Jan Scruggs
Memorial founder

Jan Scruggs

Founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

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Character counts

Q: Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga lost his bid for a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce botched a call. Joyce apologized to Galarraga, who said he gave the ump "a lot of credit." Why did this classy ending come as such a surprise? Does success lie in the initial achievement, or in what happens next? /em>

I believe we have seen too much showmanship and a lack of respect from athletes to referees in sports. Rules and those who administer them are consequential.

John McEnroe brought bad sportsmanship to an art form. I never found his tantrums entertaining. To me his protests showed a generally boyish quality.

The important thing to remember is that youngsters are watching these athletes that our society unwisely gives such great prestige. These people have become role models. Kids watch and imitate them. Therefore, their character, or lack thereof, is of consequence.

Armando Galarraga had an astounding show of grace and good humor. Yes, he was robbed of a perfect game by a bad call. This classy ending comes as such a surprise because we are not used to seeing as many athletes as we should actually show the type of character and integrity of Galarraga.

Character counts. He made a greater contribution than he would have by pitching an official perfect game, especially if a lot of kids were watching.

You can't win them all. Life is unfair. Maybe Armando listens to the wise words of a great American thinker. As Frank Sinatra said, " Each time I find myself layin' flat on my face I just pick myself up and get back in the race."

Go Armando!

By Jan Scruggs  |  June 10, 2010; 10:51 PM ET  | Category:  Close calls Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I remember when Mark McGwire threw a major league tantrum about the pine tar on his bat. We now know that was the least of his sins. I think poor sportsmanship and cheating go hand in had - both indicate a lack of maturity and moral fiber.

Posted by: maggots | June 14, 2010 10:43 AM
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