Sunday, June 06, 2010

Crying And Being Contrite For Missed Call Doesn't Make Jim Joyce A Hero

From one extreme to another. There hasn't been much in-between when it comes to umpire Jim Joyce and The Missed Call.
On Wednesday night, after costing pitcher Armando Galarraga, the Tigers and the State of Michigan a perfect game by calling the Cleveland Indians' Jason Donald safe when he was so obviously out, Joyce was a villian in this town.
Now he is a hero.
He was booed the following day. Today, he would likely be cheered. What's next? Is he going to be presented with a new car, too?
I'm all for Joyce being a standup guy. I don't think for a moment any of it was fake when he cried a river of tears following The Missed Call. I do have empathy for him - a lot of it. And I did defend him vehemently for more than three hours on the radio immediately following the broadcast of the game, from the standpoint of his feeling bad and being contrite - and reasoning with fans they shouldn't take their disappointment to an extreme.
But lets be honest here. Joyce had little choice but to admit he was wrong. And in truth, the degree of sympathy he is getting is taking away from the real standup people in this instance - Galarraga and the Tigers. They could have been bitter, but weren't.
The best umpires are the ones that aren't noticed. Joyce got noticed for the wrong reason. He made what was arguably the worst call in baseball history.
That he confessed about it is hardly heroic nor novel. The replay says it all.
Guess it's a classic study in human nature. Sometimes balance gets lost in a sea of emotion.



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