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.
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: