Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Jim Joyce becomes an immortal
Seriously... I kind of feel good for Jim Joyce. Most of the times an umpire's name is not part of the story of the game.
Every once in a while an ump does something truly memorable, like Don Denkinger blowing that call in the 1985 World Series or Eric Gregg having a strike zone approximately 5 yards wide and 15 feet high in the 1997 NLCS.
But to TRULY be the story is very rare.
If the Cardinals pulled a double play on the next batter, nobody would have remembered the blown call. And the Braves could have adjusted instead of looking at those wide strikes.
But what Jim Joyce did today was extraordinary.
He blew the final play of a perfect game.
Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game. He did. That's not an opinion... that's a fact. And in real time it looked like he covered first for the final out in time.
In slow motion it looked like... um... it wasn't close.
This wasn't a blown call in the 7th. If an ump blows a call in the 7th, 8th or even the top of the 9th, you can't necessarily say the pitcher would have completed the perfect game. He could relax after letting up a hit.
But with 2 outs in the 9th... there is no other scenario other than "Perfect Game" or "Blown Call" on that grounder.
There have been only 20 perfect games thrown in baseball history (and it seems like 15 of them have been thrown since Mother's Day.) It should be 21.
Why isn't it 21?
Because of Jim Joyce.
And what is the headline for this wonderful game? Is it Armando Galarraga's game of his life?
It's Jim Joyce!
And from this day forward when people talk about perfect games and they list perfect games, announcers will say "And remember Armando Galarraga had a perfect game, but the final call was blown by Jim Joyce."
That is epic.
That is knowing this massive bed wetting will be known among the all time bad calls.
Doesn't happen every day for an ump.
Oh and one more thing... did you see Galarraga's reaction?
He was grinning.
Jim Joyce stole his bid for immortality and he had a smile on his face.
How classy was that?
How centered is this guy?
Or maybe he knows that Joyce just got himself his own place in baseball history... and not the way he wants it.
INSTANT REPLAY ANYONE?