Thursday, June 3, 2010

Setting the Record Straight

By now, anyone that follows baseball knows that Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game last night on a bad call by umpire Jim Joyce. If you are not aware of what happened, you can read game reports at Yahoo Sports and The short version is Armando Galarraga was one out away from pitching a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called the Cleveland hitter safe at first. What should have been the last out of a perfect game masterpiece instead will forever be remembered for the horrible call that denied a young pitcher of a place in baseball immortality. This call was the topic of discussion on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike radio show this morning but the discussion wasn't only about the missed call in last night's Tigers - Indians game. Jim Joyce's mistake opened the door to revisit Don Denkinger's missed call in the 1985 World Series. The radio hosts and guests erroneously pointed out that Denkinger's call cost the St. Louis Cardinals the 1985 World Series. Today's entry is an effort to once again set the record straight on Denkinger's call.

When Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe last night the perfect game was lost. No matter what Armando Galarraga did from that point forward he had no chance to restore the perfect game. The umpire's blown call irrevocably cost Galarraga a place in baseball history. What many fans and people in the media fail to realize is this is not what happened the to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Two years ago, I wrote an entry on Game 6 of the 1985 World Series telling Cardinals fans to stop whining about Don Denkinger call costing them the World Series. If you are one that believes the mythology that Don Denkinger's missed call is the reason the Royals won the 1985 World Series, check out "Stop Crying Cardinals Fans." Unlike Galarraga last night, the umpire's missed call in the 85 Series did not irrevocably rob the Cardinals of a championship. Denkinger's call had nothing to do with the routine foul ball that Jack Clark and Darrell Porter didn't catch, the wild pitch that Todd Worrell uncorked, or the Cardinals unprofessional performance in game 7.

Jim Joyce's call was a permanent denial of Armando Gallaraga's effort to pitch a perfect game. Sadly for Gallaraga, he didn't have a chance to redeem himself after the call. The Cardinals had many chances after Denkinger's call and blew each one of them. Gallaraga can place the blame on Joyce. The Cardinals had no one to blame but themselves.

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