Friday, July 30, 2010

Good News

There's just too much pissiness in the world these days.  Every time I turn to the news - radio or television or newspaper - it's consumed with people being nasty.  I, for one, am tired of it.  Since I am the sole proprietor of The Burrow, I am declaring that today will be a good news day.  Prepare to smile.

We're focusing on baseball, which, for some reason unknown to me, TBG or G'ma (the sources I consulted in creating this post), has had two of the best feel-good stories of the summer.  I know, I know... baseball???  The sport with the corked bats and juiced players and $9 beers and $12 hot dogs?  Yes, denizens, I speak of baseball, where making a mistake is only the beginning of the story.

Stephen Strasburg is a hot young pitcher for the Washington Nationals.  He's a marquee player; fans buy tickets specifically to see him on the mound.  His shoulder hurt on Tuesday, so the coach benched him and substituted Miguel Batista.  And 40,000 fans booed.  The guy was just doing his job, and they booed.  It's not like a theater ticket; it cannot be exchanged if the under-study performs instead of the star.  The 39 year-old Batista could have been bitter about the treatment he received.  No one would have been surprised if he put on a petulant display of arrogance (he threw a great game) in the locker room interviews.  Instead, he was gracious and self-effacing:
Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa.
You might get those kind of boos.
He understood their pain.  He'd probably have done the same had he been in the stands.  He wasn't peeved.  A gentle smile and a disarming quote and that should have been the end of it.

But, no.  It gets better.  Katherine Connors, one of the two reigning Miss Iowas (and who knows, there may be more....) took (playful) offense and retorted thusly:
"I know I can throw a pitch or two!
The question is, can Miguel Batista walk the runway in a swimsuit?
He sent her flowers but she gets the last laugh - she's throwing out the first pitch at Friday night's game.  And I begin to wonder..... has he been practicing a willowy, swaying walk perched atop 4" spike heels?

The second story is that of a missed call, an apology, accolades and an acknowledgment of what is really and truly important in life.  Detroit's Armando Galarraga threw the 21st perfect game (no hits, no runs, no errors) in the history of baseball, but it won't be in the record books because veteran umpire Jim Joyce blew the call at first.  He admitted that he'd made an error immediately after the game.  He was devastated, embarrassed, mad at himself, and sad for the 27 year old pitcher.  He apologized to Galarraga, who accepted graciously.  The two men were co-presenters at the ESPY's and everyone was impressed with the civility they displayed.  I, however, am taken with Galarraga's statement that nobody's perfect.   He knows he's done it.  He doesn't want an asterisk or a special mention in the record books.  Nobody's perfect.... except maybe the parents who raised such a gentleman.  This is a kid who has a strong enough sense of self that something this horrifying just bounces off his shoulders.  Kinda.  Watch it here for yourself (sorry about the commercial preceding the interview)

Are you smiling yet?

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