Last night, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians. But, longtime umpire Jim Joyce made one of the worst calls of his career, and it happened to come at a very crucial and potentially significant time.
"It just happened that he made an inaccurate call at a bad time," McClelland said of Joyce.
Joyce has worked in the majors since 1987, umping two All-Star games, six division series', three championship series, and a two World Series'. Despite all that, he is human, like the rest of the umpires, who sometimes make bad calls.
I feel just as bad for Galarraga as I do for Joyce, who knowingly admitted to making the wrong call after the game last night.
"I had a great angle on it. I had great positioning on it. I just missed the damn call," a dejected Joyce said Wednesday night. "I thought he beat the play."
This play certainly calls into question the need for instant replay, but to what extent? To me, replay should be used to distinguish between home run calls, balls that are fair or foul down the line, and close calls on the base path.
However, the human factor to baseball holds on to the games roots and moving towards full on instant replay may take something away from the spectacle. If instant replay is ever implemented, it should only be allowed to be used if the umpires feel it is necessary.
One last thing on the game, though. Because the missed call would have been the last play of the game, and no runs scored because of it and the outcome of the game stayed the same, Commissioner Bud Selig could overturn the call and award Galarraga with the perfect game, which would be the third one this season. It's the right thing to do.