In a classy gesture meant to show the world the Tigers had moved on from the night before, manager Jim Leyland had pitcher Armando Galarraga -- instead of Leyland or a coach -- bring the lineup card to the home-plate umpire.
That umpire was Jim Joyce, whose clearly blown call at first base the night before, with two outs in the ninth inning, cost Galarraga a perfect game. Overnight, it became the hottest topic in American sports, and maybe the country at large.
Leyland said he wanted to prevent any negative fan reaction to Joyce.
"This guy is an outstanding umpire. I just really think it's a day for Tigers fans to really show what we are all about in a positive way. I really believe that, and I hope that they do. I don't know that they will, but I hope they do. I'm going to try and push for it as much as I can.And as angry as fans, especially Tigers fans, were at the call, it was clear no one was more shaken than Joyce. Even as he stepped on the field -- he apparently turned down Major League Baseball's offer to take the day off -- Joyce had tears in his eyes.
"The guy had every bit of integrity. He faced the music. He stood there and took it. What else can he do? I just don't believe in beating people up like that. If he would have been there and been defiant, and said 'No, I got it right,' and all this and that, and looked at it afterward and said, 'Well, yeah, I missed it,' well that's one thing. But this guy was a mess, I mean a freaking mess. I'm talking about sincere. There was nothing phony about it. This guy was a mess. My heart goes out to him."
A few minutes earlier, to recognize Galarraga's accomplishment, the Tigers presented him with a 2010 Corvette.
Joyce was still emotional as Galarraga came to the plate, and after a brief exchange of lineup cards, Joyce patted Galarraga on the shoulder, as if to say, "Thanks, buddy."
Galarraga and Leyland have forgiven Joyce. It's quite an example to set.