MLB umpire Jim Joyce couldn’t hold back his emotions a day after costing Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on Wednesday night in Detroit.
Joyce was behind the plate for Thursday afternoon’s game between the Tigers and Indians, wiping away tears and needing an extra moment to compose himself before entering the field via the tunnel behind home plate at 1 p.m. ET.
Fans close to the tunnel applauded as the umpire crew took the field. The cheers continued as Galarraga, bearing the lineup card, shook hands with Joyce.
But when Joyce’s name was announced over the public address system, some boos were heard.
By the time Joyce arrived at Comerica Park on Thursday morning, some fan reaction had turned hostile.
Joyce indicated in a brief interview with reporters that his family had been targeted. MLB officials wouldn’t confirm whether any specific threats of harm had been made.
“I wish my family was out of this,” Joyce said, still teary-eyed some 12 hours later. “I wish they would just direct it all to me.
“My wife is a rock. My kids are very strong. But they don’t deserve this. I’ll take it. I’ll take it. I’ll take whatever you can give me. I’ll handle it like a man. And I’ll do the best I can.”
Joyce didn’t specify what “it” was, but he said, “It’s a big problem.”
Galarraga forgave Joyce immediately, and Leyland expressed hope that Detroit fans would applaud the umpiring crew. To read more click here.