What If Jim Joyce Hadn’t Apologized?

The Call Heard ‘Round the World!

There’s no question umpire Jim Joyce blew that call at first base. It would’ve been the 27th consecutive out and a perfect game for Detroit Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga.

In an unprecedented act of contrition, Joyce called in reporters immediately after the game and once he had seen the video replay. The well respected umpire laid his heart out on the table. He admitted he was wrong and called it the biggest call of his long career. (Click on the video below for his remarks.)

“I missed the damn call,” he confessed. “This is a history call…and I took a perfect game from that kid over there, who worked his a__ over there all night.”

But, the call will stand. Galaragga will not get his perfect game.

Jim Joyce did not have to say anything at any time after that game. Knowing his call was final, he could’ve refused to talk. And if he had, his life would be made miserable everywhere he goes the rest of this baseball season. But Joyce did the right thing. He made a huge, historic mistake, and faced it head-on.

The next day, he was back on the field, this time calling balls and strikes behind home plate. Pitcher Galaragga brought out the Detroit line-up card before the first pitch. Joyce cried. Fans cheered…for both of them. Jim Joyce had been forgiven by the hometown crowd.

The controversy continues, focused on whether to expand video replay reviews to the game; it’s not directed at Joyce. He has been rightfully lauded for immediately “manning up.”

How many examples of people can you recall who failed to do what this umpire has done so quickly and sincerely?

Next time you have bad news to confront, remember Jim Joyce. And keep this in mind:

Contrition delayed is forgiveness denied.

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