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I'm Blind, I'm Deaf, I Wanna Be Jim Joyce

Brian LeFevre

Obviously that title is not fair to Wednesday's first base umpire Jim Joyce, but unfortunately he ruined one of the great pitching performances of all time when he called Cleveland's Jason Donald safe at first, robbing Armando Galarraga of the first perfect game in Tiger's history.
Just a couple of points on the play and the aftermath:
  • What was Joyce doing on that play?!? After viewing the replay once, it is quite apparent that he completely blew the play. But when you take a closer look at it, he did not put himself into a position to make a judgement to the best of his ability. As the ball rolled toward the gap between first and second, you can see Jim Joyce staring at the ball. But why was he looking there at all?!? What could have possibly been happening over there that he would have to make a judgement call on? The moment he recognized that the ball had been hit on the ground he should have had his eyes plastered on first base and any potential play that could be made there.
  • Can there be enough good things said about Galarraga's reaction to the play? I can't possibly imagine a person handling that situation any better than he did. He had just been robbed of a distinction that has only been handed out 20 previously in the history of baseball. And basically he laughed it off! I'm sure that deep inside he fumed plenty about it, but he seems to know what everyone who watched and participated knows: on June 2nd he threw MLB's 21st perfect game.
  • Why can't Bud Selig, for one of the few times in his life, do the right thing? Bud was given a golden opportunity to do what was good and right, and he COMPLETELY dropped the ball. If baseball can go back and give George Brett credit for a home run in the infamous pine-tar incident, there is no reason he couldn't have credited Galarraga with his perfect game. People argue that it would take the 'human element' out of the game, and open up Pandora's Box in regards to overruling plays, but I've gotta say that's a load of bull. This is an EXTREMELY unique and rare case, of which there will probably never be an equal. And just because it temporarily removes the 'human element' from the game, does that mean we can't do what's right?!? Mistakes may be a part of the game, but that does not mean you can write them off.
  • Assuming the call never gets overturned, can baseball please recognize the achievement? Personally, I think it would be great if MLB would place a plaque in Cooperstown recognizing the first 'unofficial' perfect game in the history of the game. There are tons of great stories littering the history of the game, and this one heck of a story. If you can't give Galarraga his credit, and least let future fan's know of what happened at Comerica Park on June 2nd, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. There are several statements in this article in which I disagree with. Joyce botched the call but the idea that it is somehow worse than the call in the Royals/Cardinals world series or the Baltimore/Yankees playoff debacle is questionable at best. He missed out on a perfect game, but the class and distinction that BOTH Galarraga and Joyce handeled themselves with will remain in the venacular far longer than Braden or Halladays perfect games will. If Galarraga needs some form of distinction, name the forthcoming instant replay rule after him, the "Galarraga Rule" will give him noteriety far greater than the third perfect game this season would have.