Home > Uncategorized > OK, Everyone. We See Your Pitchforks. There Is No Need To Kill Jim Joyce

OK, Everyone. We See Your Pitchforks. There Is No Need To Kill Jim Joyce

Jim Joyce missed it. But if Armando Galarraga has already let it go, we have to do the same

There is no need for this.

Or this, even if it contains some fairly funny stuff.

Did Jim Joyce directly ruin a perfect game on Wednesday night? Sure. Even if he thought the tie goes to the runner, he should have ignored MLB guidelines and called Jason Donald out, because no one wants to be cheated or see someone cheated out of a perfect game like that.

The fact that Armando Galarraga and Donald didn’t present anything close to a tie at the first-base bag made the call look that much worse.

The only people who are somewhat secretly pleased about this fiasco are the publicity-starved Joe West, blind Bob Davidson and the quick-triggered Bill Hahn. In a half a step, all of their recent mistakes on the field have been overshadowed.

Will Joyce’s career be remembered for this blown call? Probably. It’s rarely ever good if generations of people can remember the name of an umpire.

It sucks. It bites. It blows. For Galarraga, a pitcher who has seen plenty of success and failure in the majors since 2008, Joyce may have erased the greatest moment of his career.

Being absolutely irate about the call is understandable.

For a day. Maybe two.

Every day after that is overkill.*

Joyce manned up and apologized for the admittedly blown call. After listening to him explain what he saw, it makes you really feel for him. He repeatedly said that he “kicked the shit” out of the call and, while he tried to stop himself in mid-sentence, he did say that he “fucked” up the call. He sounded clearly distressed while recalling his career-making mistake.

Joyce could have offered a lame excuse, but he rightfully took full blame and will have to live the rest of his life knowing that he basically screwed Galarraga, the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball out of a joyous piece of history. He also understands that he will be remembered for this error in judgment whenever his name is mentioned in a baseball capacity.

Joyce does deserve some sort of credit for his contrition. And his call needs to be put in some perspective.

Everyone who thinks this is this worst call in MLB history or even in its modern history, that’s just a selfish leap to quick judgment. It’s not even that close. I’m pretty sure the likes of Don Denkinger, Richie Garcia and/or Tim McClelland could present a strong argument, even if it caused them a painful flashback.

Actually, McClelland has more than one demon in his closet.

But that’s the point. Umpires make bad calls. It’s happened before and it has certainly happened in more important situations than during a game on June 2, even if it was during a perfect game. In the above links, those poor calls cost teams a playoff berth, playoff games and maybe a World Series. While Wednesday should have been a night of baseball celebration — the third such celebration in the past 30 days — that one call SHOULD NOT suddenly cause baseball to expand its instant replay standard.

I understand that everyone feels bad for Galarraga, Joyce included. Something must be done, they shout. Everyone wants a change because Galarraga deserved a perfect game. He’s a relatively young pitcher who deserved his moment in the sun, not to have his one-hit, complete-game shutout basically ignored because of a missed call. But simply, that’s sports. Officials, umpires, referees, they all make bad, possibly life-changing calls at some point. If the Powers That Be in baseball weren’t smart enough to expand the game’s replay rules after the numerous wretched calls that took place during its 2009 postseason, they shouldn’t set a precedent from a regular season game.

One of the many aspects of baseball — and most sports — that makes it great is the human element. Much like what Galarraga said about Joyce after the game, nobody’s perfect. Umpires aren’t perfect. They screw up and they screw up in the middle of really important moments sometimes. This one call shouldn’t turn the game on its ear. It shouldn’t turn a nation into a raving mess. It really shouldn’t change the game at all. All that has changed is the fans’ perception of Joyce and Wednesday’s box score.

Go ahead and rant for now. Yet, while it will never be forgotten, Joyce call’s and its true importance should not have a single-handed lasting impact on the future of Major League Baseball.

(*If I was at Comerica Park on Wednesday night, it would probably take me a little longer than a couple of days to get over what I just saw. Or better yet, what I just saw taken away from me.)

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