Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This week's perspective from Bob Reid:

Armando Galarraga was pitching for the Detroit Tigers at their home field, Comerica Park. Jim Joyce was the first base umpire. Galarraga caught a pop-up by Cleveland’s Jason Donald, jogged over to first base with the ball in his mitt and stepped on the bag. Joyce called Donald safe. Everybody went nuts. Well, controversial calls happen all the time, right? Trouble is, Galarraga was not only clearly there well ahead of the runner, but he also happened to have been pitching what everyone else in the stadium knew was the first perfect game in Tigers history. Joyce defended his call. The game ended with Galarraga denied. Then he watched the replay. Uh-oh. Now, we all make mistakes, but when you make one in the public eye and media spotlight, how do you handle it? That’s why TD&F is here. And on this one, we’re here to give the hapless ump an unequivocal Touchdown for what he said – and did – next. He asked for the chance to go speak with Galarraga immediately, and he did. Told him, tearfully, that his call was dead wrong, and that he couldn’t be more sorry for his error. Then he manned up right away to the media: “It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the @#$ out of it. I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.” No waffle, no excuses, no nothing but a painfully honest admission of human fallability. Galarraga was gutted, but ultimately equally graceful in his acceptance of Joyce’s apology. Everybody wins.

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