Very Well Then

Contradicting myself, always contradicting myself

Joyce: Yes I will yes I said he was safe Yes

Posted by verywellthen on June 2, 2010

Umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call that cost Armando Galarraga his perfect game reminded me of one of my favorite snippets of sports writing.  It was by King Kaufman, the former sports writer for Salon.com.  Kaufman described a blown call by Jim Joyce on a Mark Bellhorn homerun during Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS (the “Reverse the Curse” Red Sox pulling even with the Yankees).  In that game, Jim Joyce had the good fortune of the other umpires gathering and overruling his initial missed call.

Here is Kaufman’s account of the 2004 game:

Bellhorn’s fourth-inning homer was originally ruled in play. The ball had hit a fan in the front row and dropped back onto the warning track, but this was missed by left-field umpire Jim Joyce. And then Red Sox manager Terry Francona asked Jim with his eyes to ask again yes and then he asked the other umpires would they yes to say yes and first the umpires put their arms around each other yes and fans’ hearts were going like mad and yes they said yes it was a home run yes.

When I read it back in October 2004, it took me a few moments to figure out what Kaufman was doing.  It wasn’t until I looked at the name of the umpire that I figured out he was riffing on the end of Ulysses.   I loved that Kaufman never bothered to explain his joke.  If you got it, you got it.  If you didn’t, just keep on reading.

I read Kaufman religiously after that, just looking for that kind of stuff.  I miss you, King.

Here’s me riffing on King riffing on Joyce for tonight’s missed call:

And then Galarraga asked me with his eyes to ask again yes he was out and then he asked me would I yes to say yes he was out and first Cabrera put his arms up and then drew them down to his crotch and Jim Leyland’s heart was going like mad and yes I will yes I said he was safe Yes.

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One Response to “Joyce: Yes I will yes I said he was safe Yes”

  1. belz said

    I miss King, too. What a great writer!

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