Umpires are perfectly imperfect
It isn’t breaking news that umpires are human and they prove it with each mistake. It is the human element of baseball.
Most of the time, the erred call is forgotten just as quickly as the game, like this one…
On Tuesday, Lance Berkman’s check swing on a 2-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the ninth was called a ball and eventually cost the Nationals the ballgame. On the proceeding pitch, he drove in two runs to give the Astros an 8-7 victory over the Nats. A check swing isn’t an exact science, but roughly 50 percent of all umpires would have called it a strike–no science involved with arriving at that percentage.
But there are a few incomprehensible calls that will never be forgotten like this one…
Last night, umpire Jim Joyce made a gaffe of epic proportions. On the would be 27th out, that would have resulted in the third perfect game in the last month, he ruled that Jason Donald was safe and Armando Galarraga’s perfect game was gone. We will call it the play–it requires no description like the catch–and you have seen it so many times it needs no description.
We could debate all day long if Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game or question whether the play should be reversed or if instant replay needs to be expanded. You could ask 100 people and you would get 100 different opinions. It is a slippery slope and there isn’t a clear place to draw the arbitrary replay line. Good thing we don’t have to decide, but in the age of instant access and immediate reactions… here are a few tweets from anyone who felt they had to vent via twitter:
Buster Olney from ESPN
“It’s just excruciating watching these replays. For Galarraga, for Cabrera, for Jim Joyce. Replay, please.”
“It’s inexcusable that this could not be addressed. The technology is in place that a dope like me knows the call was wrong while sitting on my couch — but the umpires can’t benefit from it, as well. Absolutely no good reason for them to not make a change.”
Jerry Crasnick from ESPN
“If they retroactively change Armando Galarraga’s game to a perfecto, maybe Bud Selig should consider changing Milt Pappas’s, too.”
Keith Law from ESPN
“SNL should do a sketch where Jim Joyce is welcomed into the Blown Calls Club by Don Denkinger, Tim McClelland, and the ghost of Eric Gregg.”
“If you think Selig should reverse Joyce’s call, please provide a list of all parts of baseball history you’d like him to rewrite.”
“As governor, I’m issuing a proclamation declaring Galarraga pitched a perfect game!”
“Armando handled that situation with more class than anyone could. Everyone here is amazed with the class he has shown.”
Jay Jaffe writer for Baseball Prospectus
“Armando Galarraga showed more class in losing his perfect game than Dallas Braden did in completing his”
Bill Simmons the one and only Sports guy
“Look out Detroit, Jim Joyce isn’t done. He just ran his rental car over Kid Rock and Bob Seger.”
Adam Schefter ESPN NFL Insider
“Jim Joyce asked Big Ben to please do him a favor. RT @jimwexell: Roethlisberger will talk to the media following today’s practice.”
Not to be outdone… there has already been a website created firejimjoyce.com.
Update: Galarraga was given a car and delivered the lineup card to Jim Joyce today.