Surely 54-year-old Jim Joyce had a hard time sleeping last night. The American League umpire’s missed call at first base — with two outs in the ninth inning — cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga the rare accomplishment of a perfect game.
By all accounts, Joyce is a highly competent umpire who simply blew it on this occasion. And in humility not often seen among professional umpires, he admitted his failure and has apologized profusely for his error.
After seeing the replay in the locker room, Joyce sought out Galarraga to express his deep regret. The pitcher who was denied a well-deserved place in baseball history was gracious.
“You don’t see an umpire after the game come out and say, `Hey, let me tell you I’m sorry,’ ” said Galarraga, according to ESPN. “He felt really bad. He didn’t even shower.”
While sports talk shows are abuzz this morning with debates over the pros and cons of video replays in baseball officiating, a better use of this experience would be to ponder the reality of human frailty and the divine impact of forgiveness.
Executive editor / publisher at Good Faith Media.