill / The Detroit News

Armando Galarraga's nearly-perfect game has garnered some attention from the Baseball Hall of Fame. As in the case of the two perfect games thrown this year, from Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden, the Hall of Fame has requested items from the Tigers' 3-0 win over the Indians on Wednesday at Comerica Park.

"Halladay donated his hat and game ball," Craig Muder, director of communications for the Hall of Fame, told The Detroit News. "Braden donated the game ball and his spikes."

The request was sent to the Tigers on Thursday. It is not known which items the Tigers might donate to the Hall of Fame.

Tigers might sell tickets from Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game
Tony Paul / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Wish you were at Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game Wednesday night? You might be able to say you were, with proof!

The Tigers haven't yet ruled out selling the unused tickets, much in the way the Marlins made available all the tickets that went unsold when Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game in Miami this past weekend.

"No word yet," Ron Colangelo, the Tigers' vice president for communications, said Friday when asked if the Tigers would follow the Marlins' lead.

The Marlins sold the tickets at face value, and more than 3,500 were bought in the first five hours after going on sale. Florida plans to sell them till the end of the season, then include all the additional tickets sold in the official final attendance count for Saturday's perfect game. Only 25,086 actually saw Halladay's gem.

The Tigers drew 17,738 to Comerica Park on Wednesday, meaning more than 23,000 tickets went unsold.

In more Galarraga news, despite his gem and the highly praised sportsmanship he showed in the wake of Jim Joyce's blown call that cost him the 21st perfect game in MLB history and the first by a Tiger, his No. 58 jersey isn't exactly flying off the shelves at the ballpark.

The Tigers said there have been several inquiries since the game, but "minimal" orders. The club attributes that to his great game coming near the end of a home stand, and expects there to be more interest when the club returns to Comerica Park for nine games starting June 11.

I knew I'd find this game, but yes, Armando has been almost perfect before. Galarraga perfect into seventh, Tigers roll
Jul 23, 6:29 pm EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Armando Galarraga was nearly perfect.

So was Detroit in sweeping three games from the Royals.

Galarraga carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs and the Tigers beat Kansas City 7-1 Wednesday, capping off a series in which they hit .355 and outscored their opponent 33-6.

Galarraga retired the first 18 batters before David DeJesus led off the seventh with a single to right on a full-count pitch. To that point, the 26-year-old rookie right-hander had allowed just two fly balls to the outfield and struck out six.

“I was (upset) a little bit,” Galarraga said after DeJesus’ hit. “It was a fastball inside. I can make a better pitch at that moment.”

DeJesus said he was looking inside.

“I was 2-0 and then he got it to 2-2 and then he just kept coming in and I fouled a couple down the line,” DeJesus said, “and then I was able to stay inside and hit it to right.”

Galarraga said a chance to pitch a no-hitter never crossed his mind.

“If it was the eighth or ninth, yes, but six innings is too early to think about it,” he said. “There’s still a lot of outs.”

He wound up allowing a run in the seventh on three singles and a walk, but left the bases loaded. Galarraga (8-4) was replaced by Casey Fossum in the eighth, after lowering his ERA to 3.27 while striking out a career-high seven against just one walk.

“He went right after them and made quality pitches,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “You really don’t trick them up here. The hitters are too good. I was aware, like everybody else, it was a no-hitter, a perfect game. I think he’s feeling comfortable. He feels like he belongs here. He was very calm.”

The Royals hit .194 in the three-game series.

“Galarraga was very good and we made him look better, because we were lethargic and we didn’t have much energy at all offensively,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “We’ve seen enough of the Tigers.”

Galarraga relied mostly on his sinker and slider.

“He was impressive. I thought he was going to use his sinker quite a bit and all of a sudden his slider started being his No. 1 pitch,” Tigers catcher Brandon Inge said. “He started spotting that slider on any count he wanted. That’s very dangerous when he can throw it for a strike at any time.

“He kept his composure, didn’t care about anything and just went out there and hit the mitt.”

Cabrera drove in three runs with a pair of singles, raising his RBI total to 10 for the three-game series and 71 for the season. Magglio Ordonez added three hits and a couple RBIs, while Placido Polanco had three hits and scored twice.

“When Magglio and Cabrera are like that and locked in, they can be RBI-machines,” Leyland said. “No question about it, they produce runs.”

The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings off Zack Greinke.

The Royals right-hander gave up five runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out eight in six innings. Greinke (7-7) is 0-3 in five starts since a June 24 victory over Colorado.

“If I would have had zeros on the board too, I could have admired it,” Greinke said of Galarraga’s performance. “But when you are struggling, you’re just worried so much about what you are doing yourself, instead of worrying about what the other guy’s doing.”

Ordonez singled home Curtis Granderson with the first run. Polanco scored from third while Ordonez was caught in a run down between first and second for the final out of the inning.

Matt Joyce led off the second with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Edgar Renertia’s single.

The Tigers made it 5-0 in the third with Cabrera’s two-run single, scoring Polanco and Carlos Guillen, and Ordonez and Cabrera had run-producing singles in the seventh off Royals reliever Horacio Ramirez.


The Royals have lost 18 of their past 24 games to the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium since the start of the 2006 season. … The Tigers are 28-13 in their past 41 games.

Girardi: Galarraga had ‘an Ernie Harwell moment’
4 minutes ago

TORONTO (AP)—New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi saw a flash from the past in the classy way Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga handled umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call.

Girardi said Galarraga’s sporting gesture to take the lineup card out and shake hands with Joyce the day after losing a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning reminded him of late broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

“I was thinking about that today and the class Galarraga showed,” Girardi said Friday before the Yankees played the Toronto Blue Jays. “You could obviously see the remorse on Jim Joyce. I started thinking about it more and it was almost like it was an Ernie Harwell moment. He was one of the best guys to ever walk onto a field, one of the true gentlemen of the game. It was almost like the Detroit organization, the fans, were reacting the way Ernie Harwell would have reacted. I can’t tell you how Ernie would have reacted, but knowing Ernie the little bit that I knew him, that’s his personality.”

Harwell died of cancer May 4 at age 92.

Girardi said he sympathized with Joyce, and understands how easy it is to miss a play.

“There’s a lot of times I watch a call at first base and I think a guy is definitely safe or out,” Girardi said. “Then I go look at it and go ‘What was I thinking? It’s not what I thought.”’

Girardi said he’s resistant to expanded use of replay or a challenge system like the NFL’s, saying it could disrupt the rhythm of players, especially pitchers.

“There’s always been the human element in the game,” Girardi said. “I don’t think we should take that away. You could actually do everything from a video tape or a robot. I don’t want to see that. I like keeping everyone in the rhythm of the game. If we’ve got a red flag and we’re able to throw it out, it’s going to change the dynamic of the game a little bit.

“I like the consistency and keeping the pitchers on the mound,” Girardi added. “Even when there’s a home run (review), think about it. A lot of times, it only takes 45 seconds to a minute or a minute and a half, but it’s a lull.”

Those delays can lead to fans losing interest if they’re watching at home, Girardi said, saying television viewers “might go and get something to eat.”

A fan of the Chicago Bears, Girardi said he does watch when NFL referees review a call.

“As a fan, I think it’s fun to look at all the replays,” Girardi said. “It’s interesting to watch them. Some of them are very difficult to tell.”

Girardi also joked that this is the wrong time to be replacing human umpires with machines.

“The way unemployment is right now, I don’t think we need to lose all those people,” he said.

Screencaps with Armando's last flirtation with perfection. Still can't bring myself to go over Wednesday's game. Maybe some day.

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