Joyce: Portrait of the Umpire as an Old Man

If I were from another planet and landed on earth last night, with the assignment of returning home with a report on baseball, I would begin by saying that there are only three humans in the game. That’s one pitcher, one hitter, and one less fit human called an umpire. This umpire, with the ugliest uniform doesn’t sign autographs and is very rarely greeted with the human sound called cheering.The other two players are named Griffey and Gallaraga.

For the first time this season, Joe West is not the most famous(infamous?) umpire in baseball. The 3rd top search on Google for Jim Joyce today is followed by the phrase BLOWN CALL. This will, as it seems now, follow him for the rest of his career. But these things happen in baseball. He will have to live with it, just like Buckner did. But I don’t see Tigers fans giving him a standing ovation twenty years from now.

In the Umpire Rule Book, “umpire dignity” is second only to one other mantra: “make the right call.” After the blown call, Joyce admitted his mistake. This is an example of dignity. As is Jim Leyland’s postgame interview. Last night, Leyland displayed his best. Pure wisdom.

(Before I move on to our Sox, can someone please tell me why the Avis ad on this/my Red Sox blog says “Proud Sponsor of the Yankees.”??? That is almost as incomprehensible as the Memorial Day Hat having a Made in China tag.)

All the reports on Griffey’s retirement made me think of one current Red Sox player, the one who, like Griffey, runs hard after fly balls. The commentary on ESPN repeated how often Griffey was on the DL. More than a majority of the outflield highlights showed Griffey losing the fight with the wall by TKO, as he went down time after time.Is there a clear correlation between risk and durability.Unless this is a case of Fragile Freddy Syndrome, as smartly written about by Chad Finn in yesterday’s Globe. My humble blog advice to Ellsbury is to stop running into the wall(not to mention your teammates), unless it’s the postseason.

Yes, a team from Boston USA, called the Red Sox, my fellow creatures, plays the game..Still
We were all worried about Dice-k, with many fans claiming they would watch with one-eye closed or not at all. Dice-K climbed out of the Dice-Maze and turned the boos (WTFFF–“What the F**K Fenway Fans?”) to cheers loud enough for a cap tip.You know the rest.

In honor of June and summer–Marilyn Reading Joyce:


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