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.