Kill the ump!

Armando Galarraga

Blows call on last out of a perfect game! Come on – it’s one thing to miss a play during the mid-innings, but ninth inning, two outs, a perfect game in the balance, and you screw up? Unconscionable.

UPDATE: The umpire admits he blew it and is sorry. I guess he should live.

First baseman Miguel Cabrera cleanly fielded Jason Donald’s grounder to his right and threw to Galarraga covering the bag. The ball clearly got there in time, but there would be no joy in Comerica Park.

“I just cost that kid a perfect game,” Joyce said. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.

“It was the biggest call of my career,” said Joyce, who became a full-time major league umpire in 1989.

Instead of going ballistic. Galarraga quickly went back to work and got the final out as the crowd started to boo. Joyce faced a group of angry Tigers at the pitching mound.

“I don’t blame them a bit or anything that was said,” Joyce said. “I would’ve said it myself if I had been Galarraga. I would’ve been the first person in my face, and he never said a word to me.”

Seems to me that both the pitcher and the ump are class individuals.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Kill the ump!

  1. Fake Walt

    Okay, let’s set a few things straight.

    1) It was a blown call.

    2) In baseball, blown calls happen.

    3) It’s an absolute shame that this blown call cost this classy kid a perfect game.

    4) It’s also an absolute shame that blown calls have cost entire teams world championships in the past.

    5) No umpire should be fired or have their career defined over a single call, blown or excellent. Put the tar and feathers away, please.

    6) No matter what anyone says, the moral of this story is…

    … Boston sucks.

    Off to St. Tropez

    Kind Regards,

    Fake Walt

  2. Chinatown

    Selig to overturn call. Finally this bump on the log is finally doing something good for the game.

  3. Last Liberal Standing

    Here’s what bothers me:

    1. The first-base umpire didn’t seem interested in asking the other umpires for a conference. Perhaps one of them had a different (and better) view of the play, With a perfect game hanging in the balance, what’s to be lost by at least asking them? Did the first-base ump feel SO sure of his call that he knew there was no need for a discussion?

    2. Why didn’t one of the other umps suggest a conference? The second-base or home-plate guy might have seen it more clearly, and they’re allowed to step in–not to overrule, but to see if the first-base ump wants “help.”

    3. It’s a shame that baseball hasn’t already instituted a check-the-replay provision for special situations like this one. Replays should be rare, but this one cries out for it. No replay for a routine out (sixth or seventh inning, for instance), but two outs, ninth inning, perfect game in the balance? Doesn’t everyone in his/her right mind wish that the umps had been allowed to check the replay on last night’s 27th batter?

    Here’s what DOESN’T bother me:

    The pitcher’s reactions–when he caught the first baseman’s throw for the apparent last out, when he saw the ump’s Safe call, and later, in the clubhouse, explaining that the ump “feels worse than I do about it”–were priceless, much classier than I could have managed if I were in his place. He joked afterward, something like, “I hope I’ll have a couple more chances at this before I’m through.” Everyone in the clubhouse knew how rare a shot at a perfect game is; he’s not likely to get that deep into a perfecto ever again. But we’re all hoping it happens anyway. He deserves it.

    • You see, LLS? We can agree on some things, and I agree with every one of your points. In defense of the ump, I believe him when he says he was positive he had the call right – until he saw the replay. But he should have asked for help on such a significant call.

  4. pulled up in OG

    The ump’s lucky it wasn’t a little league game.