We all remember where we were when umpire Jim Joyce botched an easy call, taking a perfect game away from Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga. A collective groan was uttered by baseball fans everywhere as manager Jim Leyland complained, talking to Joyce as Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald stood at first base.
The game is commonly referred to as the “Imperfect Game” by many who wish to see Galarraga’s name in the history books. Now, it will be.
MLB has decided to award a perfect game to Galarraga, who hasn’t pitched since 2012 and officially retired this past December. It’s only fair that, considering the new rules of instant replay surely would have overturned the call at first base, Galarraga gets what he rightfully deserves.
Philip Humber, another generally mediocre pitcher who threw a perfect game as a member of the Chicago White Sox in 2012, unexpectedly retired on March 29 and immediately called MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, according to reports.
“I had to advocate for Armando,” said Humber, who felt bad for the Tigers righty. “I know how awesome it feels to throw a perfect game. The elation is just incredible. I felt terrible that Armando wasn’t able to celebrate appropriately.”
Commissioner Manfred said that, after much thought and discussion with owners, general managers, players, and coaches, it was only right to award Galarraga with the perfect game.
“The kid pitched his heart out that night. It’s not fair for human error to determine the outcome of a historic game like that,” said Manfred.
Joyce, who later apologized after watching the video replay and realizing what a horrible mistake he made, was thrilled. “After receiving death threats and shedding many tears over the years, knowing that I screwed up that kid’s perfect game, it’s comforting to know that MLB changed the ruling,” Joyce said. “I still can’t take back that awful call, and I’m sure I will always be haunted by the memory, but this certainly helps a little bit.”
Galarraga, via text, said, “Now I can pop the champagne. I wish I had been able to celebrate with my teammates but I’m glad I’m now in the record books. I just wish they hadn’t made this ruling on April Fools’ Day. LOL!”
Despite adding Gallaraga’s perfect game to the record books, the number of perfect games in history remains at 23. That’s because, in a strange and somewhat cruel twist, Commissioner Manfred got into a bit of a reviewing-perfect-games rabbit hole and ended up revoking Humber’s, saying, “Brendan Ryan didn’t swing at that last pitch, and it was three feet outside. Ball four, perfect game out the window. Oh, and Chone Figgins probably would have followed the walk with an RBI double, so Humber doesn’t get a no-hitter or shutout either. And let’s be real — once he lost the no-hitter and shutout, they’re not going to leave him out there to finish blowing the game, so his only career complete game is gone too.”
When reached for comment, Humber said, “Wait, what?!?”