“Does somebody have to die before we fix that?” Evidently, yes.
The record books will show that Armando Galarraga tossed a complete game one-hitter on June 2, 2010. Jim Joyce’s memory (and that of the collective baseball world and beyond) will prove immeasurably more historic.
Galarraga’s bid to become MLB’s latest perfectionist died in the hands of first base umpire Jim Joyce, who blew the 27th out of the game. And Joyce knows it. “I just cost that kid a perfect game,” he remarked.
There’s no defending Joyce’s miss. Lookin’ right at it, he made the wrong call. He single handedly ripped a page from the annals of MLB.
Galarraga handled it like a champ. “I got a perfect game,” he said. “Maybe it’s not in the book, but I’m going to show my son the CD.”
The truth is that he should not have had to handle it at all. Joyce certainly should have gotten the call correct. But Major League Baseball is at least partially culpable in the theft.
The sport that will bury a camera in the dirt in front of home plate so we can observe foot placement, body torque, and lumber physics, refuses to allow technology to insure that their game is properly officiated. “It’ll slow down an already sluggish affair,” opponents argue. Really? Slow it down more than a player-manager-umpire beyatch fest in the middle of the diamond?
When comes to the objective realities of the game - home run or off the wall?…fair or foul?…safe or out? – there’s no reason that a guy on his couch should see it more clearly than the men on the field. Or in this case, the man on the field, for everyone else saw precisely what Jim Joyce did not.