I want to take a look at a couple of interesting announcements that came out of the world of sports yesterday, both involving guys named Ryan: Rex Ryan of the New York Jets, and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Calling last year’s guarantee of a Super Bowl victory a “huge mistake,” New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan refused to make a similar boast to reporters yesterday at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. The fact that the combine is traditionally held in Indianapolis – the city in which Ryan’s cross-stadium rivals, the New York Football Giants, won Super Bowl XLVI over the Jets’ divisional rival, the New England Patriots – surely had nothing to do with Ryan’s newfound humility.
The New York Yankees shipped pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday for a couple of minor-league prospects in a deal that still looks good for the Bombers, because they got two kids in exchange for a washed-up veteran who was an ace at cashing paychecks, but not much else. (Carl Pavano, anyone?)
Pittsburgh will have to pay just $13 million of the $33 million Burnett is due to
steal earn in 2012 and 2013, and they surrender 25-year-old pitcher Diego Moreno and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones. Admittedly, they are not top prospects, but they’re both young, and who knows what the future might hold for them?
Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga must feel really bad today, but it must really suck to be umpire Jim Joyce, the man who made the Blown Call Heard ‘Round the World.
Look, I have absolutely no love for the Tigers (I’m a Yankee fan), but no hurler deserves to suffer like that (No, not even somebody from the Red Sox). In case you haven’t heard (or seen it yourself), Galarraga was one measly out away from a perfect game when he covered first base on an easy bouncer. The throw came in time, yet Joyce declared Cleveland Indians runner Jason Donald safe. What? He was clearly out by a mile! Seriously, it was no bang-bang play; first-base umps make lots of closer calls. So what happened? Joyce himself does not dispute bungling the call. “I just cost that kid a perfect game,” he was quoted as saying after the game. The question is, why? What did he think he saw that resulted in a safe call? The world will never know. This is not one of those cases where Galarraga should simply have been given the benefit of the doubt; he should have been given the benefit of a correct call.