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Entries in Jim Joyce (2)


Galarraga Redefines Selig's Holy Human Element

Armando Galarraga

Pitcher's Forgiveness
Keeps It A Perfect Game

One Great Season

Sure Bud Selig's antiquated approach to governing America's pastime could use a makeover, but I'm not completely soured by his decision to keep Armando Galarraga's imperfect game as it stands.

Our narrow-sighted culture only seems to recognize what's tangible -- money, fake tits and our favorite slugger's home run total.

If ever something could have been better, we cry that it wasn't and under the bus we throw those responsible.


+ JIM JOYCE: Portrait Of An Umpire As An Honest Man
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+ MORE WORLD CUP: Pre-Tournament Coverage
+ NBA: Is Paul Pierce The League's Third-Best Player?

Armando Galarraga finished off that complete game Wednesday and it would have been great for him to have gotten credit for such an accomplishment.

But a man regarded as one of the best at his profession made an honest mistake, then, at his first opportunity, admitted it for every newspaper and online publication in the world. He felt terrible, but we piled on anyway, not giving a second thought to the fact that we screw up at work probably more often than Jim Joyce does, and we do so under little or no pressure and without the media microscope.

The human element that Selig insists on preserving in baseball was indeed at play Wednesday and Thursday. Only it wasn't an umpire's mistake; it was Galarraga's tender forgiveness. I realize we won't be able to profit from such an outstanding gesture of sportsmanship, but it's more than enough for Wednesday's game to remain a perfect one in my memory for many years to come.


Jim Joyce: Portrait Of An Umpire As An Honest Man 

Jim Joyce

Veteran Ump Admits Gaffe,
Apologizes To Galarraga

One Great Season

Whomever's on the dirty side of Floyd Landis' allegations that Lance Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling reign, I hope you've been able to turn on a television the last 24 hours.

Or any other athlete accused of any type of wrongdoing, really. Whether you're on the embarrassing end of steroid rumors, drug or weapons allegations or perhaps charges that you sexually assaulted a college-age girl at a college bar in a college town, you could probably learn a thing or two from Jim Joyce.

Who's Jim Joyce, you ask?

He's the guy with the worst case of nausea of anyone in America today. And he's probably a bigger man than you are.

What should have been the 27th and final out of Armando Galarraga's perfect game for Detroit Wednesday night was instead mistakenly ruled an infield hit. Umpire Joyce blew the call and he knew it.

He admitted so afterward Wednesday and again before the Tigers' game against Cleveland Thursday afternoon. He was profuse in his remorse, holding back tears and offering up apology after apology. Joyce tipped his cap to Galarraga for his flawless effort, and beat himself up for ruining the young pitcher's accomplishment. He even sought him out after the game to deliver a personal apology ... and a hug.

Americans hate authority. We boo when officials of any sport take the field, court or rink before a game has even started. Not a second has ticked off the clock, yet we've already got a close and critical eye on the men in stripes.

But with Joyce's strong effort to admit his mistake, take the heat like a man and continue to do his job with dignity, something funny has happened. Fellow umpires, colleagues, league officials, managers and players -- even Galarraga -- have expressed their support for Joyce. That's what happens when you're an honest guy. You do it the right way, and eventually good things follow.

Galarraga won't get the due credit for his rare gem, but what's happened since has been nothing short of perfect.