In the 141-year history of Major League Baseball there have only been 20 perfect games thrown. After tonight there should have been 21 perfect games thrown had it not been for what could possibly go down in history as the worst call ever made.
After retiring 26 batters in a row Armando Galarraga, as you can see above was robbed of what would have been the second perfect game in five days.
The umpire, Jim Joyce, admitted he’d made a mistake after the game but that’s a little too late. There is absolutely no reason why the commissioner’s office shouldn’t immediately overturn this call first thing in the morning. It was the last out in the bottom of the ninth, nothing needs to be replayed, that was the last out. Period. End of game.
Honestly between Galarraga’s unbelievably subdued reaction to Jim Joyce’s willingness to stand up and take full credit for completely blowing the call still makes it one of the most special plays I’ve ever seen. Rumor has it that Joyce actually wept in the clubhouse after the game when he was shown the video and realized how bad he fucked up the call and cost the kid the perfect game.
Here’s a great interview with Joyce talking about the call the next day.
Keith Olbermann puts a little perspective on what Jim Joyce should have done in that situation:
In fact, you do what Frank Pulli did, 11 years ago this past Monday. He was in Florida and Cliff Floyd banged one off the visual obstacle course that was the scoreboard in left. Above the line it’s a homer, otherwise it’s a double. There were more lines on the scoreboard than on a volleyball court or a parcheesi board. Frank says to himself, I want to get this right, so he went over to a tv camera and asked to look at the replay. Mind you, this is nearly a decade before they passed replay, but Frank didn’t care. The call counted, not the rule. The integrity of the game was not supported by adhering to the protocol, it was undermined by it.
More over, that’s exactly what baseball should do right now. The Commissioner should appoint an emergency committee to examine the expansion of replay on a formalized basis with set rules. And in the interim, in fairness to Armando Galarraga, in fairness to Jason Donald, in fairness to the fans, and especially in fairness to Jim Joyce, he ought to do a little ad hoc of his own: overrule Joyce’s safe call and give Galarraga what he in fact accomplished, and only the arrogance of authority is denying him – the perfect game he pitched tonight in Detroit, the majors’ third this season, second in five days, and fourth in the 135 days of play dating back to Mark Buehrle’s job last season.
The umpire himself has admitted he made a mistake, there’s no reason why MLB shouldn’t step in and make things right.