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Who can forget back on June 2 when Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game?
The Associated Press reports today that the two men will meet again on Friday in Baltimore as Galarraga gets the start and Joyce is scheduled to be behind the plate.
“It will be no big deal,” Galarraga said Thursday morning.
“Apprehensive, but also kind of excited about it,” Joyce said Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
In a moving feature about the Jim Joyce / Armando Galarraga situation, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated reveals some new details. First, he writes that Major League Baseball took steps to protect Joyce and his family in the incident’s immediate aftermath.
In the first few hours after the game Joyce was threatened with physical harm through comments to his grown children’s social-networking accounts. (Major League Baseball ordered security personnel to keep surveillance the next day at Joyce’s home in Oregon and his mother’s home.) But as word spread of Joyce’s admission, apology and anguish, he and Galarraga became shining examples of sportsmanship and forgiveness.
Verducci’s piece also includes the following heartbreaking passage.
One of the e-mails he received was sent to Major League Baseball by a 10-year-old boy with spina bifida. The boy was upset because he was having difficulty trying to walk. His physical therapist, the boy said, had told him, “It’s coming. Don’t cry over spilled milk.” The boy wrote, “Tell Mr. Joyce this is just spilled milk.”
It’s a small world out there, and a Toledo, Oh. resident is learning that the hard way this week.
Toledo resident Jim Joyce has been receiving nasty phone calls since Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game by the umpire of the same name on Wednesday. Joyce shares his major league counterpart’s hometown as well, which has led to a lot of angry calls from disgruntled baseball fans.
“I would guess (the number of calls) 40 would be conservative,” Joyce said. “They were coming in…four or five at a time it seemed like, with call waiting and everything.
A lot of them are vulgar things. Some of them were funny about me needing new glasses but then they’d follow it up with vulgarity as well.”
Joyce’s home phone number and address were posted on Facebook, leading to Joyce cancelling his home phone service.
This should serve as a lesson, that in the end this is a sport and these things can’t be taken too seriously.
The Associated Press reports that the highest office in the land believed that Major League Baseball should have awarded Armando Galarraga a perfect game, overturning Jim Joyce’s blown call.
Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs weighed in Thursday on the story that had the nation talking: umpire Jim Joyce’s muffed call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Galarraga on Wednesday night almost had the rare feat secured — 27 up, 27 down — except Joyce incorrectly called a runner safe on what would have been the final play of the game against the Cleveland Indians.
Replays showed that Joyce got the call wrong, which he later acknowledged after the seeing the video himself.
Said Gibbs: "I hope that baseball awards a perfect game to that pitcher."
Gibbs went on to praise the conduct of both Galarraga and Joyce.
"I think it's tremendously heartening to see somebody understand that they made a mistake and somebody accept the apology from somebody who made that mistake," Gibbs said. "I think that's a good lesson in baseball. It's probably a good lesson in Washington."
To clarify Bud Selig's released statement, an anonymous baseball official has confirmed that there will be no reversal of the call that cost Armando Galarraga his perfect game. Selig apparently decided not to reverse the call because of concerns with the precedent it would set and because he didn’t think it was practical.
To me, this is a very cowardly move by Selig. This whole situation could have easily been fixed by simply reversing a call that would not have changed the outcome of the game. This was definitely expected out of Selig, but I was hoping to be surprised.
Bud Selig's statement on the Jim Joyce/Armando Galarraga situation was just released:
"First, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Armando Galarraga on a remarkable pitching performance. All of us who love the game appreciate the historic nature of his effort last night.
"The dignity and class of the entire Detroit Tigers organization under such circumstances were truly admirable and embodied good sportsmanship of the highest order. Armando and Detroit manager Jim Leyland are to be commended for their handling of a very difficult situation. I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address this unfortunate situation honestly and directly. Jim's candor illustrates why he has earned the respect of on-field personnel throughout his accomplished career in the Major Leagues since 1989.
"As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no dispute that last night's game should have ended differently. While the human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night's call and other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and presidents."
Basically Selig is saying that he's going to continue to look into the matter and get back to us at a later date. I'm a little confused over the ambiguity of the last paragraph, especially what he means by "other related features." He talks about how any decisions won't be announced until the appropriate parties are consulted, but does he mean decisions on expanding replay or correcting the call from last night's game? I suppose that remains to be seen, but it certainly doesn't seem likely that anything will be done to award Galarraga his perfect game.
Before today's Tigers-Indians game there was a great moment at home plate with umpire Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga. Just as Jim Leyland promised this morning, Galarraga delivered the lineup card to Joyce, who shook hands with the Tigers pitcher and patted him on the back before wiping away tears.
When Joyce was announced as today's home-plate umpire over the PA system, there were quite a few boos. Still, many decided to cheer Joyce, and a couple fans even shook his hand as he came out of the tunnel behind home plate.
Armando Galarraga may not have gotten a perfect game on paper last night, but he will be leaving Comerica Park in a brand new Corvette today thanks to General Motors. Galarraga, who has been grinning ear-to-ear since last night, was presented with the Cherry Red 'Vette (see below) prior to today's Tigers-Indians game.
The one constant throughout this whole controversy is the class the Tigers have shown, especially Jim Leyland and Armando Galarraga. Another example of that class will be shown off before today's game when Galarraga delivers the lineup card to umpire Jim Joyce, who cost him a perfect game just last night.
Leyland having Galarraga bring out lineup card and shake hands with Joyce, who's plate ump today.
As angry as I was at Joyce last night for what he did, even I have to admit that he has also shown class throughout this ordeal. He manned up, admitted he made the mistake of all mistakes, and apologized to Galarraga for his error. That doesn't change the fact that he cost Galarraga a perfect game, but at least he isn't going off and hiding in the corner somewhere.
Jim Leyland says Jim Joyce had option not to work today's game. Joyce declined, said: "I'll take what I've got coming" according to Leyland
Leyland hopes that what Joyce has coming from the fans is an ovation. I doubt that will happen and imagine there will be lots of boos directed toward Joyce today and anytime he is in Detroit. While Leyland and Galarraga may have already forgiven Joyce, I think the only way the Tigers' fan base as a whole will do that is if Bud Selig awards Galarraga his perfect game. If that happens, everybody directly involved with this situation would go home happy, especially Joyce, who could get on with his life and put this mistake behind him.
CNBC's Darren Rovell examined the financial ramifications of last night's blown call and what it means for all of the parties involved. The financial perspective of all this is very interesting, especially when you consider what effect it could have on Armando Galarraga's earnings down the road.
Unless MLB issues a stunning reversal, Galarraga will not have the 21st perfect game in baseball history. Because of that Galarraga, who will make $400,000 this year, lost between $20,000 and $25,000 in potential earnings from signing “perfect game” items over the next six months, according to Bobby Mintz, vice president of operations for memorabilia company Tri Star Productions. Mintz said that if Galarraga — who has a 20-18 career record — didn’t develop into a good pitcher, he’d still be guaranteed about $5,000 a year in signatures from being part of the “Perfect Game” club. That’s $175,000 over the next 35 years and $200,000 total.
Unless Galarraga is awarded a perfect game, he is stuck in the "Losers" category from a financial perspective. One of the winners in all of this, however, is Lumber Liquidators. Their ad was showing behind home plate during this now-infamous play, and as Rovell pointed out, who knows how many times this replay has already been viewed.
And there’s Lumber Liquidators sign saying “Lumber Liquidators: HARDWOOD FLOORS FOR LESS!” Even better is the simple number 1-800-Hardwood, which is easy to see. As of 11 a.m. ET, shares of Lumber Liquidators [LL 29.83 0.58 (+1.98%) ] were up more than 1.8 percent.
For Lumber Liquidators, this was definitely a case of being in the right place at the right time.
SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that MLB commissioner Bud Selig will release a statement sometime today about this whole Jim Joyce blown call situation and what it means for Armando Galarraga's should-have-been-perfect game.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is involved in high-level discussions regarding Tigers pitcher Armando Galaragga's near-perfect game and whether anything can and should be done to reverse umpire Jim Joyce's blown call that deprived Galarraga of immortality.
Selig will have a statement today, sources said, though it's uncertain whether any ruling will be made today regarding the situation.
Heyman mentioned in the article that a reversal of the call "isn't likely." The fact that MLB is actually considering the possibility of fixing this mess is a good sign, though. While nothing could end up happening, at least all options are being explored. Now we just have to hope that Selig does the right thing.
The Tigers fans out there that want Jim Joyce to be fired or at the very least not allowed to ump a game in Detroit again are going to be pretty disappointed with this news:
Once the Tigers and Indians get underway Thursday afternoon, Tigers catcher Gerald Laird will be squatting behind the plate to catch pitches from Rick Porcello. Jim Joyce will be calling balls and strikes.
That's right, Joyce will not only be umping the Tigers' game on Thursday, but he will be doing it from behind home plate. Aside from the awkwardness that will exist given that Gerald Laird had to be restrained from going after Joyce following last night's game, the moment there is a close call that goes against the Tigers is really going to be interesting. Anything remotely debatable that goes against the Tigers will result in showers of boos heaped upon Joyce by the fans.
I honestly don't know how Joyce can even be in the right frame of mind to call a game at all, let alone from behind home plate, considering how distraught he was last night. For his sake I hope Thursday's game is controversy-free, because the last thing that needs to happen is another questionable call. Nothing he can do will ever compare to the blown call last night, but now every decision he makes on the field will be put under a microscope, especially by the fans at Comerica Park today.
If anything ends up being changed about Wednesday's Tigers-Indians game, the alteration will have to come from Bud Selig. Although the door was open for the official scorer to change the Indians' only hit to an error, giving Armando Galarraga a no-hitter, it has since been determined that there was no error made by the Tigers on that play.
"It didn't appear to me that Galarraga ever lost control of the ball," [official scorer Chuck] Klonke told the newspaper. "It was in his glove. I couldn't say he was juggling it. He closed the glove on it. I don't think it would warrant calling an error. I don't think there will be any changes on that."
With a revised no-hitter out of the equation, the only hope for a change to this game lies with commissioner Bud Selig. I imagine we will hear from him about this situation sometime today, but I would be absolutely stunned if Selig even considers correcting the call and awarding Galarraga his perfect game. That seems like something that would be completely out of character for Selig to do. I would love to be wrong, but I'm just not very hopeful since this would be such a radical decision.
Only Bud Selig has the power to make what would be an unprecedented decision of going back and correcting Jim Joyce's blown call so Armando Galarraga gets his perfect game. One other option to somewhat fix this ugly situation, however, is for the official scorer to go back and give Galarraga a no-hitter. How? Well, the official scorer would have to watch replays of the Indians' only "hit" and decide whether it was actually a hit or really an error. Since the play wasn't fielded completely cleanly, the door on making the change to an error isn't shut, as FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports.
However, it is technically possible that the scoring decision on the play could be changed from a hit to an error – thus preserving a no-hitter. One replay angle showed that Galarraga may have juggled the ball after receiving the throw from first baseman Miguel Cabrera.
“I want to see it before I say anything,” official scorer Chuck Klonke said late Wednesday night, when told of the additional replay angle. “I want to look at it myself. I’d have to look at how the whole thing developed.”
A no-hitter a day later certainly wouldn't erase the fact that Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game, but it would be a step in the right direction. Although Galarraga deserves to have the call corrected so he gets his perfect game, a no-hitter wouldn't be a terrible consolation prize, especially since I doubt Bud Selig will do anything worthwhile in this matter.
97.1 WXYT Detroit has the audio of umpire Jim Joyce talking about his blown call that cost Armando Galarraga his perfect game. You can check out the audio below.
What should have been the final play of the Tigers' first ever perfect game could still end up making history. Rather than making history for being the third perfect game in the last month or being the 21st perfect outing in MLB history, however, that play could affect Major League Baseball for years to come.
Once we all move past the controversy aspect of the specific blown call and the fact that it cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game, the focus of this whole story will move to two larger debates: 1) whether or not replay should be expanded to correct blown calls like the one we saw Jim Joyce make; and 2) whether or not Bud Selig should go back and give Galarraga a perfect game.
Bless You Boys' Kurt Mensching chimed in on the second point in a letter to Selig and is 100% on the bandwagon calling for MLB's commissioner to correct the call and award Galarraga a perfect game.
Every replay clearly shows the 27th out was made. An emotional Joyce acknowledged his mistake. Everyone on the field, everyone in the media, every one of your millions of fans knows what happened on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
Now you must step in to declare that Galarraga pitched the 21st perfect game in the history of the MLB. Anything less just continues to mock your sport and results in another black eye for a league that has taken it on the chin repeatedly during your time as commissioner.
Will Selig actually do anything so the record books read that Galarraga pitched baseball's 21st perfect game? It's doubtful. I certainly think he should, but the precedent set by a move like that would be unimaginable. I'm sure Selig doesn't want to open that can of worms and would rather just deal with the PR headache until people lose attention and move on.
The right thing to do considering the blown play would have ended the game is to just go back and correct it. While that unforgettable moment after a perfect game happens and the celebration that follows has been permanently taken away from Galarraga, Selig should ensure that the record books will include Armando under the list of pitchers who have thrown a perfect game. I know life's not fair, but it's not like the call was even close. Galarraga clearly beat the runner to first. You know it. I know it. Jim Joyce knows it. And there's no denying Bud Selig knows it too.
It's not often that a person in power in the political world presents an idea that everybody can agree on, but Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm did just that tonight on Twitter.
As governor, I'm issuing a proclamation declaring Galarraga pitched a perfect game!
President Obama is a big baseball fan, so maybe he can pull some strings and get Galarraga the perfect game he deserved to have on Wednesday night.
Armando Galarraga has a lot more class than I do, because if I were in his shoes, my comments on Jim Joyce and his blown call would be beyond nasty. Heck, I'm still bitter over a blown call back in March that kept the Michigan hockey team out of the Frozen Four. I can't even imagine having a perfect game taken away on an obviously blown call, and I certainly can't imagine accepting an apology after the game from the person responsible for blowing the call.
"I give that guy a lot of credit to that guy saying, 'Hey I need to talk to you because I really want to say I'm sorry," Galarraga said. "You don't see an umpire telling you after the game saying 'I'm sorry.' He apologized."
Everyone involved with the Tigers has handled this situation with great class. Jim Leyland's comments after the game were mainly about how Joyce is a great umpire and how mistakes happen. The general theme from all of the comments was that nobody is perfect. The obvious counter to that sentiment is that there is a reason why replay now exists. That whole debate is best left for a separate post, but I have to disagree with Leyland in that regard. He talked about how the human element is what makes baseball great, but tonight, in my opinion, it showcased one of baseball's greatest flaws.
Umpire Jim Joyce addressed his blown call after Wednesday night’s game. He expressed regret and dismay according to Dave Hogg, a Detroit area sportswriter, on twitter.
- Jim Joyce was utterly distraught when we talked to him. “Biggest call of my career, and I kicked the s**t out of it.”
- Joyce said he didn’t know if he would try to talk to Galarraga. “I don’t know what to do. I just cost that kid a perfect game.”
- Joyce: "That wasn't a call. That was a history call. And I missed it from here to this wall."
- Joyce: "I don't blame the Tigers for anything that was said. I don't blame one person a bit."
- Joyce: "If I were Galarraga, I would have been the first one in my face, and he didn't say a word to me."
What a great moment in Comerica: Jim Joyce apologizes to Galarraga, Galarraga accepts, they hug. Class by Joyce, incredible class by the kid.
Below is a video of the entire bottom of the ninth of tonight's Tigers-Indians game. The video includes Austin Jackson's amazing catch in left-center field that kept Armando Galarraga's perfect game alive, as well as umpire Jim Joyce's blown call that subsequently ruined perfection. In all, you could say that the video includes four outs, although the boxscore will only show three officially.
Here are two photos uploaded by Jose3030 that show the blown call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga his perfect game. With two outs in the ninth inning, Jason Donald hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield and it was fielded by Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Galarraga covered first base in Cabrera's absence and clearly beat Donald to the base.
Tigers players and manager Jim Leyland argued the call extensively to no avail. Galarraga retired the next hitter so this blown call was the only thing that stood between him and Major League Baseball's record books.
For all things Detroit Tigers, head over to SB Nation's Bless You Boys.
A Magglio Ordonez single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in two runners, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Austin Jackson scored from second base, and an error by Sin Soo Choo allowed Johnny Damon to score from first.
Looking to do his best Roy Halladay impression, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga has retired the first 24 Indians batters of the game tonight, putting him only three outs away from what would be the third perfect game in Major League Baseball this season and the first ever in Tigers history.
The last no-hitter for the Tigers was thrown by Justin Verlander nearly three years ago. Verlander made Comerica Park history on June 12, 2007, against the Brewers. Will Galarraga make history tonight against the Indians?
Miguel Cabrera hit a home run on a line drive to left field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
From the Tigers’ official Twitter feed:
Tonight’s lineup: Jackson 8, Damon 7, Ordonez 9, Cabrera 3, Boesch dh, Guillen 4, Inge 5, Avila 2, Santiago 6. Galarraga is starting.
(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians will be shooting for back-to-back wins at Detroit's Comerica Park for the first time in nearly two years when the club continues a three-game set with the badly-struggling Tigers tonight in the Motor City.
Cleveland snapped a string of six straight road losses in this series with Tuesday's 3-2 triumph. The victory was also just the Indians' second in their last 12 visits to Comerica Park, where they haven't topped the Tigers on consecutive days since putting together a three-game sweep there from August 25-27, 2008.
Westbrook (3-3) yielded just one run on five hits and a walk in his second- longest outing of the season. The veteran righty, who missed all of 2009 and most of 2008 recovering from Tommy John surgery, has now won three of his last four decisions.
"He looked very relaxed out there -- he threw a lot of first-pitch strikes," said Cleveland manager Manny Acta about Westbrook. "It was a tremendous effort."
Kerry Wood was touched for an unearned run in the ninth, but held on to notch his third save of the year and finish off only Cleveland's fourth win in their last 15 tilts.
Detroit, meanwhile, has now lost eight of its last 10 tests and fell to 1-4 on its current seven-game homestand. The Tigers have scored four runs or less in each of those eight setbacks.
"We all know we are a better team than this, but we just have to keep battling," said Tigers catcher Alex Avila. "It's been a tough stretch for us, but it's the daily grind. That's why you play 162 games."
Detroit faltered again last night despite a good showing from starter Jeremy Bonderman (2-3), who worked eight innings and allowed three runs while scattering nine hits.
The Tigers' slumping offense will attempt to break out in tonight's matchup against the Tribe's Fausto Carmona. The talented right-hander has pitched solidly for his team this season, bringing a 4-3 record and a 3.69 earned run average into this start, but does come in having lost in each of his past two assignments.
Carmona was reached for five runs (three earned) over six innings in a 6-4 home defeat to Cincinnati on May 22, then surrendered four runs in six frames during an 8-2 loss at New York's Yankee Stadium this past Friday.
That defeat to the Yankees was Carmona's lone loss on the road this season, as he's 3-1 with an impressive 2.90 ERA in five away starts. He's also 6-3 with a 3.56 ERA over 15 lifetime encounters with Detroit, 12 of which have been starts.
The Tigers hand the ball to Armando Galarraga tonight for the right-hander's third major league start of the season, and first since May 22. The native Venezuelan will be taking the rotation spot of Dontrelle Willis, designated for assignment by the team last week and traded to Arizona in exchange for pitcher Billy Buckner on Tuesday.
Galarraga pitched well in his 2010 Tigers' debut back on May 16, holding Boston to a run and three hits over 5 2/3 effective innings to gain a win. He wasn't nearly as sharp six days later, though, surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits -- two of which were homers -- before being lifted after 4 2/3 frames of a road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 28-year-old, a surprise 13-game winner for Detroit in 2008, last pitched in relief and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings against Oakland on Friday.
Galarraga has started eight times previously against Cleveland and sports a 3-3 record with a 5.51 ERA versus the Indians.
Tuesday's loss was only Detroit's fifth in its last 23 overall meetings with Cleveland. The Tigers have taken four of the six bouts between the AL Central foes so far this year.
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