Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Imperfect umpiring; Griffey retires
I feel for Armando Galarraga, who would have had a perfect game tonight had Jim Joyce gotten the call right on the 27th batter.
And I feel for Joyce, generally regarded as one of the better umpires. It was not — at least for a well-trained major league umpire — a particularly difficult call. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it; it wasn't a case where he was looking at the feet but the out made on a tag.
Joyce should have gotten it right. He didn't. And in a different era, we wouldn't be as certain that he got it wrong as we are.
That said, I reject the Joe Morgan contention that umpires should favor the pitcher throwing a not-hitter or perfect game. The umpires should be trying to make the right call, no matter who it favors. Joyce failed, but it was an honest failure.
The second shoe from the Griffey-napping story fell today. Ken Griffey Jr. retired, saying he never wanted to be a distraction.
He was no longer a productive player, and he was no longer playing.
A great player, a joy to watch. I will remember him from his first tour of duty with Seattle. And for throwing out Michael Cuddyer at home in Game 163 of the 2008 season, when Junior was with the White Sox.