Jim Joyce Is America’s Sweetheart

Senior Writer
06.03.10 35 Comments

UPDATE: Jim Joyce is behind the plate for today’s Tigers/Indians game, and he came out with the waterworks flowing. Armando Galarraga presented the Tigers’ lineup card to Joyce, who then really turned on the tears. You almost feel bad for him until you watch the video below, which has been updated with a working copy.

Armando “Not So Big Cat” Galarraga flirted with history last night, as he was vying for the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history, the unprecedented third perfect game of this early season, and the first in Detroit Tigers history. But with two outs, Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald hit a weak grounder to second that was cut off by Miguel Cabrera, whose throw to Galarraga covering first appeared to be in time. But veteran umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe, and for the first time ever, the city of Detroit knew the meaning of sad.

Joyce’s insanely stupid bonehead call not only cost Galarraga his perfect game, but a no-hitter as well, leaving the 28-year old Venezuelan with a stinky old complete game shutout. Joyce was booed by Detroit fans throughout the final at-bat for Cleveland, and Detroit manager Jim Leyland put down his pack of Camel Wides long enough to give Joyce an earful, before the 23-year umpire was escorted off the field. After the game, Joyce watched the replay and made a humble admission of guilt for his blind-as-a-bat idiotic doodie-for-brains call.

Spurn your own, MLB.com:

Joyce blew a call, the most important of his life, and he knew it.

“It was the biggest call of my career and I kicked the [stuff] out of it,” he said. “I just cost that kid a perfect game after he pitched his [butt] off all night.”

“I had a great angle, and I missed the call,” he said. “I really thought he beat the ball. At that time, I thought he beat the ball. After I heard from the Tigers, who had obviously seen a replay, I asked the guy in the room to cue up the play as soon as we got in here, and I missed it from here to that wall.”

Galarraga, all things considered, handled the amazingly mind-blowingly batsh*t call with maturity and decency, as he offered only a smile after he realized that Donald was called safe. After the game, and after hearing Joyce’s admission, Galarraga commented: “He apologized. He feels really bad. Nobody is perfect.” See what he did there?

Despite his turd-a-riffic Corky-esque call of epic lunacy, Joyce is widely considered one of the best umpires in baseball. Upon hearing of this debacle, umpire Joe West called a press conference and took credit for the BP oil spill.

In case you just were just melted from a 2,000-year frozen slumber, here’s the call in question:

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