Co-Authors Jim Joyce, Armando Galarraga in Perfect Mess With Book Deal
The most enduring baseball story of 2010 might just be Jim Joyce's blown call that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game and how the two men handled it.
But now we must say this: Joyce should never again umpire one of Galarraga's games.
Not because of the blown call, per se. But because Galarraga and Joyce are now business partners.
Atlantic Monthly Press on June 2 will release "Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History," a book in which Joyce and Galarraga are listed as co-authors, along with with Daniel Paisner.
Joyce did wonders for the integrity of umpires by admitting he blew the call at first base. Now he must maintain his integrity by skipping all Diamondbacks games.
Is there any way in which Joyce could make a call in one of Galarraga's games that would cause people to buy the book and help them both make money?
Not really, not without some strong use of the imagination.
Nonetheless, baseball must consider the appearance of impropriety. The first time Galarraga got a favorable call from Joyce, right or not, the other team could point to the book deal. Major League Baseball needs to make sure that doesn't become an issue.
This is no different than if an active player and active umpire decided to start a sports bar together, or opened a car dealership. They both profit from the same business.
(MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said the commissioner's office is looking into the arrangement between Joyce and Galarraga.)
There is a precedent. Umpire Jim Wolf and Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf are brothers. Jim can work Milwaukee games (or whichever team Randy is on) but can't be the home-plate umpire when Randy pitches.
Problem is, Galarraga may not be a starter; the Diamondbacks -- who traded for Galarraga on Jan. 24 after the Tigers designated him for assignment -- said Galarraga will compete for a rotation spot.
If he makes Arizona's roster as a reliever, then how can MLB schedule Joyce to work the plate in ANY Diamondbacks game? If that happens, either his crew will have to miss Arizona all year, or he will have to be replaced for any Diamondbacks series.
It's a shame, really, that this book happened. If it didn't, every time Joyce and Galarraga shared the field, we would be reminded of the sportsmanship and class both showed last year.
But they should never share the field again.