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article imageMLB: Tigers' Galarraga robbed from a perfect game

By Michael Bearak     Jun 3, 2010 in Sports
Tuesday night almost saw baseball history again, but this time in Detroit as Armando Galarraga threw the perfect game that never happened.
First it was Dallas Braden, then it was Roy Halladay and on Wednesday it was Armando Galarraga's turn -- he was perfect through nine and two-third innings and on a routine grounder, which Galarraga covered at first base for what was to be the third and final out. The difference was Jim Joyce, the umpire covering first base called the Indian's Jason Donald safe instead of out.
(See video above for the at-bat and call)
The call shocked Galarraga, and the Tigers got the next batter out to end the game and preserve the victory. What it did, though, was take away the perfect game, the first in Tiger's history, from Galarraga. It was the 21st in league history and the third this season. While it might not be correct to "give" Galarraga the perfect game, the replay shows that it was truly a perfect game, except that Galarraga had to face 28 batters instead of 27.
What happened next will link Galarraga and Joyce forever as both men acknowledged what happened. Joyce, at first defended his call, defended his position, but then after reviewing it acknowledged that he made the wrong call.
That isn't what could be considered the best thing Joyce did; after realizing his mistake he went and talked to Galarraga, he apologized for taking history away from him and for the mistake he made. Joyce has 20 some years as being a major league umpire, he has umpired two World Series, and more play-off series. Twice he was selected as the best umpire by the players.
Galarraga accepted it like a gentleman and only spoke nicely of Joyce. Joyce was far more critical of himself saying, "It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the [stuff] out of it. I just cost that kid a perfect game." Joyce had tears in his eyes as the two men talked and afterwards hugged.
Now it will renew demands for instant replay in baseball. There will be reviews on television and of Joyce for days, even weeks to come. In the end, unless the Commissioner, over turns it, it will go down as a shut-out and nothing more.
More about Perfect game, Baseball, Detroit Tigers, Umpire mistakes, Replay baseball
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