the pitchers have superpowers, pt 6: Armando Galarraga


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Thus far we have encountered Tigers pitchers who have some measure of control over light, or heat energy, or sound, or time, or, uh, dead flesh. But this is something different.

Armando Galarraga has amazing sonic powers. All those vowels and rollable Rs in his name make it a perfect weapon when shouted by someone who can control the power of sound. Do you doubt the things that may be done with the power of sound? Experience a sonic boom, and know the might of Armando.

His power is carefully monitored by the league, so that they may be sure that he is not secretly whistling behind the ball during games to give it some extra oomph. That would be illegal, obviously. And he is not supposed to amplify the voices of, say, opposing base coaches so that they inadvertently broadcast their verbal signals all over the infield. If he sometimes surreptitiously boosts Ozzie Guillen’s voice a little so that he gets in trouble for what he’s saying, though… well, nobody will hold that against him. Except for Ozzie Guillen. That’s OK, Verlander and his fireballs can offer some protection.

Armando’s sound-canceling abilities are really just as impressive as his sound-amplifying and offensive-sound-blasting abilities. Tempting as it may be, he is not supposed to use his powers to strip the sound from opposing managers, rendering them unable to scream orders at their own players. But the league does allow him to whistle a little white noise around himself, which is very useful when it comes to handling loud and irate opposing crowds. Yankee fan chants have no effect on Armando. He doesn’t have to waste brain cells trying to ignore them; he just tunes them out in the most literal sense.

The ability to hold forth at Team Karaoke Night without having to use the karaoke machine microphone? That’s just a bonus.

16 responses to “the pitchers have superpowers, pt 6: Armando Galarraga

  1. Ha ha, wow. Unexpected headshot!

  2. Armando does not have to hear those jeers and chants when he has his Sonic powers! I like how you have Go Get’em Tigers on the Karaoke machine at the last picture.

  3. ivantopumpyouup

    “Haters gonna hate” freakin’ slayed me.

    Can I use that (with the proper credit of course)?

  4. FrogMan, BOOM goes the Wrong Sox!

    Lauren, ha ha, well spotted. ;)

    ivan, absolutely, knock yerself out.

  5. Another great piece, Sam! However, I’m mildly disappointed that you didn’t tie in with the movie Dune and the Bene Gesserit’s vocal powers. Still, gud werk cat!

  6. the movie Dune

    the… movie… Dune

    the movie Dune

    Dude, think about how much is wrong with that statement and get back to me.

    /kid who read every single Dune book and did not stop until halfway through the horrifically bad House: Harkonnen/whatever prequels written by Herbert’s kid and some other dude

  7. Which Tigers are gazing admiringly in the karaoke night shot? Also, how does one get an invite to said event? That sounds brilliant!

  8. Which Tigers are gazing admiringly in the karaoke night shot?

    Right to left, looks to me to be Everett, Cabrera, and . . . uh . . . Damon?

  9. I thought the Tiger on the left in the team karaoke night drawing might be Fu-Te Ni, but Damon kinda fits the bill, too.

  10. I think you got this one a bit off — you’re right on the physics, but it’s not sound that he controls; Armando’s superpower is so obvious — he can MANIPULATE GRAVITY.

    How else do you explain how batted balls always head right to the infield dirt when he pitches them? How else do you define his signature sinkerball pitch, which he throws with fastball grip? You can’t do that in physics! Unless, like Galarraga, you control physics — you control gravity.

    This also explains what happened to him between 2008 and 2009 — his powers of gravity manipulation were thrown off by the gravity well of Jupiter coming closer to Earth last year, which screwed with his gravitational calibrations.

    That’s also why he’s so much more effective in Detroit than in Texas — everything is so big in that state that he has to compete with the gravitational pull of ever automobile in the parking lot, not to mention that of the fans themselves (also a problem in South Chicago).

    His gravitational powers were too dangerous to keep in Venezuela, where they were messing with the fault line and causing earthquakes. We saw this again when he pitched in Anaheim and accidentally shook the ground so much while Lyon was pitching in the eighth inning that the umpire thought the strike zone had moved to Pasadena.

    Useful in the locker room? I’d say so — the Tigers were save enough on energy costs to pay his entire contract (plus an extra session of knee therapy for Guillen) once they discovered that Armando’s gravity wells could power the team whirlpools!

  11. You know his full name is Armando Barreto Antonio Galarraga? And I thought just saying Armando Galarraga was fun! Saying the whole thing is like an amusement park.

  12. I didn’t really dig the books (even though I’m totally a book-nerd), Sam. But I loved David Lynch’s movie! Especially when they popped the Baron’s zits. Yum!

    And shame on you again for leaving the Dune reference out. ;)

    • h20polopunk:
      Sorry, but Sam’s right –nothin’ Dune.
      If you loved the books, you have to hate the film.

      It’s like golfing with a sledge-hammer…
      like a heavy-metal cover of Ave Maria…
      like Obama channeling Sparky.

      I look forward to ‘Mando’s post-playing career as the Tigs’ PA announcer. Sign him now, DD –can’t let his powers fall into the wrong hands.

  13. re: Karaoke night, L to R it’s Ni, Miggy (although he started off as someone else, I forget who or why I changed it), and Everett. WHY would I have drawn The Traitor in a positive light? Come on now. ;)

    Misopogon, I am utterly delighted by the amount of thought you have put into this. Perhaps, like Nate, he has primary and secondary powers? We should test this during the season. FOR SCIENCE!

    Shannon, omg, Barreto, another rolling R! OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED!

    h20, books > movie, FACT. Except for the prequels. And the last few books. Maybe. But the first one is a classic for a reason, yo!

    pocoloco, can you even imagine those abilities deployed over a PA system? My gosh… the power Armando would wield…

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