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article imageOp-Ed: Ump Joyce is right as World Series game ends on walk-off call

By Marcus Hondro     Oct 27, 2013 in Sports
The ump got it right. He was obstructed, he was safe. The first time in World Series history that a game ended on a walk-off call and the league, and fans, have the satisfaction of knowing it was the right call.
Naturally there are a healthy amount of Boston Red Sox fans - read, virtually the entire Red Sox Nation - disputing the St. Louis Cardinals dramatic 5-4 win in the bottom of the ninth. But for third base-ump Jim Joyce there was no other call.
Jim Joyce: blew 2010 perfect game
It would have been one thing to to have ignored Will MIddlebrooks lying directly in runner Allen Craig's path. After all, it could be said he was legitimately there after diving to try and snare catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia's errant throw (though the rules give no leeway as to how a fielder got in the way, they simply say obstruction is obstruction).
But of course the crime Middlebrooks committed which could never be ignored was that while he lay stomach down he raised both legs up at the knee. There's no reason to have done so, had he been trying to get up he would have used his arms and upper-body to drag his legs up. He raised his legs up at the knee to trip up Craig, which is precisely what he managed to do. Without having done so, Craig would've been safe at home and we'd have had the same result we now have.
You have to call that.
Jim Joyce has gotten calls wrong before. You'll recall he was the ump who wrongly took away Detroit Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga's perfect game on June 2, 2010 when he called Cleveland Indian Jason Donald safe on an infield ground-ball. Donald, who would have been the final out in a perfect game, was clearly out and Joyce later apologized to Galaragga, tearfully, for getting the call wrong.
He need not apologize this time and the Cardinals, rightly, go into Sunday's game 4 at Busch Stadium poised to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Series. If they do so they could be World Series Champions again by Monday night.
Should the Cards go on to win the World Series the Red Sox Nation will gripe about it for eternity and should the Cards win it all in either Game 6 or 7 back in Beantown expect a near-riot. And chalk it up to poor sportsmanship, not Jim Joyce.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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