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Thoughts for Thursday: Armando Galarraga – What An Amazing Performance, and What A Rip-Off!

June 2, 2010 · 7 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

Oh my gosh!

I got home Thursday night and caught the last two innings of the Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians game.   Armando Galarraga of the Tigers was pitching in the 8th, and the crowd was going crazy with every out that was made.  I thought ‘that is odd.  We have great fans, but aren’t they kinda screaming a lot over ordinary outs?’.   What I didn’t know is that Galarraga had a perfect game at that point.

So, the Tigers were batting  in the bottom of the 8th, and my heart was racing.  I actually wanted them to get out just so I could get to the 9th inning to watch Galarraga pitch.  Out number 25 was a fantastic play by Austin Jackson in center.  Out number 26 was an ordinary play from short to first.  What SHOULD have been out number 27 was a grounder hit by Jason Donald between first and second.  Miguel Cabrera fielded the ball and tossed it to Galarraga, who was covering first.  It was clear to all who watched that the runner was out.  But, veteran umpire Jim Joyce called the runner safe.  It was absolutely unbelievable.  It was shocking.  Especially after all the instant replays showed that Joyce was clearly out.

However, to me, what was even more astonishing than the bad call was Galarraga’s reaction.  I expected to see Galarraga protesting and screaming.  Instead, he just kinda smiled, and went back to the mound to pitch.  Cabrera was yelling, Manager Jim Leyland came out to protest.  But to no avail.  As everyone knows, in baseball, you never see a call reversed.  This is actually the best example of why instant replay would be helpful in baseball.   (Not sure I actually have a position as to if instant replay should be used in Major League Baseball or not, but I sure wish it could be used for this game.)

I have embedded a video from You tube below.  Watch the video to see both how the runner was out and also Galarraga’s reaction.    I just have to say that Galarraga was not just a fantastic pitcher tonight, but also a true class act.  Jim Joyce, good luck sleeping tonight and living this down.  I sure would not want to be in his shoes, that is for sure.

(Post Script:  I just heard umpire Jim Joyce be interviewed by local radio station WRIF in Detroit.  The poor guy feels so terrible about his flubbed call.  He even said his he has received death threats over this mistake.  Whereas I feel that Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game, the mistake does not justify death threats by any means.   Maybe MLB needs to institute the instant reply just so things do not get out of control like this.  Also, I give Jim Joyce credit for taking the call from the radio station.)

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Reasons June 3, 2010 at 8:22 am

I don’t know why they don’t use instant replay either… Especially in this day and age! And if it’s obvious that the runner is safe, and a mistake was made, then why not overturn the call! I don’t think the reviews would take as long as football…

I’m impressed with Galarraga too, he came across looking like a bigger winner than if the umpire did call the runner out!

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Kris June 3, 2010 at 8:36 am

Hi Money Reasons- I watched the post-game wrap up in depth last night, and manager Jim Leyland kept saying that its all part of the human element of the game and such, blah blah. I do wonder why baseball is the one sport that still embraces this element?

Poor Galarraga, Poor Umpire, I even feel bad for the guy that got the ‘hit’. He didn’t seem too happy he was called safe either. Just a bad situation all around. I just couldn’t stop myself from writing about it while it all unfolded.

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff June 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

I just heard about it this morning at work. I feel sorry for absolutely everybody too. Being married to a ref, I cannot imagine how bad that guy feels. Hubby beats himself up about every mistake he makes and he only deals with middle school and high school games…

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Kris June 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm

BFS – My heart broke for the ump after I heard him on the radio today. Galarraga is going to hand the lineup card to him today as Jim Joyce is the home plate ump.

I would hate to be an ump…

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Squirrelers June 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Class acts all around, considering it should have been a perfect game since the hitter was out. Seems like the pitcher and the umpire ultimately handled the umpire’s mistake in a solid way.

Speaking of Detroit, Everyday Tips, I’m guessing you’re in that area? I’m not from there, but I spent 3 months or so working there on a short-term assignment back in the 90’s (dating myself a bit here). I went to 2 games at the old Tiger Stadium. What a neat place that old ballpark was…you could just feel the history there the minute you walked into the stadium. I was never sure if people in that area liked the old ballpark, but I thought it was pretty cool.

I’m in the Chicago area, and that park reminded me of the old Comiskey Park where I went to games as a kid. Once in a great while I’ll go to games at the new park (which is actually 20 years old, so not new anymore but pretty good), and also at Wrigley Field – another classic, fun place full of old charm.

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Kris June 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Hi Squirreler! Yes, I love about 12 miles north of Detroit. I have been to countless games at Tiger Stadium, I loved it there. You could get cheap tickets to sit in the bleachers and have a good old time. Whereas I like Comerica Park, I really miss Tiger Stadium. Probably because that is where my childhood memories are from, and those are the best.

Thanks for reminding me of some great times! I have never been to any of the Chicago ball parks, but there is a lot of great history there too.

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