I have seen some amazing things in sports. I was at David Cone’s Perfect Game, Joe DiMaggio Day at Yankee Stadium, several World Series games, the US Open, Australian Open and countless other events on television. But yesterday I saw the MOST amazing thing.

Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game for the Detroit Tigers…but umpire Jim Joyce took it away from him.

On what should have been the last play of the game, a ground ball was hit to first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, who threw it to Galarraga covering first. That should have been the final out. Game over. History made. But the runner was called safe.

To be honest, at normal speed, I could not tell if the runner was out or if he was safe. But on replay he was clearly out and Galarraga clearly should have had a perfect game. Joyce blew the call.

After the game, Joyce asked to see the replay and saw that he was wrong. He then went to find Galarraga and apologized.

That’s a class act.

I respect Jim Joyce for that.

But the best play in the whole game was Galarraga. After the blown save, Armando was surprised, but just laughed and then got the final out.

Galarraga could have given Joyce a piece of his mind and told him where to go, but he didn’t.

After the game, Galarraga said, “Nobody’s perfect, everybody’s human.”

That’s mental toughness at it’s best.

Here’s an excerpt from Tom Verducci’s article in

There is no polite way to say this: Joyce blew the call. Galarraga caught the ball in plenty of time, even if it wedged precariously in the webbing of his glove, and scraped the base, even if inelegantly, with his foot. Immortal fame was his.

Jim Joyce took it away. He called Donald safe. No sign that Galarraga juggled the ball. No sign that he missed the base. Just safe. Pure and simple safe.

Umpires miss calls. It happens. Nobody feels worse when an umpire misses a call than the umpire himself. They are proud men who strive for a 100 percent success rate and are bound to be disappointed. Upon seeing a replay, Joyce was crushed.

“I just cost that kid a perfect game,” the umpired admitted afterward. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”

It was a classy move by Joyce, who also apologized to Galarraga personally. The pitcher told a Venezuelan reporter that Joyce was crying when he offered him his apology.

“He really feel bad. He probably feel more bad than me,” Galarraga told Fox Sports Detroit. “Nobody’s perfect, everybody’s human. I understand. I give a lot of credit to the guy saying, ‘Hey, I need to talk to you because I really say I’m sorry.’ That don’t happen. You don’t see an umpire after the game say ‘I’m sorry.'”

Yes, Galarraga’s perfecto would have been impressive, but to be honest with you, his reaction to the missed call was the most impressive thing I have ever seen in sports.


“Don’t be well-rounded…be sharp-edged.”

Well, it’s one of my favorite times of year again – the Major League Baseball Postseason. And my New York Yankees are looking to win their first World Series ring since 2000.

I just finished reading the most recent Sports Illustrated article on Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera.

I want you to be like Mo.

He only throws one pitch. And he throws it well – better than anybody.

Many people go through life trying to do everything well. They try to be “well-rounded.”

Would you like to be pretty good at many things, or would you like to be great at one thing? Only you can answer that.

Let me tell you about Mo…

In the postseason, “his 0.77 ERA is the lowest among all pitchers with at least 30 innings. He is the only man in history to get the last out of the World Series three times. No one is close to his record 34 postseason saves.” (Verducci, T. October 2009. Mariano Saves. Sports Illustrated, 46.)

Mariano only throws one pitch.

Well, he throws it 92% of the time.

It’s the cut-fastball, or the “cutter.”

“You know what’s coming, but you know what’s coming in horror movies too. It still gets you,” says former Kansas City Royals first baseman, Mike Sweeney.

And he does it under pressure. How?

Focus. The right mindset. Nothing bothers him.

“My mental approach is simple: Get three outs. As quick as possible. If I can throw three, four pitches, the better it is. I don’t care how I get you out. As long as I get you out. The quicker, the better. And that’s the only thing I have on my mind.”

Rivera is nearly 40 years old and his stats are better now, towards the end of his career.

He takes it seriously because he knows one day he won’t be able to stand on that mound of dirt surrounded by the Merion Bluegrass. He doesn’t go out and party. He believes in taking care of himself.

“I have bad games, but my confidence doesn’t change. Right after the game I will ask, ‘What happened?’ I go through the game. After that, it doesn’t hurt me at all,” says the Yankee closer.

In September, when Rivera blew his first save since April 24, he walked out of the clubhouse enjoying a chocolate ice cream cone.

Win as if you expect it and lose as if you enjoy it.

“I don’t want to second-guess myself when I retire. I want to know that I did everything that I could possibly do for my teammates to give us a chance win. If it didn’t happen, I don’t want it to be because I didn’t give it my best.”

Be like Mo today…

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Dan Moster, President of the USPTA Midwest Division.

I know something about you. You’re on a team.

It may be a sports team, an orchestra team, a family team, a business team, or a relationship team.

If you’ve read my book or have been following my blog, you know what TEAM stands for…

Together Everyone Achieves More…as long as there’s a Total Effort from All Members.

The focus should be on the team, not the individual. Instead of “me” it should be “we.”

I am a die-hard Yankees fan and regardless of whether you like them or not, you cannot deny that between 1996 and 2000 they had a dynasty. But they didn’t have any superstars. They played as a team. And now they have Alex Rodriguez and haven’t won a world series in eight years!

In Joe Torre’s new book, “The Yankee Years” with Tom Verducci, Derek Jeter talks about those winning years…

“I think everyone had the right mentality,” Jeter said. “The right frame of mind. Yeah, you have to be talented in order to win, but you have to have the right mindset. And that mindset is, do whatever it takes to win a game. It sounds simple, but we really didn’t have anyone that cared more about putting up statistics, you know what I mean? I mean, if somebody had to hit a groundball to second base, they hit a groundball to second base. You don’t get a stat for that. You actually get a negative stat for that. But that’s how you win games.”

Jeter said the key…”do whatever it takes.”

Don’t try your best because you can always do better than your best. Do whatever it takes to help your team win.

Be a leader and leave a legacy.

There are no menial jobs, only menial people.

Thanks for reading.