Thursday, June 03, 2010

The thing I hate about baseball


The world is abuzz today with the blown call at the end of last night's Indians-Tigers game that would have given Armando Gallaraga the 21st perfect game in the history of baseball and the third this season. Instantly, Jim Joyce the first base umpire has become "criminal" and his "crass incompetence" has been decried as enough to get the man fired.
This is what I hate. Jim Joyce, Steve Bartman and many others, not actual participants in the game have a brief error in judgment that influences the outcome of a game, and they are instantly vilified. The worst part is that they weren't doing anything wrong, they just made a mistake, but are turned into pariahs by reactionary assholes. Bartman was reaching for a foul ball, as anyone would, Joyce was making what he thought was the correct call at first. It doesn't make either a bad person. They already feel horrible, but we have to keep piling on for no good reason.
Joyce has gone out of his way to express his apologies, to admit he was wrong (hard to do as an umpire) and even contacted Armando Galarraga (who if anything feels worse for Joyce than for himself, it seems), but we all want to brand him as a bad guy because he made a mistake.
Let's make a few things clear. Jim Joyce is a good ump. He is often branded as a player favorite, he has about 20 years of experience, has even gone to the World Series twice. He isn't confrontational, like a Joe West, isn't looking for attention. He was willing to make a tough call in an important situation, and whether you want to admit it or not, this was a close call.
But now, because of one call, he will be forever branded as a bad umpire, and that isn't right.

(Great job, Detroit, welcoming him back with cheers and not jeers.)
(Second parentheses, I would  like to not that the two links at the top were intended to demonstrate normally right minded people throwing stones because of baseball, and not intended to call the writers reactionary assholes)

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