Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jim Joyce Doesn't Know Why He's Home for Playoffs

With the 2010 MLB Playoffs now in full swing, only the league's best teams are still playing. The same is true of umpires. After a season-long evaluation, the top-rated umpires get to work the postseason. Unfortunately for Jim Joyce, the ump who blew an historic call earlier this year that cost Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game, he won't be working these playoffs.

"Yeah, I was surprised that they didn't pick me," says Joyce, who enjoys Christmas lighting as a hobby and once was told that he might be related to Irish author James Joyce, according to
his MLB profile page. "Maybe there was some type of technical glitch or clerical oversight. When you really think about it, I had a helluva good season as an ump. I should be working these playoffs, not stuck at home like the Pittsburgh Pirates."

You might think that sitting at home and watching the MLB playoffs wouldn't be all that bad, but Joyce has found it maddening. "I've seen so many blown calls on TV, it's unbelievable," says Joyce. "Did you see what Paul Emmel did to
Jason Heyward in the 9th inning of Game 3 in the Braves-Giants series? Heyward took five pitches and instead of getting a walk, Emmel inexplicably called it a strikeout. The only way I'd say Emmel got that entire at-bat right would be if it were Opposite Day.

"And what was Hunter Wendelstedt thinking in Game 2 of Yanks-Twins when he didn't ring up
Lance Berkman in the 7th inning? I have no idea," says Joyce. "Or how about both Jim Wolf and Jerry Meals missing that check swing call on Michael Young in the Rays-Rangers series? I really felt bad for Joe Maddon, and believe me, when Maddon was giving Wolf the business, I was right there with him standing and screaming at my TV for both Wolf and Meals to get their heads out of their butts." 

Historic mistake: On June 2, 2010, Jim Joyce calls the runner safe even though he was obviously out. Perhaps the most infamous blown call in MLB history, Joyce single-handedly cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Could this be the reason he's not allowed to ump in this year's playoffs?

Despite Joyce's frustrations with not being in the playoffs and having to watch other umps consistently miss critical calls, he tries to keep things in perspective. "Being a major league baseball umpire is a tough job. It's not like being an NFL ref, where you can basically just make any call you want and then let the cameras bail you out on a replay."

When asked if his blown call that cost Armando Galarraga a once-in-a-lifetime chance at the record books might be why he didn't receive a high enough umpire rating, Joyce scoffs at the notion. "Look, that was an honest mistake, and I've apologized for ruining that kid's shot at baseball immortality," he explains. "Besides, Galarraga isn't even in these playoffs. And if he were, I'd be sure to give him a make-up call or two." 


bigyaz said...

God, this is beyond stupid. Did they run this in your junior high newspaper?

Greg McConnell said...

Jim Joyce, is that you?