DETROIT -- Armando Galarraga squeezed the ball in his mitt, stepped on first base with his right foot and was ready to celebrate the first perfect game in Detroit Tigers' history.Read the rest here.
What happened next will be the talk of baseball for the rest of this season and likely a lot longer.
Umpire Jim Joyce emphatically called Cleveland's Jason Donald safe and a chorus of groans and boos echoed in Comerica Park.
Then Joyce emphatically said he was wrong.
"It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the (bleep) out of it," Joyce said, looking and sounding distraught as he paced in the umpires' locker room. "I just cost that kid a perfect game."
"I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay," he said after the Tigers' 3-0 win.
It's rare for an umpire to acknowledge a mistake and, in a sport that still relies on the human eye more than any other sport, it's certain to prompt a push for Major League Baseball to use increased replays.
As it stands, baseball replays can only be used for questionable home runs. There's no appealing a judgment call, either by replay or protest. A blown call by first base umpire Don Denkinger helped tilt the 1985 World Series, and followed him throughout his career.
This would (should) have been the 3rd perfect game this season. Clearly this was a monumentally bad call that will haunt both the pitcher and the umpire for the rest of their careers.