Almost-Perfect Game

If you’ve ever suffered a “bad call” in a sport, just think how Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga feels.

Last Wednesday, he pitched a “perfect game.” That’s a game in which the pitcher gets every one of the 27 batters out from the other team.

Perfect games are very rare. There have only been 20 of them in history, so if a pitcher gets a perfect game, it’s a very big deal.

On Wednesday, Galarraga had retired 26 batters from the other team, the Cleveland Indians. The last batter hit the ball, but it was thrown to the first baseman, who touched the base first. The batter should have been out and the pitcher would have thrown a perfect game.

Right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, the umpire made a mistake. Umpire Jim Joyce thought the runner got to first base in time, and he called the runner “safe.” That would mean that one person was on base – so no perfect game.

But the umpire was wrong. In the heat of the action, he thought he saw the runner get to first in time, but that wasn’t what happened. Even though he realized his mistake, it was too late. In baseball, once an umpire makes a call, it stands. The runner was declared safe at first and the pitcher didn’t get his “perfect game.”

Galarraga was disappointed but he isn’t holding it against the umpire. He understands that Joyce is a good umpire who just made a mistake. Yesterday, the two shook hands. It was an emotional moment for both of them – especially the umpire, who feels terrible about the incident.

Related links:
Here is an article from The Globe and Mail.
Here’s The Star article.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Although Galarraga was upset, he forgave the umpire for his mistake.

It is often very difficult to forgive someone when you have been hurt.  Write about a time when you were hurt by someone else and explain how you decided whether or not to forgive them.  How did you make this decision?  Do you think it was the right decision?

Reading Prompt
The author of the article outlines the steps that happened in the baseball game which lead to the “bad call.”  Write down these steps in order.  What would happen if you mixed up the steps and wrote them in the wrong order?

Identify examples of writing that include steps.

identify specific elements of texts and explain how they contribute to the meaning of the texts (e.g., narrative: setting, characters, plot, theme; explanation of a procedure: procedure to be explained, sequence of steps) (OME, Reading: 1.7)

analyse increasingly complex texts and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning (e.g., narrative: contribution of characters, setting, and plot to the theme; persuasive argument: the role of the summing-up paragraph in highlighting the most compelling points in the argument) (OME, Reading: 1.7)

Grammar Feature: Common Nouns and Proper Nouns
A noun is a part of speech.  A noun can be a person, place or thing.  A proper noun is a specific person, place or thing.  When you are reading, you can identify proper nouns because they always start with a capital letter.

Underline the proper nouns in this article and indicate whether each one is a person, place or thing.