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"I just cost this kid a perfect game"

Perfect games are pretty rare in baseball, not withstanding the fact that there have been two pitched this year, with only 20 being recorded in 135 years of MLB history. This evening Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers appeared to have the 21st perfect game locked up as he covered the throw at first base on on routine ground ball with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. Much to everyone's surprise, first base umpire Jim Joyce called the runner safe. Replays showed conclusively that the runner was out.

You can watch the play itself on MLB.TV

You've got to give credit to Joyce, he apologized to Galarraga after the game after he had a chance to review the replay.

"I just cost that kid a perfect game," Joyce said. "I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay. It was the biggest call of my career."

Galarraga said he gave Joyce a hug when Joyce apologized to him after the game.

"He really feels bad," Galarraga said. "He probably feels more bad than me. Nobody is perfect. I give a lot of credit to that guy. That (an apology) doesn't happen. He apologized. He feels really bad. Nobody is perfect. What am I gonna do? His body language said more than a lot of words. His eyes were watery, he didn't have too say much. His body language said a lot."

Galarraga deserves kudos for handling the situation better than anyone else involved.


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Comments (14)

When I saw the 426 replays,... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

When I saw the 426 replays, I thought the ump must have felt the first baseman didn't have possession - there was no angle which showed the play clearly from the umpire's angle, at least in the many I saw, so I supposed that was the basis for the call.

To the umpire's credit, he didn't lay it off on some judgment like that, but admitted he thought the runner beat the throw. Good for him, too bad for Galarraga.

I disagree with those who want the Commissioner to overrule the call and declare the perfect game. That's not the rule in baseball, and it is always a mistake to change rules retroactively.

No doubt that this goes dow... (Below threshold)

No doubt that this goes down as one of the worst calls in baseball. Ever.

Of course maybe God doesn't want 3 Perfectos within one month of each other. Doing so would just announce the Second Coming way too loudly.

This should be reversed..</... (Below threshold)

This should be reversed..

Worse than some of the blown calls during the World Series Last Year



... Its a shame this record lifetime achievement and players excitement will
never be realized as the other two this year.. DAMN SHAME.

What makes it worth the inj... (Below threshold)

What makes it worth the injustice of the call is to see a professional athlete TRULY behave like a role model--what a gracious gentleman.

"Nobody is perfect," said t... (Below threshold)

"Nobody is perfect," said the young man who pitched a perfect game that won't go into the history books. I give the umpire Joyce credit for admitting his mistake in public. It takes a big man to do that. I give the pitcher Galarraga tremendous credit for accepting the apology with such grace and understanding. I can't remember the last time a professional athlete has impressed me with his behavior like this.

In another example of the "... (Below threshold)

In another example of the "nobody is perfect" thread, the talking head in the video from ESPN said that Don Denkinger's blown call in the 1985 World Series cost the Royals the Series; it wasn't the Royals, it was the Cardinals who were the "victims" in that case.
I do not necessarily agree that the call should be overturned (as a high school baseball umpire, I can sympathize with Joyce a little here) I do not think you can take the game out of the hands of the umpires (good or bad) like that and maintain the integrity of the game. You have to credit Galarraga for his poise, and hope the gods of baseball bless him with another chance.

Both Galarraga and Joyce sh... (Below threshold)

Both Galarraga and Joyce showed something that's been missing from the professional sports world for some time.


Yes, GarandFan, they are bo... (Below threshold)

Yes, GarandFan, they are both winners.
'Hope the kids all saw and remember how they handled the situation.

When kids turn to sports fo... (Below threshold)

When kids turn to sports for their hero's, here are two good men to start with.
Real Class!

Like Dave, I was a high sch... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Like Dave, I was a high school umpire, and I see both sides here. Obviously, there is a strong impulse to ask how the umpire could blow that call, but frankly we all screw up sooner or later, and it's just Joyce's bad fortune to have a brain fart at the worst possible time.

But no, do not reverse the call and here's why. First off, how many other games have been influenced, let alone decided by one call, and let's not forget this was not a call that decided who won or lost a game? If you reverse this, it opens the door to reverse anything, and that turns Baseball into Argu-ball. Players muff catches, so shall we have do-overs when a shortstop commits an error? Shall we have managers get mulligans if they screw up a plan, or catchers get to do-over a pitch hit for a base hit if they realize they should have called for the slider instead of the fastball?


There's no crying in baseball. Perfect games are nice, but they are rare for a reason, and that includes mistakes made by fielders, catchers ... and yes sometimes the umpire.

Oh, and for all those people who think replay would solve everything, there's a reason the players and coaches of MLB never asked for replay to be a regular part of the game, and it includes the fact that no camera has ever been able to completely convey the whole play. MLB tried to use cameras to check the strike zone 35 years ago; to call it a dismal failure would be kind. Even though they will occasionally make mistakes, professional umpires still get it right more than any machine can do, and 99.9% of the people who feel qualified to insult an umpire could not pass the rules test, let alone work a plate correctly for even a PONY league game.

And in the end, Garandfan hit it on the head - Mr Galarraga and Mr Joyce showed the kind of sportsmanship and character that we love in the game, and in the end we should all keep that in mind ahead of statistical trivia.

Both Galarraga and Joyce... (Below threshold)

Both Galarraga and Joyce showed something that's been missing from the professional sports WORLD for some time.


There - fixed it for you

Aacck!!! Preview showed me... (Below threshold)

Aacck!!! Preview showed me comment correctly, but it didn't post that way.

'professional sports' was supposed to be stuck out to read like "...that's been missing from the WORLD for some time..."

He should be awarded the pe... (Below threshold)

He should be awarded the perfect game, but with an asterisk. The asterisk should be for being the only pitcher ever with a no-hitter against 28 batters. All the others have been against 27.

28 up, 28 down.The... (Below threshold)

28 up, 28 down.

They can't take this away from Galarraga.






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