The Perfect Reaction
On the night Jim Joyce made himself a household name, what stood out to me was the reaction of Armando Galarraga. After Joyce absolutely shit all over Galarraga’s perfect game, did the pitcher freak out and accost Joyce? Did he throw his glove and act petulant, something, considering the circumstances, that would’ve been completely understandable? Nope. Instead, Galarraga offered a picture-perfect smile, one that hid a myriad of messages. Things like, “You sure?” or “Now, now. Perhaps you should take another look.”
One thing it didn’t contain was malice.
Obviously, the pitcher knew he had beaten Jason Donald to the bag — in fact, everyone besides Joyce knew what the call should’ve been — but instead of exploding in a ball of reactive emotion, Galarraga simply smiled. Joyce himself admitted he would’ve jumped in an umpire’s face if the circumstances were reversed, making Galarraga’s reaction almost as perfect as the game he was robbed of. Check out the audio below.
By most accounts, the Tigers and their staff have pretty much forgiven Joyce, especially Galarraga. Naturally, the call for further use of instant replay has been trumpeted loudly since Joyce’s blown call; something Jim Leyland does not support.