"I do not get angry," he says. "I try always to be positive. But since I left, Montreal has had about 10 first basemen. I would have gladly gone back. But they said, no, not talking to you. So when I played Montreal, something came up inside." The Big Cat is not one to swing at pitchouts, but he does have his pride. He has torn the Expos apart this year, getting 13 hits in 26 at bats with four doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs.
Even after Galarraga went on the disabled list May 9 with a partial tear of his right hamstring and missed 17 games (and enough trips to the plate to keep him from being listed among the league leaders until last week), he returned to hit .500 in his next 68 at bats, with power (six doubles, two triples and six home runs). Even Carew didn't not enjoy a run like that.
Nobody expects this to continue. Galarraga is stout, has no speed, hits right-handed and cannot draw a walk to save his life. But his biggest disadvantage—and it's impolite to mention it in his clubhouse—is that he'll never get an opportunity to feast on Colorado pitching, the worst in the National League. Imagine if he could swing in a couple of four-game series against the Rocky rotation? But just forget we brought that up.
It will be story enough if he finishes above .300. "There's talk about him making the All-Star team," says Parrett. "But the way I figure, by then he'll have moved up. He belongs in the Other League." Somewhere where sliders never work, the charts always lie and defensive shifts backfire. Where a hitter, however briefly, can give himself over to destiny and wave confidently at pitchouts. Where everyone hits .400.