Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce teamed up again last night, going on stage together at the ESPYs to present the award for “Best Moment.”
Joyce did most of the talking, saying:
Every umpire strives for the same thing, not to be noticed. So much for that. But it’s good to be here and good to be alongside a terrific young man and pitcher in Armando, who will always be remembered for his grace and class, regardless of what the record books say.
I’m in total agreement about Galarraga, who couldn’t possibly have handled this whole situation any better and certainly deserves all the recognition he wants.
Joyce has also handled things well given the difficult circumstances, but ultimately he caused those circumstances by failing to perform his job well and for whatever reason it rubs me the wrong way to see him celebrating that fact, even if it’s being done in the name of celebrating Galarraga. Of course, if it doesn’t bother Galarraga then it probably shouldn’t bother me. After all, it did get him in the same room as Brooklyn Decker.
Galarraga was dropped from the Tigers’ rotation and demoted to Triple-A last week, but has yet to start a game back in Toledo.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.