Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jim Joyce: A big league umpire (?)

NOBODY'S PERFECT. But some people are more imperfect than others. Such will be the stigma (I hope!) that will haunt Major League baseball umpire Jim Joyce after his historically lousy call that cost Detroit Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game against the Indians Wednesday night. With a single out to record to complete Galarraga's masterpiece, Joyce ruled the Cleveland runner safe at first on a play that wasn't close. His blown call cost Galarraga a rare spot in baseball's Hall of Fame. There ought to be a way to appeal the decision - but there isn't. And there should be a way to punish Joyce with a fine and a suspension - but there isn't. The only option is for fans to send the umpire the film of the play at first base to remind him of the dishonor that he brought to himself because he was daydreaming when he should have been umpiring.

UPDATE: I have one of my infrequent ideas: Why not install Galarraga in the Hall of Fame with an asterisk? The plaque could say that he pitched a perfect game and the umpire gave up one hit. I like that, even if it will go nowhere in a tradition-bound sport.


Mencken said...

The reason the play doesn't look close is because we've seen it 50 times in super slo-mo. In real time it's a bang-bang play.

Bud Selig has the power to review and overturn Joyce's call. Official scorers have 24 hours to make changes to the scorecard.

Joyce is one of baseball's best umps and he apologized profusely to Galarraga and Leyland. That's all HE can do. Bud Selig needs to make this right. I'm not holding my breath.

Grumpy Abe said...

I'm sure that in a situation such as this one,bang-bang or not, the umpire would give the benefit of the doubt to the pitcher. But you're right: Selig has a comfy high-paying job with the reputation of a stiff. He could take some of the onus off Joyce's bad call by rewarding Galarraga with the honor that the kid deserves. As far as a review, it would take only a few seconds to look at the video. No other details are necessary.

Mencken said...

Milt Pappas on Selig:

"What an idiot".