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Let's Give Jim Joyce A Break

We get on umpires all the time. Jim Joyce made one of the worst calls I have ever seen and while it ended up costing a pitcher a perfect game bid, we need to give Joyce a break.

I know I am probably going to be on the opposite end of many baseball fans with this blog and that’s fine. Yesterday MLB umpire Jim Joyce made a historic mistake on a call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Gallaraga a perfect game.

It was however exactly what I said, a mistake! Umpires are human, they make mistakes, they miss calls. Yes, this was not just a call, it was a historic call. Let’s give the guy a break though. He made the call he felt was right.

Umpires are on the field to make the calls, many of which are judgment calls.

Jim Joyce is one of the best umpires in the league. In fact, in a 2006 Sports Illustrated poll, Joyce was voted by the players as the second best umpire in the league. He has been an MLB umpire for 22 years, including seven LDS’s and four LCS’s. Joyce was also elected to umpire in two World Series’s.

Once the game was over, Joyce was man enough to let Tigers manager Jim Leyland have his say and get his frustration out. He did not need to do that. He could have just ran away from it and ran into the umpires room. Instead, he took the heat from Leyland.

Upon entering the umpires room, Joyce immediately looked at the replay of the play in question. The 22 year veteran umpire saw his worst nightmare. On the biggest play of his career, he missed the call.

Joyce realized he missed the call and cost a young pitcher a historic game. Did he try to hide it? No, Joyce publicly accepted his mistake and apologized.  He stood up like any stand up guy would and admitted he was wrong.

I give Jim Joyce a lot of credit for admitting his mistake and truly feeling sorry for this event.

Earlier today, Joyce was again umpiring the Tigers game in which Galarraga brought out the teams lineup card. Upon receiving the card, Joyce was in tears. This shows how sorry the man is, this umpire, this human being.

Now, the question is out there. Should commissioner Bud Selig take action to reverse the call and award the Tigers pitcher with a perfect game?

I don’t think so. It was an umpires call that was clearly wrong. It’s a judgment call. Changing this call could open a can of worms that nobody is ready for.

I would not be upset if they do decide to reverse the call, I just don’t think it’s right.

What should have happened is, the umpires should have reversed the call right away. The crew of umpires should have all gotten together and discussed the play. The second base umpire should have had a good view of the play and could have talked about it and reversed the call. Maybe Joyce was so adamant about the call that they would not have changed it, but who knows.

So, what do you think? Should Major League Baseball Reverse the call?

Regardless, we all need to back off Jim Joyce. He is human. He made a bad call. It happens. It’s just a game. Yes, a historic game that we will all be talking about for a long time. But still just a game.

I can not imagine the thoughts and feelings Jim Joyce has right now and probably will have for a long time. Unfortunately he is going to suffer for this for a while. It’s a shame!

This was just a man trying to do his job the best he can. A man that was man enough to admit his mistake and stand up to it.

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