“Nobody’s perfect.” That’s what Detriot Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga told reporters after umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base and cost Galarraga his perfect game in the 9th inning with two outs. After reviewing the replays once the game was over, Joyce admitted he was wrong. He provided a heartfelt apology and wiped tears from his face during the following game.
To put it lightly, baseball fans on twitter and Facebook were generally extremely displeased initially with Jim Joyce and his blown call. His Wikipedia page, which has now been cleaned and locked from edits, was quickly vandalized.
“James A. Joyce III AKA F*****g Jew (October 3 1955 – June 2, 2010) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000…
*COMPLETELY* f****d up Armando Galarraga’s perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 6th, 2002. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball. DUDE NEEDS TO BE FIRED”
While most fans were not as vehement as the vandals on Wikipedia, they were quick to pass judgment on Joyce. Joyce’s actions today proved that those judgments were false, and his mistake was due to simple human error. He was able to overcome the controversial situation by owning up to his mistake and displaying his genuine guilt. He was transparent and honest. One can only wish that politicians were as honest and straightforward as Joyce was. Unfortunately, many politicians prefer making excuses instead of directly addressing the issues they are faced with.
Take the recent controversy with the White House potentially offering Senate candidates Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) and Andrew Romanoff (Col.) jobs to avoid heated primary races. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs mostly avoided questions on the subject on Thursday, only offering some meaningless comments. “The president, as the leader of the party, has an interest in ensuring supporters don’t run against each other in contested primaries,” Gibbs said and stated that contested primaries are not “altogether fun things.” These remarks help the White House put this issue behind them, especially with a President that won votes based on promises for transparency and claimed the moral high ground from previous administrations. By avoiding the issue and entangling into a web of political jargon, the White House creates room for pundits and critics to draw their own assumptions and conclusions.
I have always found it easier to come out with the truth and offer an apology if necessary even in situations where I am not fully at fault. Jim Joyce knew that and won the admiration of many baseball fans by owning up to his mistakes. Even though political situations are far more complicated than a simple safe or out call, politicians can learn an important lesson in limiting political liability by being more honest and learning how to apologize. Under reasonable situations, most voters are willing to accept that nobody is perfect.