Umpire Jim Joyce’s fateful call that blew Armando Galarraga’s perfect game on June 2 has most likely landed him on most top ten lists of Worst Calls by a sporting official. However, that didn’t stop the players from voting him as baseball’s best umpire.
I’m a skeptical guy by nature, never accepting anything at face value. Knowing this vote took place after the perfecto debacle, I have to think that one of these statements is true:
- The players decided to band together and show true support for a good umpire who is going through a hard time because of a very bad call he made.
- A majority of players do really believe that Jim Joyce is the truly the best umpire out there regardless of the mistake he made.
I’m not in favor of skewing results of polls, surveys and such to push an agenda even if it seems a noble one but such as it is. The truth is, Joyce has been around since 1987 and is considered one of the best. He’s officiated one All-Star game, six Division Series, three League Championship Series and two World Series. In short, he’s a seasoned veteran.
Consistent with their support of Joyce, an overwhelming 86% felt that the play at first base during Galarraga’s perfect game should NOT be overturned.
Really? I mean I can see the argument for either side but 86%!?
The survey that the players took (100 players participated confidentially) had some other interesting results. The worst umps? CB Bucknor and Joe West. West’s bad grade may be because he was also rated as having the “quickest hook”.
Overall, the players weren’t so hot on the idea of instant replay. On fair vs foul calls, only 36% were in favor. When asked about replay for baserunning plays, it went down to 22%.