It hasn't been a very successful 2010 for Detroit's professional sports teams. The Pistons flat-out stunk and only won 27 games, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They're off to a similar start in the new 2010-2011 season. The Red Wings didn't win a Stanley Cup, which is their measuring stick for success. The Tigers once again played sub par baseball after the All-Star break and finished third in the Central. Finally, the Lions have been, well, the Lions.â†µ
However, Detroit sports fans can be proud of the fact that there's a legitimate chance for a Detroit sports athlete to win Sports Illustrated's 2010 Sportsman of the Year award, as there is not one but two Detroit nominees. Ndamukong Suh was nominated by SI writer Albert Chen two weeks ago and today SI's most eloquent big gun, Joe Posnanski, nominated Armando Galarraga for how he handled being jobbed of a perfect game by Jim Joyce on June 2:â†µ
I feel sure that long after I have forgotten the details of the Braden perfect game and the Halladay perfect game, I will remember Armando Galarraga's grace in the face of a baseball injustice. When it was all done, many people wanted Bud Selig to turn back the clock, to use his superpowers as Commissioner to give Galarraga the perfect game he so clearly had earned. But Selig did not do that, and I'm glad of that. For one thing, changing history is dangerous stuff. For another, yes, Galarraga should have thrown a 27-up, 27-down, no-hit, no-baserunner game. He had that taken away from him by a good umpire who had just picked a bad time to miss a call.â†µ
But because of the way he handled it, Armando Galarraga DID throw a perfect game. In many ways, it was the most perfect game in baseball history.â†µ
Galarraga displayed the utmost class in having the first ever Tigers' perfect game taken from him, and becoming Detroit's first ever recipient of Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year wouldn't be a terrible consolation prize. Will his little fracas with Alex Avila and Gerald Laird two months later hurt his case at all, though?â†µ
The winner of the award was apparently decided on Monday, but it has yet to be announced.â†µ
UPDATE: Drew Brees won. I knew Armando Galarraga should've held a cute baby in the locker room after his imperfectly called perfect game.