Jim Joyce - Perfect Model For Imperfection (JESSE KURTZ)

By: Jesse Kurtz
By: Jesse Kurtz

The MLB Umpire blew the "call heard 'round the world." But his post-game actions carried a louder and more powerful message.

On Wednesday night, I sat in the press box at Security Service Field and watched Jim Joyce rob Armando Galarraga of a perfect game.  He blew the call!  At first, I was upset that he robbed a pitcher of a moment only 20 other players in history have ever experienced.  Selfishly, he robbed me of witnessing a historic moment too. 

However, 24 hours later... with time to reflect and gain a bit more perspective, I realized Jim Joyce taught us all a valuable lesson... How to own up to a mistake.

Immediately after the game, Joyce manned up to his error with a heartfelt apology to Armando Galarraga.  All to often public figures are too proud to admit fault...  Floyd Landis, Roger Clemens, BP Oil Execs all come to mind.  They hide behind the mountain of evidence against them and play us all like fools.  Joyce wasted no time in expressing his sorrow for the pain his blown call caused.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage to own up to a mistake like Joyce did Wednesday night. 

But his courage didn't stop there.  Joyce showed up for work the next morning with his head held high.   He wasn't about to run from his problem.  Joyce says "he couldn't faced himself" if he didn't show up to the ballpark the next day.... He had a job to do.

The irony of the whole situation is this...  The game of baseball is imperfect on its BEST day.  There is no "game clock".  No one stadium is the same.  Judgment calls are part of the game.  However, the one thing we expect to be consistent, and dare I say "perfect" is the work of the umpires.

Jim Joyce is the first to tell you he isn't perfect.  His imperfection on Wednesday was broadcast around the world. 

However, Joyce WAS perfect in his execution of how to deal with imperfection.  Let's hope his lesson gets the same sort of world-wide attention.

Jesse Kurtz (KKTV Sports Director)

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