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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First Base Umpire Makes History

Not in a good way.   This is worse than Phil Luckett blowing a coin toss.

Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga just pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, for which he will not get credit because of a horrendous blunder by Jim Joyce, the first base umpire.  This would have been the 21st perfect game in MLB history.

Several replays clearly indicated that the 27th batter was thrown out by a half-step or more.  This play always goes to the defense - as it should.  Much closer plays are called out a dozen times in every game.  The view angle that pointed into the Cleveland Indian's dugout showed that they couldn't believe it, either.

How many chances in his career does a pitcher get to throw a no hitter?

Earlier in the inning, Austin Jackson made a spectacular, running, Willie Mays style, back-to-the-plate, over-the-shoulder catch in deep right-center to maintain Galarraga's no-hitter to that point.

Then, with two ninth inning outs in the books, and the third out clear at first base, the idiot umpire took it away from him.

Galarraga got the next batter on a ground out to end the inning, the game, and - I hope - that hapless umpire's career.

Update:  Upon further review, I over reacted in the heat of the moment in calling Joyce an idiot an demanding his firing.  I have since learned that he has always been an outstanding umpire and a stand-up guy.  As soon as he saw the replays, he owned up to his mistake and apologized. Unfortunately, he will not be remembered for any of that.  He will go down in history for his massive, inexplicable blunder.

So it's sad for everyone involved.  But I have no sympathy for Joyce.  He should have realized the context and the importance of getting that call right.  Clearly, his head was not in the game.  Wie Shade.

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