Ahh baseball. I’m not sure if it is America’s sport anymore, but that is a topic for a different column. I’m not sure if they should introduce replay, there have been plenty of news folks talking about that.
What I found impressive, and a little disappointing, was the amount of coverage that umpire Jim Joyce received for making a simple apology.
For those who didn’t see it, pitcher Armando Galarraga had a perfect game going. It was the 9th inning, and there were 2 outs. Everyone was holding their breath. Baseball is a superstitious sport. No one talks about perfect games during perfect games. It jinxes it. So by the end, everyone gets very very tense. That was the atmosphere when there was a short bouncer hit toward first. The ball was fielded, and Galarraga went to cover. It was a close play, but the runner was out. Here is the play:
The stadium blew up. The manager blew up. Others players blew up. It was clear immediately that it was a bad call. Everyone knew it, Joyce knew it. So what happened next?
Joyce did what is done far too little these days. He took responsibility for his actions, and he apologized. He didn’t hide it, he didn’t make excuses, he just said he blew it. He was pretty emotional too, the weight of what was going on was not lost on him.
Watch happened next was impressive to watch. A situation that had just blown up, that could potentially be filled with bad feelings, investigations, reports, and reprimands was turned. Instead of it being about the blown call, it was about the apology. Instead of people calling for Joyce’s head, he was praised for his integrity.
2 words. I’m sorry. One guy, making a split second decision, made the right choice.
How many times are we faced with the same decision? Ours isn’t on national television, and it isn’t filled with the same kind of pressure, but we still have to make the split second decision on how to react or handle a given situation. What do you do?