I just have one word of advice for Jim Joyce, the first base up during tonight’s Tigers/Indians game – RUN! Run fast and don’t stop till you are over the state line. Dearest Jim, longtime and respected MLB umpire, you have been to Detroit on numerous occasions… you know that they shoot people for less in this town!
What Mr. Joyce did tonight was tantamount to highway robbery for everyone. Apparently to have a perfect game the defense has to be on point and perfect, the pitcher has to be masterful and perfect, and the umpire crew has to be dead on accurate and perfect – well, we got 2 out of 3 tonight. Bottom of the 9th, 26 up and 26 down – Indian Jason Donald hits a snubber between first and second, 1st baseman Cabrerra goes over to snag the ball, he flips to pitcher Armando Galarraga standing on first for the final out, the first perfect game in Detroit history, the first season in history of recorded baseball to have 3 perfect games…
Safe… you have got to be kidding me… Armando was ROBBED!!!! Jim Joyce opened a can of worms that I think now, in retrospect, he wishes he never would have opened. The backlash has started and I’m sure the electronic hate mail has begun. Mr. Joyce should seek a police escort out of the park tonight – he will need it. Donald was out, Armando was jobbed and the Tigers got to savor one of the most disappointing victories in team history.
I have never been on “team instant replay”. I always held steadfast to the fact that baseball is a human game. Humans hit the ball, humans catch the ball and humans make the calls. When MLB sanctioned that they would be using replay for home run calls I admit, I was peeved. But seeing the benefits that it has proved beneficial over the last few seasons, I looked it as a lost issue. It wasn’t used frequently enough to make a difference in my obsessive fandom world.
Then came the rash of terrible umpire calls durring the world series in 2009 and I started to wonder, do we need replay more than just for home runs? I decided against it as I was steadfast in my thinking about baseball being traditional and a human game. However – in light of tonights terrible umping performance and career altering call, this Tiger has changed her stripes. Instant replay should be used for homerun calls and controversial game changing calls – regular season and playoff season alike. This out was not one out in the middle of the 6th inning in a tied game. This was the bottom of the 9th with two outs in a PERFECT GAME! This was a career and franchise changing game. This was a historical moment for not only Tigers fans but for all fans of baseball around the world. This would have been the first perfect game in the Tigers 109 year history. This would have been the first season in recorded history (not MLB history) to have 3 perfect games. Armando was not the only one who was robbed; as baseball fans we all were robbed and we should be fighting mad about it!
Less than one hour after the game, Mr. Joyce admitted that he blew the call and and Donald was indeed out at first. “I just cost that kid a perfect game. It was the biggest call of my career and I kicked the (expletive) out of it. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.” We are all human, we all make mistakes. But unlike real life, in baseball we have no recourse to right the wrongs from our mistakes. The correct and fair thing to do is for MLB to overturn the call and grant Armando the perfect game that he had labored all evening to achieve. But this will never happen. Because of baseballs strict “leave it on the field” mentality they will never right this wrong. Armando will have many more chances to throw a perfect game, and as fans we will have many more opportunities to view them, but this is a bite that will sting forever.
If there is conclusive video evidence and admission of wrongdoing in our court system, sentences are overturned and freedom is granted. The same should be done in baseball. If one of those two ingredients is missing the call should stand as is. But in Armando’s case, all the ingredients are there – the indisputable evidence and the apology, but the sentence he was handed by Joyce will not be overturned. In the court of baseball the jury should grant justice and give Armando his perfect game.
Send me your requests to join your facebook petitions to give Armando his due - I’ll sign em’ all. It worked for Betty White, It could work for Armando too…