Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has just announced that he will not overturn the bad call made by first base umpire Jim Joyce that cost pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game.
Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t watch baseball. I don’t watch sports in general, in fact. But when I found my husband glued to the TV watching what could have been 21st perfect game in baseball’s 130 year history, I couldn’t not watch.
And then that blown call. Oh, it hurt. It hurt me, and I don’t watch baseball.
What came next, though, it made me proud to call the Tigers my home state’s team.
After some initial and understandable anger on the field and what was said to be an emotional regrouping in the locker room, the Tigers have showed nothing but class since. Immediately after the game, player after player came out and told the press that Galarraga did pitch a perfect game, that everyone makes mistakes, and what happened happened — they were just happy to win. They’ve even come out in support of Jim Joyce.
At today’s Detroit Tigers-Cleveland Indians game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland offered Joyce — who was scheduled to serve as home-plate umpire — an out by excusing him from the game. Joyce took his lumps with grace, though, saying:
“I cannot believe the outpouring of support I’ve gotten, not only from my fellow umpires but all my friends, my family and, frankly, you guys. I can’t thank you enough. I can’t thank the people enough. I’m a big boy. I can handle this. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my professional career, without a doubt.”
Detroit catcher Gerald Laird had his own apology to make. After the game, he had a heated argument with Joyce, a moment he now regrets:
“I’ve got all the respect in the world for Jim Joyce. He’s a great umpire. He’s always been. I’ve always had a good relationship with him. I think it’s just more the heat of the moment. That’s why we were getting on him. You just want it so bad, something of that caliber for your teammate.”
I’m not a sports fan, but I am a mom. And as my kids watch and listen the fall out from all of this tonight on the evening news, they’re seeing a great examples of good sportsmanship. We’ve even talked about Selig’s controversial call: Should he change what has been a long-standing rule just because of this one mistake? While the general consensus is that they wish Galarraga could have his perfect game, my seven-year-old rightly noted that, even if he got it now, it wouldn’t be the same.
What do you think about Selig’s call? And does anyone have a little Tigers fan who has a strong opinion about this?
Photo: The-Lane-Team, Flickr