I’ve never been hesitant to mention how much I think MLB umpires suck, but even I have to feel for Jim Joyce on this one: Last night Joyce blatantly cost Detroit’s Armando Galarraga a perfect game — which would’ve been the 21st in baseball history and the third already in the past month — by making one of the worst calls in history at first on what should’ve been the game’s final out. Take a look at the above video and see Galarraga’s foot get to the bag a step before Cleveland’s Jason Donald’s.
Here’s why I feel for Joyce, though: It’s gotta be tough being in position to make such a weighty call after the work Galarraga put in all night. What are the chances the last one is gonna be a bang-bang play after the guy cruises from one-through-26? Don’t get me wrong — it was a horrible call — but Joyce got dealt a pretty bad hand to have to be in that position at that point. Afterward, Joyce broke down in tears at a press conference, saying “I just cost that kid a perfect game”, and sought out Galarraga to apologize.
Of course, I feel pretty bad for Galarraga too, but I don’t think this is over for him. Commissioner Bud Selig has the right to overrule the play, and with it obviously being inconsequential in Detroit’s 3-0 win, I’m betting he’ll reverse the call and give Galarraga his place in history. It’s the right thing to do, as much for Joyce as for Galarraga.