Ump impressed with support after blown call

Umpire Jim Joyce is touched by support he has received after his mistaken call lost Detroit pitcher a perfect game

Published June 4, 2010 1:01PM (EDT)

Umpire Jim Joyce, who blew a call that cost a Detroit pitcher a perfect game, says he's impressed with all of the support he's gotten since his blunder.

"Well, I've probably been at an all-time low, and steadily climbing to, I guess, an all time high, I guess," Joyce said in a telephone interview with NBC's "Today" show on Friday.

On Wednesday night, Joyce got the call wrong on what would have been the final out of Armando Galarraga's perfect game. He called Cleveland's Jason Donald safe at first base.

Replays later showed he missed the call, and Joyce admitted he blew it.

He was devastated, and apologized to Galarraga in person and hugged him after the Tigers' 3-0 win Wednesday. Galarraga was also supportive, saying he respected Joyce for apologizing and admitting his mistake.

Galarraga appeared on the CBS "Early Show" Friday and said "nobody's perfect," including the umpire.

"I'm a calm person. At that moment, (I did) not get angry, I was more sad about it," Galarraga said.

Galarraga said he looked at the replays later and realized "Oh my God, it was out. Not even a close play."

He felt empathy for Joyce during their homeplate reunion before Thursday's game.

"He couldn't even talk, he was crying," Galarraga said. "I understand, nobody's perfect."

Joyce said he's gotten encouragement from many quarters.

"Well, it just comes from the support I've received from my family, from the Tigers organization, the Indians organization, Major League Baseball ... and, and to be quite honest with you, the fans from the Detroit area," Joyce said.

NBC's Matt Lauer told Joyce he was going to use the umpire's willingness to admit to his mistake and apologize for it as an example for his kids.

"I think a lot of applause should go to Armando Galarraga," Joyce said. "Because he has been stand-up throughout out the whole thing.

"A bad situation turned into a good situation."

By Associated Press

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