I feel bad for everybody – like Armando Galarraga, who was denied a perfect game by what turns out to have been a missed call by an ump. In the same vein, when I see a stupid characterization like Jerry Crasnick offered for Jim Joyce – I feel bad for Joyce too. Consider (from the Crasnick piece):
After umpire Bill Hohn displayed some egregiously bad judgment in ejecting Houston pitcherRoy Oswalt in the third inning of a game with Washington last week, Major League Baseball vice president Bob Watson made it clear that Hohn could expect to be addressed in a “very stern” way.
The commissioner’s office might have to invent a new adjective for the conversation that Mike Port, MLB’s vice president of umpiring, is about to have with Jim Joyce.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that two themes have predominated in the first two months of the baseball season — perfect games and questionable umpiring. For one mind-blowing, Twilight Zone-esque sequence of events Wednesday night, those dual storylines coalesced in the Comerica Park infield.
Wow, someone has the fever! Did he Joyce miss the call? Of course he did. Watching it in real time, it was a nonobvious play – but the Cleveland batter was out by a good enough margin to not miss the call. But he missed the call – and he was the first to admit it. He has shown nothing but class - compared to the disgraceful Joe West. So somehow the outrage here is pretty misplaced. I mean, calls are missed all the time, and this one was an inconsequential call in a game the Tigers were going to cruise in. There have been 20 perfect games in history, but you’d be hard pressed to name but a couple.
I feel bad that someone got screwed out of a perfect game by fate, but a whole hog investigation is stupid. Considering that I lived through the 2002 Western Conference Finals, and Eric Gregg against the Braves among others, this is pretty small potatoes. In real time, this was not an easy call – I’m sorry it just wasn’t. And this was not a game critical call, let alone a playoff tilting one. Fortunately Bud did the right thing.