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One of the (many) unique things about baseball is that there is often little time to dwell on the previous day's events, be they positive or negative. Whether a player hit a game-winning home run or booted a routine ground ball, more often than not, he has to put on his uniform and do it all again the next day, for a whole new ballgame. The same idea of a clean slate, 162 days a year, applies to pitchers who came within one out of a perfect game, and the umpire who blew a call that prevented that perfect game from occurring.
And such was the case on Thursday in Detroit. Roughly just 17 hours after the new infamous call at first base, umpire Jim Joyce was back on the field at Comerica Park (he's working behind the plate in today's game), receiving the lineup card from Armando Galarraga (a task normally reserved for the team's manager).
The pain and anguish that Joyce, and man who has been umpiring professionally since 1978, is dealing with becomes apparent very quickly:
(Thanks to Chris Littmann at The Sporting Blog for the video)
At the end of the day, MLB has decided not to overturn umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call that stopped Armando Galarraga’s perfect game, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.
MLB not overturning call. Just decided, source says. #Tigers #JimJoyce
However, commissioner Bud Selig did say that, while he is taking no action on the call today, he does plan on evaluating the possibility of expanding the use of instant replay, according to Darren Rovell.
Selig makes no immediate call: “I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features.”
Selig said he would make his decision after consulting with the owners, the Players Union and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, according to Rovell.
Regardless of what Major League Baseball decides to do, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm claims that Armando Galarraga did, in fact, pitch a perfect game. And her office sent out a shiny press release to prove it:
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today delivered on her promise to issue a proclamation declaring that Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga indeed pitched a perfect game last night against the Cleveland Indians.
The governor’s proclamation follows:
“Whereas, pitching a perfect game is considered one of the crowning achievements of sport, attained only 20 times in the history of Major League Baseball; and,
“Whereas, a perfect game is defined as when a pitcher or pitchers retire each batter during the course of a game lasting at least nine innings; and,
“Whereas, Armando Galarraga retired all 27 players in order, a feat no Tigers pitcher has ever accomplished; and,
“Whereas, an umpire’s missed call resulted in Armando Galarraga being charged a hit that clearly should have been an out; and,
“Whereas, the umpire graciously admitted his mistake after the game ended; and,
“Whereas, video replays unmistakably show Galarraga to have retired all batters;
“Now, Therefore, be it Resolved that I, Jennifer M. Granholm, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby declare Armando Galarraga to have pitched a perfect game, and I join Tigers fans all across the globe in saluting his unassailable accomplishment — the first perfect game in Tigers history.”
While that’s a nice sentiment and all … well, that’s not really how it works, Governor. We appreciate the effort though, while awaiting the always predictable “don’t politicians have bigger fish to fry than worrying about sports!” outcry.
Armando Galarraga may still get the perfect game he deserves after all.
According to Keith Olbermann, the Commissioner’s Office was to meet Thursday morning in NYC to discuss the incident that happened in the ninth inning of the Tigers game Wednesday night.
There is no clear indication of how involved Bud Selig is in the meeting, or if they’re even considering overturning Jim Joyce’s blown call and awarding Galarraga a perfect game. But the assumption would be that they’re discussing something along those lines after calling for an emergency meeting.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates throughout the day.
Related: Go here to VOTE on whether or note Selig should retroactively award Galarraga with a perfect game.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched an amazing game on Wednesday night. He struck out only three Indians in nine innings, but he was efficient, throwing just 88 pitches on the night and walking none. Thanks to Jim Joyce, he was not perfect.
Randy Booth at Over The Monster appreciates the situation and what went wrong but he believes the decision shouldn’t be updated to reflect a perfect game…because it wasn’t.
Baseball is not perfect and no one has ever claimed that it is. Joyce made a mistake, but that’s what makes baseball great: players, coaches, fans and — a lot of the time — umpires just make the wrong moves. They might read a signal wrong and get thrown out trying to steal second. Or they might send in a left-handed pinch-hitter that is 0 for 37 lifetime against the pitcher. Or they might reach over the barrier and grab a ball they shouldn’t have touched. Or they might just blow a perfect game.
But that is baseball. And it’s not that we should “learn to live with it.” It’s that we have always been living with it and for such a long time. Baseball is not a new sport and making mistakes in baseball is not foreign. In every game it happens. This time it was just on a very big stage with many eyes peering down.
If Selig reverses the call and gives Galarraga the 21st complete game in baseball history, it is like taking a giant eraser to baseball history. It’s also like taking a lighter to the baseball rulebook.
To say Al over at Detroit blog Bless You Boys is miffed about Armando Galaragga’s lost opportunity at a perfect game would be an understatement. He understands that Jim Joyce is repentant but that’s still not enough.
Galarraga will still go down in history. His getting screwed out of an “official” perfect game will hopefully be the impetus for instant replay throughout baseball…despite the technology being available for YEARS. I’m sure the NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA could give Bud and the gang a few tips on implementing replay.
We can only hope.
After the game, everyone, from Galarraga,to Joyce, are saying the right things. Everyone is apologetic and trying to keep a stiff upper lip.
The Tigers can forgive Joyce. Personally, I want my pound of flesh.
The Indians were on the losing side of this contest. Cleveland blog Let's Go Tribe! says the game will be remembered for a long time but not for the right reasons.
Even though the blown call saved the Indians from having a perfect game thrown against them, it still doesn't feel good. If Jason Donald's ball had hit a pebble and bounced over Cabrera's head, that would have been a lucky bounce. This doesn't feel lucky, it feels guilty. This game will go down in history, but unfortunately not in the type of history that shows baseball in a good light. This call will reawaken the cries for NFL-style instant replay, but, in my mind, if any good should come of this game, it will provide an impetus for a new evaluation process for umpires.
The folks over at Front Office Fans don’t have the emotional vested-interest that BOB has, but they’re equally disturbed the events of the night. This is MLB’s great opportunity to make the right decision and institute sweeping instant replay changes, says FOF.
Bud Selig and Major League Baseball need to take this chance to expand instant replay in baseball. Any call should be up for review. Worried about taking up time? Just use the NFL’s system of limiting appeals.
We’ve seen botched calls greatly effect playoff game outcomes, and now we’ve seen them take away one of the finest accomplishments a pitcher can ever achieve. I don’t want to see it again.
Reading what Jim Joyce said after tonight's game is one thing, but to hear his words is another.
Click here to listen to all of Joyce's comments after the game.
You can actually hear his voice tremble. He said "no one feels worse than me" and after hearing him, I don't think anyone can argue that.
SB Nation's Bless You Boys has written a letter to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig with a simple message: reverse the call and officially make this a perfect game:
Dear Commissioner Selig,
This should be a proud moment for baseball.
Not one, not two, but three perfect games thrown inside a month's time. That's historic.
Unfortunately, we're all watching as one of your umpires, Jim Joyce, has the worst call of his life replayed again and again and again on television.
HardballTalk also takes a look at the possibility of Selig overturning the call and allowing the perfect game.
Ken Griffey Jr. retired today. Ken Griffey Jr. One of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of baseball. He's called it a career. And on the day of Ken Griffey Jr.'s retirement, the news has been upstaged.
Not by a perfect game. No, a perfect game couldn't have done it. Not another one. We've already seen two of them in two months, with a no-hitter to boot. Perfect games are old hat.
But a perfect game blown by the umpire with two outs in the ninth? That's big. That's bigger than big. This could be the story of the year.
In a lot of ways, we've been building up to this. Granted, the whole Jeffrey Maier incident happened in 1996, and there were countless incidents before, but the storm of criticism of the umpires online has been developing for a few years, increasing with the introduction of MLB.tv, increasing further with PITCHfx and enhanced Gameday, and reaching a fever pitch in last year's playoffs. More and more people wanted instant replay. Automation. The rallying cry of 'robots' took off and flew ever higher.
Umpires are flawed, goes the argument. Flawed umpires make flawed decisions. Flawed decisions can have a major impact, and with replay technology available, there's no excuse to leave things be. People celebrate the human element, but being correct forever takes precedence. Umpires are in place for a reason, and that reason is to judge the events on the field as accurately as possible. Without accuracy, the game loses its value.
It was only a matter of time, the argument continued, before an umpire made another gaffe. A huge gaffe. A significant, visible gaffe that cost someone or some team something important.
It doesn't get much more visible or important than the last out of a perfect game.
Alas, I don't need to advance the argument any more. A thousand other people already have, and a thousand more still will. Jim Joyce's blown call will fill columns across the country. But while the media and the internet will take this into hyperdrive, one wonders if anything even needs to be said, because the moment kind of speaks for itself. Jim Joyce called safe. The runner was out. With replay, Joyce could've gotten it right. What more is there to say? I don't need to be just another guy using Joyce's call as a launching off point to talk about replay. There will be enough voices that one will scarcely be able to hear anything else above the din.
What's done is done. I don't know if MLB or Bud Selig has recourse to negate the call and retroactively give Armando Galarraga a perfect game, but even if they do, it won't be the same. Galarraga didn't get to celebrate on the field with his teammates and coaches in front of thousands of fans. Galarraga got to shake hands while the crowd booed and his teammates and manager gave Joyce a piece of their mind. A perfect game is all about that moment of bliss, and that's a moment that Galarraga will never get back.
If it's any consolation, though, Galarraga will still earn the recognition. Everyone knows he threw a perfect game. As a matter of fact, he threw a longer perfect game than the standard perfect game, having recorded 28 outs. Galarraga's perfect game was even more impressive than you'd expect. While he may not get to go on the official list, there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that Armando Galarraga threw the 21st perfect game in baseball history, and the third of the season.
I don't know if that makes Galarraga feel any better. I don't know if that makes anyone feel any better. How much of an achievement is the immediate response when it's complete? Are achievements really achievements without a proper celebration? I don't know the answer to that. I hate that I have to ask.
It's just a miserable, unfortunate evening all around, for all parties involved. I do feel bad for Jim Joyce. It's not really his fault he blew the call. He's a human. Humans make mistakes, especially on bang-bang plays. Joyce has already owned up to his mistake, and the true problem lies with the institution by which he's employed. Joyce blew the call, but it's Major League Baseball that didn't provide him with the means to review it.
More than Joyce, though, more than the fans, and more than the players and coaches, I feel bad for Armando Galarraga. Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game, and he got to celebrate an unthinkable achievement by forgiving an umpire who made a bad call.
Sometimes, baseball just isn't fair.
For tonight, Jim Joyce has just become the greatest villain in the sports world and the prime example for those advocating for expanded replay in baseball. That's not something that's bound to make a umpire feel good, and accordingly Joyce is in a bad place.
According to reporter Dave Hogg, Joyce has owned up to his error and feels none too pleased about it.
Jim Joyce was utterly distraught when we talked to him. "Biggest call of my career, and I kicked the s**t out of it."
Joyce said he didn't know if he would try to talk to Galarraga. "I don't know what to do. I just cost that kid a perfect game."
Joyce: "That wasn't a call. That was a history call. And I missed it from here to this wall."
It's not going to quell the anger and frustration of the masses, but it's certainly a start.
A fair warning for Tigers fans: this video (via Jose, of course) shows the top of the ninth inning in its entirety. Everything from Austin Jackson's ridiculous catch in center to Mike Redmond's ground out to short to Jim Joyce's blown call at first base on Jason Donald's grounder. Trevor Crowe's final out is also included, but that seems somewhat inconsequential, no?
Oh, and Tigers fans: if this video isn't for you right now, head over to Bless You Boys, where you can vent some of your frustrations.
Detroit's Armando Galarraga was one out away from tossing a perfect game against the Indians Wednesday night. Jason Donald, Cleveland's No. 9 hitter, hit a weak ground ball in-between first and second, drawing Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera away from the bag, meaning Galarraga had to race to cover.
Cabrera fielded the ball cleanly, and tossed it Galarraga, hitting him in stride as the pitcher stepped on the bag a half-step before Donald. Unfortunately for Galarraga, the Tigers and the Tigers fans, umpire Jim Joyce saw it differently.
Donald was called safe, ending the perfect game.
Galarraga just pitched the league's most disappointing complete game, one-hit shutout.
(Image via Jose3030)
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Detroit's Armando Galarraga was one out away from the third perfect game of 2010 and the second in less than a week, but a blown call by first base umpire Jim Joyce cost him immortality.
After retiring the first 26 batters in succession, Indians shortstop Jason Donald was called safe on an ground ball to first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Replays showed that Galarraga clearly beat Donald to the bag while receiving Cabrera's toss, but Joyce made an emphatic safe call, to the dismay of the entire Tigers team and the fans at Comerica Park.
Despite the call, Galarraga finished with the first complete game and first shutout of his career -- a one-hitter -- as the Tigers beat the Indians, 3-0, in the second of three games.
"That's the nature of the business, that's just the way it is. The players are human, the umpires are human, the managers are human, the writers are human," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We all make mistakes. It's a crying shame. Jimmy's a real good umpire, has been for a long time. He probably got it wrong."
Cabrera's solo shot in the second inning was all Detroit needed to post its eighth home win over Cleveland in the last nine tries. Galarraga (2-1) needed only 88 pitches in the masterpiece, nearly the Tigers' first perfect game in the team's illustrious history.
Joyce has been a major league umpire since 1987 and is one of the most senior umps in the game today. He was on the field for Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout and Robin Yount's 3,000th hit and has worked two World Series, three league championship series and six division series, although he has not appeared in a playoff game since 2006.
It marked the 10th time in baseball history that a perfect game bid ended on the 27th batter. The last time it happened was when Boston's Carl Everett singled with two strikes off the Yankees' Mike Mussina on September 2, 2001.
It also wasn't the first time an umpire controversy cost a pitcher the perfect game on what would have been the final batter. On September 2, 1972, umpire Bruce Froemming called ball four on a borderline 3-2 pitch to San Diego's Larry Stahl, costing Chicago Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas a shot at history.
Galarraga was bidding for the third perfect game of 2010 and the first since last Saturday's masterpiece by Philadelphia's Roy Halladay. Oakland's Dallas Braden also accomplished the feat on May 9 against the Tampa Bay Rays. No single season has ever seen three perfect games, and only 1880 ever saw multiple perfect games before this season.
The Indians, meanwhile, avoided being on the wrong end of a perfect game for the first time in team history. Cleveland has notched a hit in every game since the Yankees' Jim Abbott no-hit the Tribe on September 4, 1993.
Galarraga was denied the Tigers' seventh no-hitter in team history and first since Justin Verlander did it against Milwaukee on June 12, 2007.
Lost in all the controversy was a solid start by Cleveland's Fausto Carmona (4-4), who pitched a complete game (eight innings) and allowed three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits while striking out three without walking a batter.
Galarraga's bid nearly came to an end at the start of the ninth inning on a hit ball by the Indians' Mark Grudzielanek. Grudzielanek blasted the first pitch he saw into the left-center field gap, and center fielder Austin Jackson made a tremendous running catch to preserve the no-hitter.
Cleveland hit into 14 groundouts while striking out only three times. The three strikeouts would have tied a record for least amount of strikeouts in a perfect game -- the same amount as the Cleveland Naps' Addie Joss in 1908.
Detroit's other runs came in the eighth, when Jackson and Johnny Damon hit back-to-back two-out singles. Magglio Ordonez followed with a base hit to score Jackson, and Damon raced home on a throwing error by right fielder Shin- Soo Choo.
Ironically enough, Joyce was working second base during Braden's perfect game...Detroit leads the season series, 5-2...The Indians fell to 5-19 this season when they commit at least one error...Cabrera has 12 homers in 43 games against the Indians since joining the Tigers in 2008...Galarraga lowered his season earned run average to 2.57...Cabrera's home run was his 15th of the season and fifth in his last six games.
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