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June 02, 2010

Umpire Blows Call, Ruins Perfect Game UPDATE: Umpire And Pitcher Absolute Class After Game

What should have been the final out of the 3rd perfect game this season was absolutely blown by umpire Jim Joyce.

Here's the link to the video at MLB.com. The idiots don't allow embeding. There's a Youtube version below the fold but the person who uploaded it put the whole at bat and it takes awhile to get to it (skip ahead to the 1:00 mark).

I'm not a big fan of adding replay to baseball but given the magnitude of this call and how obvious it was, I'm betting there will be more reply in baseball (it's already used in limited circumstances) sooner than later.

Including replays in games makes officials tentative and already long games will become even longer. Given the nature of baseball there are a tremendous number of calls that can be subject to review, what flow there is in baseball will be ruined. But given the technology available, it's inevitable.

Update: Joyce admits the obvious.

“I just cost that kid a perfect game,” Joyce said. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”

“It was the biggest call of my career,” said Joyce, who became a full-time major league umpire in 1989.

To Joyce's credit, he manned up after the game.

A source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that Joyce came into the locker room following the game and apologized to (pitcher Armando) Galarraga and Leyland personally.

..."I don't blame them a bit or anything that was said," Joyce said. "I would've said it myself if I had been Galarraga. I would've been the first person in my face, and he never said a word to me."

Via "Kenisaw Mountain Landis" in the comments, Glarraga's reaction.

Galarraga said he gave Joyce a hug when Joyce apologized to him after the game.

"He really feels bad," Galarraga said. "He probably feels more bad than me. Nobody is perfect. I give a lot of credit to that guy. That (an apology) doesn't happen. He apologized. He feels really bad. Nobody is perfect. What am I gonna do? His body language said more than a lot of words. His eyes were watery, he didn't have too say much. His body language said a lot."

"Nobody is perfect"? Well kid, you were today. It won't show up in the record books but we all know and so do you.

They say sports doesn't build character, it reveals it. Galarraga certainly relieved his, as did Joyce. Good for the two of them.

Related enough: Ken Griffey Jr. retires. Hard to believe 'The Kid' is 40 years old and hanging it up after 22 years. The guy had a monster career even though he was injured so much, usually from playing hard.

He just didn't have it any more but at least he got to go out on his own terms. See ya in Cooperstown Ken.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:13 PM

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