Sure, Major League Baseball should, and after Wednesday’s botched call will likely, go to video replays on close calls like this one to get it right. MLB currently only does this for homeruns.
But what happened after the imperfect ending of what should’ve been the record third perfecto of the season was…………………………perfect.
A display of good sportsmanship, dignity, class and honor that’s, more often than not, missing in this day and age of the pampered, spoiled, billionaire pro athletes who seem to have a sense of entitlement that they’re above the rest of us mortals.
The 22-year veteran of calling balls, strikes and outs at the major league level went into the umpires’ locker room and watched replays of what, obviously, was a terrible call on his part. Joyce owned up to his monumental error at the press conference following the game you can listen to by clicking the link above. Basically, this is what he said.
It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the sh**t out of it. I just cost that kid a perfect game. He worked his ass off for it and I blew it.
Joyce went to Galarraga and apologized for taking history away from him. Galarraga responded this way.
We’re all human. You don‘t see an umpire after the game come out and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you I‘m sorry‘. He felt really bad. I feel sad. I just watched the replay 20 times and there‘s no way you can call him safe.
Give Galarraga credit. He didn’t make the big club after Spring Training broke because he had the tendency to have a bad attitude. It’s obvious Galarraga learned his lesson since being called up from the minors just two weeks ago.
The honorable way both handled the situation spilled over into Thursday with Joyce working as home plate umpire for the series finale between Cleveland and Detroit. Galarraga presented Joyce with the Tigers‘ line-up card. Joyce took the card from the pitcher with tears in his eyes. Each exchanged smiles and Joyce gave the pitcher a “tap on the shoulder” before he returned to the dugout.
And they moved on……………
It’s a lesson for all of us. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I made a mistake.”
Commissioner Bud Selig should learn from these guys and show the same sportsmanship. You don’t want to take the human element out of any game. But, when you have the technology to right a wrong immediately, especially when it’s as obvious as Joyce’s blown call is, you go to the replay booth which clearly shows the error, and overturn the ruling on the field.
Joyce would’ve been off the hook for his error. Galarraga, and baseball fans, would be sharing an incredibly historic moment for the kid.
Selig should’ve done this the following day. He decided not to. Selig didn’t own up to the mistake. The game stands as is.
There’s another error that should be overturned.
Every other major sports league takes advantage of modern technology to a certain extent so as to not remove the human element. Writing this article I’ve taken advantage of the “spell-check” function on my lap-top. By the way, you’re welcome.
The point is, if you have the tools to fix it, why keep it broken. Humans improve and invent technology, not to remove the human element, but to make it that much better and easier to get through everyday life, be it a baseball game or flying across oceans and time zones to visit the rest of the human world.
If baseball didn’t take advantage of modern technology, players would still be wearing heavy wool uniforms and playing with gloves taken from wood sheds.
After all, doesn’t the saying usually go, “Change is Good.” Just look at the refreshing change from the norm both Galarraga and Joyce took, thanks to their humanity……………with a little help from modern technology.