I want to apologize. I was wrong. I said that Tigers fans wouldn’t applaud him twenty years from now, as Red Sox fans did for Buckner. Maybe it won’t be exactly like that, but yesterday they clapped for him, at least those fans along the ramp from the locker rooms. And having Gallaraga deliver the line-up card? I don’t even know what to say about this. Simply, it makes me love baseball even more than I do already.
The implications of my title yesterday were that Joyce’s career would end, and it would end in shame of having blown the most important call of his career, and that he would replay the moment with pain into old age.
This is the portrait of Jim Joyce I wanted to include yesterday:
It looks more like a mug shot, appropriate enough for where all this was headed the night before last. After what I have seen and heard and read and read for the past 36 hours, I think this picture is more important.
In James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, we find these words:
“O, Stephen will apologize . ..O, if not the eagles will come and pull out his eyes.”
Jim Joyce needs no eagles. He would have pulled out his own eyes.He entered yesterday’s game with tremendous courage, uncertain about what would happen. I raise my coffee cup, in the mean time, to Detroit’s fans and Jim Leyland.
Let me ask: has anyone seen an umpire this emotional? One of the job qualifications is stoicism. Let us be reminded that if players are flawed, then so are umpires. The game itself is imperfect. Do technology and replays make it perfect? Where does it stop? If steroids are not allowed to “enhance” performance, then why should we allow technology to do the same?
I was wrong about Joyce. And I may be wrong about some comments I posted last night and this morning. I want to see the call overturned. Then I agree with Tito and Theo. It’s an imperfect game. That’s the way it goes. Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. We contain multitudes, to paraphrase Wat Whitman. It’s complicated. Like Gallaraga shifting into overdrive in that new Corvette, the game moves on, as time does. PLAY BALL!!
PS. Wake’s knuckleball was again Knucklehell. Did we expect this series to have as many hits and runs? Without hits with RISP, we can’t sweep any series. But 2 out of 3? I’ll take it. Heading to Baltimore, how about a return of the favor from the last series. Sweep sweep sweep. Go SOX!
If Griffey’s retirement has been overshadowed by the imperfect Perfect Game, we needn’t worry. We have plenty of time to honor one of the greatest players of all time. Sometimes the news cycle goes every which way and important stories are overshadowed. On a personal note, the news of my Great-Grandfather’s death on the front page of the Newark Sunday Call in 1933 was adjacent to the Lindbergh baby’s disappearance.