Yeah, I don’t think so. Hate to see a perfect game get blown on a botched last out of the game call like that. The image is from Fox Sports Net in Detroit and it captures what veteran ump Jim Joyce knows, that he messed up on a epic scale.
His name might just replace Don Denkinger for the worst mistake ever. I don’t know how I feel about the steps being bandied about this morning. It would have been good for Joyce to talk to the other umps as maybe he was listening for the thwack of the ball hitting the webbing of Armando Galarraga’s glove instead of watching where Galarraga caught it.
I was following the updates through Keith Olbermann’s Baseball Nerd blog off and on. If Commissioner Bud Selig reverses the call and declares a perfect game, does it feel the same? Is something like that cheapened or forever asterisked because of the way the game ended? I guess Selig won’t change anything as that would entail having an opinion. And I don’t know the answers there.
From Olbermann, “What you do, Jim, is to put baseball etiquette and umpire pride on the shelf for a moment. Even if you’re sure, you consult with your colleagues. Even if you have no doubt, you listen to Jim Leyland. Hell, ask the runner Jason Donald.
In fact, you do what Frank Pulli did, 11 years ago this past Monday. He was in Florida and Cliff Floyd banged one off the visual obstacle course that was the scoreboard in left. Above the line it’s a homer, otherwise it’s a double. There were more lines on the scoreboard than on a volleyball court or a parcheesi board. Frank says to himself, I want to get this right, so he went over to a tv camera and asked to look at the replay. Mind you, this is nearly a decade before they passed replay, but Frank didn’t care. The call counted, not the rule. The integrity of the game was not supported by adhering to the protocol, it was undermined by it.
Frank Pulli invented, ad hoc, tv replay. And he got grief for it, from commentators, from his bosses. But he got the call (double, not homer) correct.”
I don’t know about that. The one thing I take away is that Galarraga didn’t have a nutty and Joyce took responsibility for his mistake. Both things are applicable. Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a “Conversation” with Joyce. People basically acted like adults.
That alone is commendable. Again, though, if this got reversed, do you take the 1985 World Series from the Royals? But, the Pine Tar game did get overturned so there is precedent for such things, so hard to know.
As I write this I hear the Tigers got Galarraga and Joyce together for a warm and fuzzy moment before today’s game.
The Michigan lawmakers should calm down and I sort of think so should the Olbermanns of the world. The human element has been a part of the game forever as it is a game. Maybe instant replay should be expanded for plays at a base instead of just home runs, maybe the umpires should be encouraged to talk to one another. Joyce admitted he blew it. Galarraga got a new car, a corvette, from a Tigers sponsor for being a good guy.
Everybody knows how the game should have ended, but stuff happened and we learn from it. Let’s quit looking back and move forward.