- Thursday, June 3, 2010 1:55 AM
- Written By: Steve Silver
Jim Joyce – welcome to baseball infamy.
Sure, probably only a handful of diehard baseball nuts had even heard of Jim Joyce or pitcher Armando Galarraga before Wednesday night, but the two will now forever be linked in one of the worst robberies since the days of Bonnie and Clyde.
In case you have been living under a rock or in fact have a life besides incessantly checking sports websites, here is the skinny:
Random Detroit pitcher is one out from a perfect game. These are rare. So rare in fact that only 20 other people have EVER thrown one. So it’s kind of a big deal. Cleveland batter grounds between first and second, the first baseman throws to Galarraga covering the bag for a rather routine out. Only one this night, on this one career-defining play the good old man in blue decides he is going to make a safe call. (You can check out a game recap and a video of the botched call here.)
Video replay confirms what everyone except union-protected and apparently blind Jim Joyce already knew; the runner was out – by a lot.
I am the first to admit that I’m not a baseball guy. So here are the words of one of the country’s biggest baseball guys, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. Kepner wrote that, “Joyce’s decision is easily the most egregious blown call in baseball over the last 25 years.”
After watching the replay himself, Joyce has since admitted he made the wrong call. But guess what? That’s just not good enough for America’s former favorite pastime because the sport embraces change as if it were the plague.
This is a perfect example as to why Major League Baseball needs instant replay.
The main complaint is that it would lengthen an already snooze-fest of a game. While this might be true, using instant replay a few times a game won’t do too much. I mean what's three hours and 15 minutes versus three hours?
Look at the NFL, NHL, NBA and even professional tennis. Replay slows the game a bit, but fans and players are more than willing to accept that in exchange for a correct call.
While we’re at it, what about a shot clock for pitchers and batters? Nobody needs more than 20 seconds to prepare for the next pitch.
If the MLB really wanted to make this situation right it would overturn Joyce’s boneheaded call, give Galarraga his perfect game and punish their union-protected umpire for incompetence.
Bud Selig, if you need me, I’ll be watching hockey where the referees are actually in shape, use instant replay and are held accountable for their mistakes.