Video: Jim Joyce botched a wild pitch/foul ball decision

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I regret to inform you that umpire Jim Joyce has made another controversial ruling. I say this because Joyce was the umpire whose safe call on a Jason Donald ground ball ended Armando Galarraga’s perfect game in 2010. Joyce was on the receiving end of a lot of vitriol despite apologizing to Galarraga the next day. Umpires are human, sometimes they mess up. Sometimes they mess up in important situations.

Thankfully, Thursday afternoon’s situation was, all things considered, a much less important situation. The Indians had the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning with Lonnie Chisenhall at the plate against Astros rookie pitcher David Paulino. With a 1-2 count, Paulino spiked a curve ball. The ball appeared to bounce up and hit Chisenhall’s bat, but home plate umpire Joyce didn’t see it. Francisco Lindor came around to score easily. Catcher Jason Castro, assuming the ball was dead, did not chase after it and instead chose to plead his case to Joyce, which allowed Mike Napoli to come all the way around from second to score as well. That bolstered the Indians’ lead to 4-1.

The umpires conferred but upheld the initial ruling: the Indians scored two runs on a wild pitch. The replay clearly shows that the ball hit Chisenhall’s bat.

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The Indians would go on to win 10-7.

Yes, it was a terrible call. And, yes, the ruling should have been overturned. Essentially, the umpires got the call wrong twice. But, as I mentioned, umpires are human and make mistakes. That’s to be expected when you have human beings establishing the rules. It wouldn’t be as big of a deal if most of the other umpires, but because it’s Jim Joyce, it’s a big deal — the same way fans would make a big deal about another balk call from umpire “Balkin’ Bob” Davidson. Sometimes, your reputation precedes you.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.