Jim Joyce blew it. Just blew it.
I don’t know how baseball is going to deal with the perfect game that was stolen from Armando Galarraga tonight. I don’t mean what they’re going to do with Jim Joyce or instant replay or if they’re going to put an asterisk on Galarraga’s Baseball Reference page. I mean how we’re going to remember it. Are people going to “give” Galarraga the perfect game in their memories?
This wasn’t Carl Everett breaking up Mike Mussina’s perfect game or Brian Holman giving up a home run to Ken Phelps. This was an error by the umpire, something I believe has never happened before. Jim Joyce will forever be remembered for this.
Jim Leyland said afterwards that the human element is what makes baseball the game it is, and he’s right. After all, the human element is why I would never want computers deciding balls and strikes. It’s part of the game.
But wow. It was just unbelievable. What a shame. You feel awful for the guy. Afterwards, Galarraga said: “It was my best game. I mean, I feel really good.” Pure class. For the next several weeks, if not the rest of the season, and certainly for the rest of the week, we’ll be hearing all about the call and about what a classy guy Galarraga is. Usually I get really sick of that stuff, but I won’t this time. He won himself a ton of new fans tonight, me included.
By the way, Austin Jackson made a sterling catch to make the first out of the ninth, reminiscent of Dewayne Wise making a stellar play to preserve Buehrle’s perfect game last summer.