First base Umpire Jim Joyce missed a bang-bang call during a Tigers-Indians game. That call affected the outcome of a game which so few people get to experience - a perfect game. Upon seeing the replay over and over again, Jim Joyce did the right thing and recognized his error in judgment.
Apologizing for his missed call, Jim Joyce showed class and professionalism. He ate the humble pie. What is memorable from this occasion and a day after of "cooling off," Jim Leyland, players, announcers, and the fans all recognize how difficult it is to officiate. It's amazing how everyone felt bad for the pitcher and the umpire. What was rewarding for those who love sports was the sportsmanship shown by the Tigers and the Detroit fans the next day.
Jim Joyce was an outstanding baseball player at Central Catholic and went on to play at BGSU. His love for the game continued after college, started umpiring everything he could, went to camps, got seen, and was given a chance to officiate professionally and give back to a game he loves. This play, this situation, this moment will stay with him. And he will learn from it. All officials can learn from this situation.
As someone who has officiated thirty years of basketball and the last eight as a volleyball official, every game and every match has been different. There are no easy games. Judgment is subjective. You learn something from every game you officiate. The more you officiate, the greater the chance of making the "correct" call, consistently. Actually, officials know that we are only as good as our next call. For Jim Joyce, his next game was good. Behind the plate the next game, those involved with the game said he did a good job.
The Ten Commandments etched in stone - nonnegotiable. The perfect game tossed by Armando Galarraga, on June 2, should be included in the history of baseball, the umpire charged with an error. (I admire him for admitting he was wrong). The pitcher missed being carried off the field on the shoulders of his Tiger teammates. Let's at least give him credit for this notable and well earned accomplishment. In my book, it's going down as a perfect game with an asterisk.
My husband suffered a sudden, massive heart attack at a Whitmer varsity baseball game 10 days ago. He survived in large part thanks to two fast-acting trainers from Promedica's Sports Care and to the defibrillator Whitmer purchased. We cannot begin to thank the trainers, coaches, and players who were there that night, but also the staff at Whitmer who put health before cost concerns and purchased that equipment.
With sports programs suffering budget cuts, I'm certain the additional cost of emergency medical equipment is last on the list. My family would just like to let the community know that these machines and qualified trainers are an essential part of any athletic program. Less than 10 percent of people who have a sudden, massive heart attack outside of a hospital survive, but basic CPR training and a defibrillator can increase those odds dramatically. Please encourage your school to make both a priority.
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