Detroit Tigers

Free Jim Joyce: Overturn Ump's Admittedly Bad Call

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 27:  Pitcher Armando Galarraga #58 of the Detroit Tigers throws against the Texas Rangers on July 27, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Bleacher Report Correspondent IJune 3, 2010

"It's a ground ball to third. Juan Castro spins, fires to first...IT'S A PERFECT GAME FOR ROY HALLADAY!"

Just Saturday Roy Halladay did what has never done: pitched the second perfect game in a given season.  Five days later, it happened again. Or did it?

On out 27 on Wednesday evening, Armando Galarraga's would-be perfect game was cast aside on a Jason Donald grounder.  First base umpire Jim Joyce did his best and ruled that Jason Donald was safe at first base.

Except...Jim Joyce was wrong.

Joyce is a human being, like each and every one of us.  However, when you or I make a mistake, we have the ability to ask for forgiveness and to try our best to make things right for those we have offended.

"I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay," said Joyce after the game to reporters.


Joyce did his best.  He was wrong.  There is nothing worse in life than to have to bear the burden of a wrong committed against somebody else.

Right now, the onus is on Jim Joyce.  He did not cheat on his taxes.  He did not steal from anyone.  He did not murder anybody.  However, while you and I are sound asleep tonight, Joyce will assuredly be wide awake.

Baseball must overturn the bad call.  Not just for Armando Galarraga, but for Jim Joyce's sake.

What?

Jim Joyce deserves to be able to sleep knowing that Galarraga will get the credit he deserves for his great feat.  Why?  Because he is human and admitted his mistake.

Recently there has been a great deal of bad press around certain umpires (whom I will not name) who have blown calls or blown situations out of proportion. Joyce is not one such umpire.  He is an honest man working for an honest living doing his best. He made a mistake.

Galarraga recognized such. “He feels so bad,” said Galarraga after the game. “He really feels bad. He probably feels more bad than me.”

Please, Major League Baseball, give this hard-working, honest umpire his due.  Overturn the call.  It is the right thing to do.

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